Sun | Apr 2, 2023

Walk good, Edward N. Perkins

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2023 | 12:27 AM


With sadness, I remember the late Edward N. Perkins, 92, of Mandeville, who was a role model and prolific writer between 1993 and 2008, whose short but on-point letters were published in The Gleaner.

Mr Perkins’ first letter was a commentary on a cartoon published in The Gleaner of September 18, 1993. In the cartoon situated in a bar on a Friday night, a patron named Bunny asked Bev the bartender to add up his bill for the week. After adding up the bill, she told him it was $2,750. Some hours later as he headed home drunk around 1:30 on the Saturday morning, Bunny, holding a bottle of rum in his hand, complained to his friend Tony how the “Gov’t wicked so (hic) ... man can’t even buy food and book for dem pickney ...”

Readers may not be able to quantify how much $2,000 was valued at 30 years ago, in light of our current hyperinflation, but my late mother who operated a bar in Mandeville, until she retired in 1998, could stock her bar with $2,000.

In ‘Blaming the innocent’ ( The Gleaner, September 30, 1993) Perkins wrote, “ We as parents continue to live frivolously and spend on things we want and do not need in so doing neglect our children in so many ways. How on earth can some fathers of poor circumstances afford to spend so much money on liquor consumed with friends, ... and when the true realities of life face us, we place the blame on others and the Government in particular?”

He wrote on many subjects – road maintenance, our national symbols, death penalty, casino gambling, politicians, cancer of violence, child abuse and Mandeville’s development. On the latter, he asked, “ Does this development refer to being more commercialised, building more houses, expanding and resiting of the present town square? Which body will be responsible for putting this in motion?” ( The Gleaner, September 13, 1995).

Mr Perkins proudly preserved two letters from Garfield Grandison, former editor -in-chief.

The first dated November 30, 2004 on the new layout on page A5, “a part of the revamp of the opinion offerings”.

The second, dated June 26, 2008, congratulated him on writing the Letter of the Day for Thursday, June 26. He was awarded a $1,000 Sangster’s Book Stores voucher.

Condolences to his wife of 65 years, Myrna, and five sons. They were married on January 25, 1958. Mr Perkins died on January 5, 2023. Walk good!