Santa’s helper marks 25 years of Christmas Eve gift visits to Wellington Street children in Bridgetown, Barbados
Barbados born descendant of the last Hereditary Arawak Chief in Guyana – Mrs. Audrey Cecile Corrie (nee Corbin) – matriarch of the Corrie family in Barbados, has always been a generous soul throughout her life; as all who know her will attest to.
Christmas Eve (December 24th) 2009 marked 25 years that an annual donation of Christmas presents has been amassed by Mrs. Corrie for virtually every child in Wellington Street in Bridgetown Barbados, this year 72 Children from the ages of 2 months to 13 years old received gifts – of which 51 were purchased by Granny Corrie herself; and 21 were donated by 18 different teachers at the St. Angela’s and St. Ursula’s Catholic private schools in lower Collymore Rock, St. Michael.
The gifts are always cheerfully wrapped and addressed to each child by name as being from ‘Santa‘.
Grandpa Geddes Corrie can be seen handing over 2 large bags of presents to 19 year-old Barbados Defense Force (BDF) soldier Lamar Cummins – a resident of Wellington street and grandson of Granny Marjorie Cummins (also of Wellington Street) who has shouldered the responsibility to organize the dispensation of the gifts to each child every year for the past quarter of a century.
The other photo is of Audrey Corrie, the Corrie’s also just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (on December 19th 2009).
Damon Corrie, last son of Audrey & Geddes lamented the fact that acts of kindness are not considered ‘newsworthy‘ in Barbados as often as they should be, “It’s all about scandal and advertising now” he said before mentioning that both the Barbados Nation and Advocate Newspapers were invited annually for over a decade to send a photographer along to cover the Christmas Eve scene but never showed any interest.
“In those days we had an actual Santa Claus in full costume deliver the gifts and it was hoped that the publicity would have encourage others to do the same for children in other poor neighborhoods in Barbados – thereby allowing the idea to ‘catch on’, but I suppose I would have to capture a snake in Wellington street before the Newspapers would see fit to give this any coverage” – the controversial Corrie added – alluding to his former ‘snake man‘ fame in the local press of Barbados (Damon is better known Internationally for his multi-racial Indigenous Rights efforts).