The Meenister’s Log
During my second trip to Communist-controlled Grenada as a locum, I was asked to conduct a funeral service for a young man who had been a volunteer soldier in Comrade Maurice Bishop’s militia.
The service was held in a small church in the hinterland of the Island.
Fools rush in…… in the Eulogy, I mentioned the liberating power of the Gospel message and the freedom of the Kingdom – Christ frees even those in thrall to earthly oppressive regimes (or words to that effect)
Now,standing down one side of the Church were half a dozen or so mean looking guys in camouflage fatigues, each one with a rifle slung over his shoulder (comrades, I guessed, of their late friend and colleague).
Then one of them, staring at me intently for a couple of minutes, as I waffled on about liberty, got out a camera and took a flash photograph of me.
Nothing untoward happened thereafter, and in a few days I was ready to fly back to Trinidad where I was based.
I checked in at the airport, showed my passport and ticket and temporary work-permit, then paid the departure tax of a few dollars.
While waiting in the departure area for the announcement for embarkation, I noticed the armed security guard looking at whatever form it was that I’d handed over, then to me, then back to the documentation. Without a smile, he beckoned me -ordered me – to come over to his desk.
“It is Reverend Strachan?” he asked.
“Oh dear, here comes the jail” thought I
“And you’ve been working in Grenada for these last two weeks?”
“Yes, indeed, I have the chits” (I thought I was going to have something similar – but spelled slightly differently)
And then added, “Well, Rev., I’m really sorry………………………………….. working clergy don’t have to pay the full departure tax. You’ve been overcharged and here’s your refund. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay on our beautiful Island. Viva Comrade Bishop!”
“Viva” indeed – vamoose time
The above photograph is of the Meenister and his two sons on Grande Anse Beach, St.George’s, Grenada