A good friend has gone to meet the ancestors. I became friends with Peter Campbell when I taught Saint Martin’s Secondary School from 1990 -1992. Peter was a young man who liked a discussion. We had many heated discussions in the staff room. Later on, we became even better friends when we both spent extended times in South Rivers where he eventually lived for a period of time. Peter’s girlfriend, Gailene, who later became Peter’s wife and mother of his children, was from that rural village.
We had some good times in South Rivers and many weekends found us on river cooks, with the main ingredients being crayfish and river lobsters.
Peter was really a great guy. He was passionate about cricket, teaching and his specialty field, accounts, but again, Peter was passionate about everything, including those river cooks.
Back in those days, Peter had a passenger van which sometimes he drove. It was intended to supplement his income. Many times he loaned it to me to go down to the Colonarie Police Station and back. Peter was quite a generous fella. He was generous in laughter, advice and his personal resources, which as a young man, were not plentiful, but which he shared as if they were; such was the generosity of the man. Now, these times were around the mid 1990s when Peter was still finding his way as a young professional and as an entrepreneur.
Peter loved Gailene. He loved his family. He was a family man. A quintessential family man. His migration to South Rivers was to be with the love of his life where he easily fit in well with her family and other villagers and on many occasions joined some of the more cricket loving villagers in a game of cricket. Peter was an athlete and cricketer, and an outstanding and courageous opening batsman who looked at the ball with contemptuous fascination. He put everything into it; in his characteristically passionate style.
I learned of Peter’s brief illness about two weeks ago from Gailene. Gailene also informed me yesterday that Peter, my good old friend had left us. I regret that we had lost touch but he was one of those friends based on a friendship, formed during such an important time of our lives which was priceless. During those summer days in South Rivers we spent many days together cooking, playing cricket or playing dominoes under the veranda at Gailene’s family bar and disco.
Peter was yet a young man, who had just turned 51 a couple months ago. During Peter’s short lifetime, he gave it his all. He was a great guy. He was a great teacher. He was a great cricketer. Peter was a great human-being. He loved to laugh. He was a humble fella. He had no airs about him no matter his accomplishments. And though he loved to argue, his arguments were never acrimonious.
Indeed, SVG and the region have lost a great human being; an unassuming, compassionate, cheerful, nurturing person. A salt of the earth man; a decent Vincentian. A good man.
I convey here, again, my deepest condolences to Gailene and to Peter’s children and to the rest of his family and friends and to all those who mourn his loss, including the past students and staff of the SMSS.
Hey Peter, later my friend, later.