Farewell to two favourite sons of Devonshire
Like all other parishes, Devonshire is so much more than an area defined by boundary lines or a name on an address. We are so much more than a collection of neighbourhoods and estates.
Like all other parishes, Devonshire is a network of families related by birth, marriage and love for one another.
Our neighbours are not simply that person that lives next door.
No, they are indeed as much a part of our family as our biological relatives. Sometimes even more so, as we interact with our neighbours on a daily basis.
Sometimes by saying “hello” and “hi”.
Unfortunately, recently, it has been by saying “so long” and “goodbye”.
Like all other parishes, we have had to bear the burden of losing our loved ones with increasing frequency over the past two months
So many in rapid succession that for a brief period it seemed as if we were on the verge of becoming extinct.
So many names, so many memories.
Today, I will speak very briefly of two of our family members that we love dearly.
Javon Welch was one of the kindest persons one could ever meet. A lover of his daughter, wife, parents, family, pet dogs, and his neighbourhood of Green Acres, in Devonshire.
In retrospect, he had no option but to be respectful to all, as his parents — James Sr and Sharon Welch — poured their all into raising his brother, James Jr, and himself.
Every time we were in Green Acres cleaning up, they would stop by and give us greetings, and Mrs Welch would go home to lovingly make us sandwiches.
This is the family love that moulded Javon.
He was not just our neighbour, he was our friend and brother.
Some knew him as Shawn. Some knew him as “PO’s” little brother.
If you were a certain age and baller — footballer that is — you knew him as Mama.
Shawn Pearman Outerbridge was a stalwart of Vesey Street in Devonshire.
Don’t ask me how he got the nickname Mama; allegedly it is from a character from a school play. Nevertheless, that is the name we called him when we all played for Wolves under Charlie and Johnny Boyles.
You see, we did not just play on the same team, the Boyles brothers reinforced that we were a community.
More importantly, they drilled into us that we were, and still are, a family.
Shawn lived that mantra every day of his life by constantly checking on people in the neighbourhood, ensuring that the area was kept clean. He took a vested interest in making sure that Vesey Street had proper attention
He spent many of his days telling his Devonshire family how much he loved them. As a matter of fact, I have two missed calls from him that I am sure was to tell me — sorry, order me — which area needed attention next.
So, in essence, he lived up to that name Mama in all ways.
Like Javon, and so many others, Shawn was not just our neighbour, he was our friend and brother.
Devonshire will miss both of her sons.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com