A horrendously noisy New Year

Masqueraders at Assou Square.

Masqueraders at Assou Square.

I was expecting the usual fireworks display and at midnight I went out on to the balcony to watch the dazzling pyrotechnic event. Then soon after it all ended some characters in a vehicle kept driving around the area with music blaring away. I could neither sleep, nor read, nor attempt any writing because of that disturbance. At five a.m. when the bells of the Anglican Church sounded I thought I’d try to get some sleep. When I awoke it was approaching  nine a.m. and I felt very tired and irritated for nothing had been achieved.

Worse was to follow later that evening from the deafening music and ‘singing’ from the street party to which people still insist on referring as ‘Assou Square!’

It would certainly be a miracle if the inhabitants in the vicinity were to escape with their eardrums intact.  I secured all doors, closed tightly all louvers and locked myself in my bedroom, but living only about two miles away it were as though the noise and what passed for singing in Jamaica dialect was coming from a room in the house. Must have been either the Master of Ceremonies or some other crack pot who kept exhorting the crowd to “make some noise!” and, disappointed by the response, perhaps, kept complaining “Me na hear ya!”

Eleven pm and still there was not the least bit of respite . At one stage I thought I’d turn on the television and watch a movie, but, Awa! That, also, proved impossible to hear anything.

I wondered why the Environmental Health people did not think it necessary to regulate the number of decibels in such a built-up area. ECCO’s offices are not far away. Have they nothing to say?

I recalled my years as a Civil Servant in London attached to the Arts and Entertainment Department (They call it Culture here. In fact any and every confounded thing is termed ‘Culture’ in this place!), My responsibilities in the Summer was to organize Music and Dance in the Parks on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5.  I remember that the people from the Environmental Health Department, another Department of Government, would issue us with a document which stated that the Music must exceed a certain number of decibels. Not content with that, officers from that Department would be present to make certain that we abided by the injunction, and if there were to be any breach the Arts and Entertainment Department would be taken to Court by that other Department of Government.

What was coming from the Assou Square area was certainly not Entertainment, but bloody deliberate noise guaranteed to cause the maximum discomfort to the people of Sans Souci. I am absolutely certain that people in Martinique were able to hear it all.

Since the Government has fallen in love with Cul-de-Sac and even want to hide The Cultural Centre and Saint Lucia’s National
Theatre down there, why not organize Assou Square in Cul-de-Sac where only the fishes from the sea close by would be disturbed, provided
the Fisheries Department would not object to the  fishes being disturbed, or the fishes themselves were to come out carrying placards in protest.

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