Anniversary of Dudley’s death
Dudley died December 31, 2011 in England.
Post expanded December 2013 with text and photos from Trevor and Don Pierre Dewdney
Love Late Bloomed
When we learned how to love, we loved you.
Until then we were idiots not to realize
How wonderfully loveable
Through a narrow fallopian portal
From dreamtime to consciousness.
Not yet fully conscious, you discover etchings already inscribed
On a crude, unworked stone that you have been commissioned to sculpt.
The task of your commission from then on, must be to etch deeper than the impressions
Found on the primitive
Stone of your life.
From the rough stone through perseverance, you created
Refinement, dignity, honesty and generosity through your own initiative.
Like the monuments that you fashioned in early life, you are solid, strong, straight, true and enduring.
Gates, portals, silent witnesses to the mundane entry and egress of a Thousand Souls.
On the threshold of another great portal, we hold your hand
Until your Constant, Lifelong Spaniard
Takes you through a gateway
Into your radiant, new
Love, Deanne and Garry *
Portals (See Below)-Norman reports that as a young man in Jamaica, in his capacity as apprentice stonemason, Dudley had a considerable hand in creating the columns supporting the gates to two properties of the Girvan patrimony, Fairview at Molynes Rd. and Ebony Grove in Clarendon.
My recollection is that Dudley had been apprenticed to Kingston’s leading maker of marble signs. I remember, as a child, being utterly fascinated when he presented with great pride to my father, the two signs reading “Fairview” to be implanted into the gate columns at 81 Molynes Road. To me, here was a family member who could actually make something! The signs are still there–the photo was taken by Louis a few weeks ago.
I believe Dudley also made the signs for “Ebony Grove”, but I have been unable so far to get photos of these. I also remember when Dudley came to take his leave of my father and mother on his departure for the UK. He was dignified, respectful and well-spoken. When he left the house, I remember my father turning to my mother and saying something to the effect of “That young man is going to go far”. I shared all this with Dudley a couple of months ago. Over the years there was intermittent contact with Duds, and with him and Marissa after their marriage, on my visits to Britain. Louis and I spent a lovely Sunday with them at their home in 1994, when we were both visiting the UK. In 1998 when my family and mother-in-law were spending a couple of months there, we all went up to London one day and had dinner with Dudley and Marissa and then to a performance at Royal Albert Hall. We had a lot of fun reminiscing about the Jamaica days! Dudley asked after my mother-in-law when we last spoke. They were my special family guests when I received an Honorary Degree at London Met University in 2001. Dudley and Marissa and Jasmine and I went out after the ceremony and ate and chatted until it was almost too late for them to take the Underground. I believe that was the last time I saw them. Dudley was so considerate–when my mother got bed-ridden, he would send her tapes of her favourite Classical music for listening, that he recorded himself. In 2010, when he learnt that Jasmine was sick, he called several times to find out how she was doing. Dudley was a true gentleman. He was wise, philosophical, reflective, soft-spoken and kind. Marissa loved him deeply for his qualities. Dudley was also a testimony to the loving nurturing of our common grandparents. He had a good life, and brought credit to the family name.
Rest in Peace, (Cousin. Norman)
Garry and Deanne wrote:
Dear Jose, If the service allows, Norman has sent some recollections of your Dad. Here are a few more from Aunt Deanne and me. Recollections of my Brother Dudley.
In the early 1950s in Jamaica, I met a fascinating young man. He was an enthusiastic aficionado of high culture, humming tunes of Viennese waltzes by Strauss and songs by Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza, Beniamino Gigli and other European tenors. Although he had little or no opportunity for education beyond a basic level, he seemed to have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. His curiosity took him into virtually every field of human endeavour, politics, science, philosophy and the arts. I was the beneficiary on many occasions of the generosity of this Young Man who though more than 8 years my senior was able to relate to the 10 year old that I was at the time. I learned after, that the Young Man was my Brother. I left Jamaica in 1955 and unfortunately did not have the chance to have a relationship with this admirable man.
I saw Dudley again when he came to Canada in 1997 with Marissa.They visited us on Canada’s West Coast. The exploration of our lives at that time and since then by telephone, have highlighted how many similarities we had and how our past life and emigration from the Caribbean region had shaped our lives.
My wife Deanne and I were happy to establish an authentic family relationship with our Brother Dudley and his beautiful and supportive wife, Marissa. Our only regret was the late discovery of these two precious people and the geographical distance that made it impossible to see them more frequently. Dudley and Marisa are once again reunited.
(Deanne and Garry)
DUDLEY VINCENT GIRVAN Noble Issue Of The Girvan Family.doc “Legs” as we called him as boys, as he sprouted suddenly at 13 0r 14 years old and we teased him as we thought his legs were suddenly too long. 10 Dunoon rd. was our family home and in growing he became very close and the favourite of his Grand Aunt “Nennen” who claimed him as her Favourite. We all had a great time as Cousins growing together, with fun in sports and with pranks played on unsuspecting neighbours. It was a great period when we could pick mangoes, run races or play cricket or football. There were also serious times, the serious discipline of Church and of school and the ever-present corrective belt used by our Elders to keep a pack of boys in check from time to time. Dudley was kind and gentle and he developed a natural love and appreciation for the finer things in life, good music, literature, speech and good company. He moved on to join his friend Roy and others in his new home in Great Britain, the Motherland. He made his way with his natural good manners, dedication and honour in his work. He always displayed impeccable behavior and deportment. He selected and was selected by a wonderful Spanish Lass (as his Uncle John would say) and together were blessed with their son Jose and with a loving and caring family. He had a close and and loving relationship with the Jamaican, Trinidadian and Canadian family, enjoying many memorable visits over the years. We think of Dudley as noble. We will miss his careful, measured and wise conversations, his goodwill and his generosity. He has now joined his family who went before and is now in the embrace of his beloved Marissa and his Grand-Aunt “Nennen” who claimed him as her son.
(Cousin Louis for the Jamaican Girvans.)
I have been reading your most recent fluff (blog posts). I was reminded that about 2 years ago ‘legs” wrote to me asking what he could do for me. I asked him to send me a picture of himself. He did but wanted to do more. Eventually he sent me five pounds. I believe he was repaying me five pounds that I had helped him with when he was leaving Jamaica (over 60 years before). I used the money to buy two breadfruit plants and named them after him and his wife. Both plants are doing well. Actually got a breadfruit from his tree this year. Which is earlier than I expected. Such is life.
(Cousin Trevor Dewdney)
Thanks to Norman for these photos
Click on a photo