‘Friar Tuck’ instils togetherness in times of crisis

  • Rallying support: the Reverend Jamaine Tucker, left, and his band of merry volunteers stand ready to assist the needy of Devonshire on a daily basis.  Also pictured, from left, are Stephen Caines, church warden Jan Swan and Connie Mallory (Photograph supplied)

    Rallying support: the Reverend Jamaine Tucker, left, and his band of merry volunteers stand ready to assist the needy of Devonshire on a daily basis. Also pictured, from left, are Stephen Caines, church warden Jan Swan and Connie Mallory (Photograph supplied)


“In every thing give thanks …”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:18

For more than two months, we have been inundated with a constant stream of bad news from around the world and right here in Bermuda.

Whether it be millions of persons infected with Covid-19, subsequent death tolls, lockdowns, curfews, shopping by surnames or mass unemployment, one could be easily forgiven thinking that they were locked into some episode of The Twilight Zone.

Without a doubt, the constant stream of information would have taken a toll on our individual and collective outlook on life and humanity.

Yet through it all, we have seen the rise of community togetherness in all shapes and forms.

All around Bermuda, individuals and companies, both large and small, have taken it upon themselves to become their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

Some do it by simply calling to check on others, especially the seniors.

Others have formed neighbourhood WhatsApp groups to keep the community spirit and conversation going while safely social-distancing.

A prime example would be the Hermitage Road Community chat group, formed to facilitate an online safety net for residents of the area. Quite a unified group of people; well, at least until the subject of Cup Match is raised.

Today, I wish to take a moment to highlight the efforts of a group of volunteers from my beloved parish of Devonshire.

The Reverend Jamaine Tucker, of Christ Church Devonshire, has over the past two months rallied the support of a diverse group of persons consisting of parishioners, donors, drivers and everything in between.

On a daily basis, seven days a week, “Friar Tuck” and his merry men and women collect freshly cooked meals donated by Butterfield Bank, The Loren and others to distribute to the needy seniors and families throughout Devonshire.

Using the Canon T. Nesbitt Church Hall as their base of operations, they distribute the meals via a network of drivers, all wearing personal protective equipment, at about 1pm each day.

At any given time, Mr Tucker can be seen putting together orders, then like Houdini he disappears to field calls from those requesting food for the day.

The people of Devonshire, diverse in nature, have always been a close-knit clan of people, bound by blood, marriage, schools such as Elliot Primary and Prospect Primary, and football teams such as Wolves, Devonshire Colts and Devonshire Cougars.

During this pandemic, we have become that much closer as a community in all ways imaginable. Undoubtedly, this story echoes throughout every parish of our island.

Whether it be by WhatsApp chat groups or Zoom meetings, residents of Bermuda — Bermudian or not — have reignited the spirit of oneness that binds us as humans.

Sharing with neighbours and strangers while social-distancing has become as commonplace as breathing for some. So, amid the social and economic challenges that we will face as individuals and as a country, let us try not to lose this much needed unity.

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many of our brothers and sisters will face extended periods of unemployment and/or underemployment. They will be forced to choose between paying bills and buying food to eat.

So we all will have to look within our souls, our cupboards and, yes, our pockets to see how we can share with those genuinely in need of their next plate of food.

It is the Bermudian way.

In closing, if you happen to see the Reverend Jamaine Tucker along your path, tell him his kindness almost absolves him of the sin of being a Liverpool supporter.

Almost.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm

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Published May 8, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm)

‘Friar Tuck’ instils togetherness in times of crisis

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