This blog concerns my reflections on ‘A street in Roseau, Dominica, c1880.’ by an artist named Pann and a photograph taken from the pavement in front of the grounds of the studios of tDBS Radio, showing the intersection of High Street on to Victoria Street, Roseau.
A street in Roseau
A recent, 21st century, photograph with a wider view of the scene captured in the painting captioned, ‘A street in Roseau, Dominica, c1880.’ by an artist named Pann, and that Dominican, Historian and anthropologist, Lennox Honychurch has identified as “Victoria Street looking down the hill towards Newtown Savannah”, was taken from the pavement in front of the grounds of the studios of the nation’s national broadcaster, DBS Radio, showing the intersection of High Street on to Victoria Street, Roseau, in the present-day.
The random picture was shot during the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa (upgraded to a hurricane) near Dominica, and was posted on the station’s Facebook page. According to the Dominica Meteorology Service, on Friday, July 2, this inst. the center of the tropical storm passed 138 miles South of Dominica at 11 am, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph as the 5th named-storm, and 1st hurricane of this 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season.
There is so much more I could continue to write about this photograph and the painting in the post below. Firstly, I could mention the names and their geological history of the mountain peaks in the picture. Mornes Patates, for example, according to Wadge G of the University of the West Indies, “Mornes Patates is the youngest volcano in Dominica.” Moreover, I could research the ‘References to the Plan of the Island of Dominica, as surveyed from the year 1765 to 1773’ to investigate who were the original purchasers of the lots in that area of Dominica as colonialism commenced on the island.
Morne Patate Estate
The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery in its database reveals that James Matthews, a “Merchant in Dominica in partnership with John Gordon at the time of compensation” on 27th June, 1836 was awarded compensation of £2429 15s 9d for the loss of property (129 Enslaved people) associated with a Morne Patate Estate identified in the record of Claim No.169A&B&C.
Did you know that in the 1817 Slave Register Return it was recorded, that ‘One enslaved female, Sophia was reputed to be aged 100 and had grandchildren on the estate’?
I could let my imagination drift, and investigate how the road was cut, how DBS Radio came to be built. I could investigate the ancestry of the person taking the photo, and if I am feeling generous offer some insights into my own 32 years residence in Dominica and my own biographical heritage. Oh! the many times I have walked up and down High Street and Victoria Street as a child growing up in Dominica.
The many times I have visited DBS Radio in my own capacity as an author/poet granting interviews, or in producing Rastafari Revelation with the Inity of Rastafari Idren or promoting activities of the now defunct, Dominica Writers Guild, dropping in at the library and so on, and so on.
Wadge, G. (1985) “Morne Patates volcano, southern Dominica, Lesser Antilles”, Geological Magazine, 122(3), pp. 253-260. doi: 10.1017/s0016756800031460.
Details of Estate | Legacies of British Slavery (1787). Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/1247 (Accessed: 11 July 2021).
References to the Plan of the Island of Dominica, as surveyed from the year 1765 to 1773 (2021). Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/…/References_to_the_Plan_of… (Accessed: 11 July 2021).
My Windrush Story (2021). Available at: https://mywindrushstory.wordpress.com/ (Accessed: 11 July 2021).
Print of A street in Roseau, Dominica, c1880.Artist: Pann. Available at: https://www.heritage-print.com/street-roseau-dominica… (Accessed: 10 July 2021).
Chapter 1 (2011). Available at: https://dreadrastafariandethiopia.wordpress.com/chapter-1-2/ (Accessed: 11 June 2021).
DBS Radio (2021). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/dominicabroadcasting.station/photos/a.1550010045328788/2867089773620802/ (Accessed: 11 July 2021).