The response to the first disclosure which I made about Mr. Leslie Pierre (Kind Courtesy Brenda Baptiste) has prompted calls for more of the same. As Mr. Pierre announced in the middle of a cocktail party, “Ros Dopwell knows no short stories”. Thus (in order to prove him “right”, one last time”, here comes the longer version.
Leslie Pierre was a little man who could be proud of conquering some larger than-life experiences. He delighted in being proven to be right/correct. He wanted to bring everyone (above him) down to his level, which could not be called ”LOW” by any interpretation.
He was “a self-made man”. This is one of the things he must be congratulated for. (Though he emphasised this – far too often WHENEVER it was convenient for him to do so!).
As I have said, he and I did not get on well, with each other. I can’t say WHY I ended up working with The Grenadian Voice. In 20/20 hindsight, I do not know where I got the courage from, to stand up to him, on some occasions. This was always made a difficult thing to do – as he delighted in making others look small.
He was too full of pride – in himself, almost always in a competition of his own making. If you looked hard enough, for long enough, one was able to detect a kind streak in him (sometimes). He made rash judgement calls, and made statements off the top of his head, and hated to be wrong, about anything.
This made him foolhardy in many of his pursuits. His beloved deceased mother (of whom he spoke – often) appears to have … neglected to teach him to say “I’m sorry”.” His inability to say that he was sorry, must have made life for his wife and his three 3 sons very frustrating – at times – perhaps OFTEN.
His wife, a truly lovely Lady, must have a beautiful soul, since he would not back down, he must have tried her patience – often. This, since she tried so hard to bring out the best in him, and highlight his good points.
There was a strange malfunction in his behaviour. Mr Pierre, because he would never back down – however evident the fact that he was obviously wrong became. This was a somewhat strangely inconsistent anomaly, in one who demanded the admission of such “guilt” from his employees.
Instead of just backing-down he compounded every problem. As to his dear wife – Clytie –he loved showing her off … introducing her. … “This is my wife Clytie”. He took the credit for his sons successes in cycle races, as if it was him out there tearing up the non-existent veladrome.
(Our cycle races took place on the Road and on the Running track). I was on hand to witness two (2) of his proud moments when 2nd Son Derek crossed – the finish line ahead of Big Brother Roger and Derek enthusiasts picked him up and dropped him in his father’s lap… and when Big Son Roger defeated The Trinidadian stars, brought-in to spice-up our Whitsuntide Games. And the crowd did the same thing. Back then he was SO Proud of his Sons.
Here again though he took pleasure in underscoring his sons victories (BUT – never their failures). THIS he would explain away as showing “Tough Love”.
One could always tell when he was coming … his booming voice went before him. “Like John The Baptist” The sound of him announcing his arrival threw many of us lesser persons, into a bit of a panic.
He delighted in intimidating “others” and I dare say we could never produce our best work, under him. Intimidation does this. He would draw his red ink Editorial Pen through the entire thing, declare it to be rubbish, crumple it into a ball throw it in the waste paper basket, and send us to do it all over again.
One had to try to think like he did to avoid the foregone, fate. Too often I did not think like him and thus my writing was too stilted
and stiff. Compassion was not his strong point. HOWEVER – he could justify any action he took as being the kind, concerned thing to do.
Once I got back to the Office at 2.30 p.m. and he was entertaining … “visitors”. He said “Well – Mrs. Dopwell – that was a rather long lunch hour?” When I pointed out that it was “NO Lunch hour at all … but he had sent me to cover a story”* … he just turned his back.
He was a study in contradictions. He loved to provoke arguments and disagreements and disputes whenever he could – “Poking Fire and rekindling clashes that had long been laid to rest ”.
HE held onto grudges for far too long. He hated the Revolution and the Revolutionary Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, with a passion. Even going so far as to say that if our Airport was re-named The Maurice Bishop International Airport MBIA (Which it HAS thus been renamed) he would never fly from it OR into it … but be forced to leave Grenada by ship.
HOWEVER he also said he had completely forgiven the Revolutionary Government for imprisoning him. (As an aside Former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas – who was incarcerated AND freed at the same time as he was … over the same issue (Freedom of speech and The Grenadian Voice newspaper… did not go about spouting forgiveness, but rather acted it out for all to see… since it was under the Tillman Thomas tenure as Prime Minister – that the PSIA was renamed the MBIA).
Mr Pierre would consider it to be ironic – “IF” writing about his death, reawakens my hunger for, and attempts at having a journalistic career, which he considers himself responsible for creating – and then breaking.
I know that issues like this one is considered to be Eulogy – in which says only good things about a deceased person. There is much that many would regard what I said as “Out-Of-Place” It was Mr. Leslie Pierre who taught me not to be hypocritical, when writing such.
Ros M. Dopwell