Here we have an interview with two brothers…
bb: How old are you Craig?
Craig: I was born on 25 October 1976, so I am 30 years old.
Greg: I am 29, I was born a year later on 24 October 1977.
bb: tell us about your background.
CT: We were born in Barbuda in Government House. The clinic was there before the Hanna Thomas Hospital was built. Our parents are Hilroy and Valerie Thomas, who are both Barbudans.
GT: We come from a large family of two sisters, Kizzie and Hilary, and four brothers, Ted, Zachary, and ourselves. Hilary is the only one still at school, she is in Form III at Sir McChesney George Secondary School.
bb: you both attended school here, I know
CT: Yes, we both went to Holy Trinity School from where I graduated in Form V in 1995. My favourite subjects were agriculture and integrated science, I was a standby for the Science Quiz team. I was appointed head boy in my final year. This was a good experience for me, I learnt responsibility, developed leadership skills, and tried very hard to set an example for the younger students.
GT: I graduated from Senior III, now Grade 9, in 1995. My favourite subjects were maths and science.
bb: I remember you were good at sports.
CT: We played basketball and cricket for school and for Barbuda. In those days Holy Trinity did not participate in the league in Antigua, but we did arrange one tour and played three games.
GT: I was a sprinter at school. We represented Holy Trinity in the national school champshipships, where the school came second and third every year. I represented Antigua and Barbuda in the Leeward Islands Youth Championships as a member of the 200 metres relay team.
CT: I competed over the longer distances. I was the first Barbudan to finish the Olympic Half Marathon over 13 miles in Antigua in 1995.
bb: do you still play and run ?
CT: Oh yes. I play basketball and attend a gym in the Bronx where I live. When I knew I was coming to Barbuda for Christmas I thought I’d sponsor a basketball tournament between the players of the eighties and nineties and the current players. I rang Gregory, who thought it was a good idea, and he helped to set it up. We played the Saturday before Christmas and it was very popular.
GT: I play basketball with the Bounders, the second best of six teams in the Barbudan league. Every morning I run to River and back, which is about 6 miles altogether. I have taken up tennis now that we have a new court. I used to play cricket and race my horses, Smoke, Blue Blaze, and Grey, but not at the moment.
bb: life after school?
CT: I worked for a year at the K Club in water sports. In 1996 I was awarded a scholarship by the Barbuda Council to study dentistry in New York. However, after a term the Council experienced financial difficulties and I couldn’t continue with the course. I went into carpentery and have been employed by the same company ever since. I work on commercial buildings in Manhattan.
GT: After I left school I spent two years as a landscape gardener at the K Club. For the last eight years I’ve been an machine operator at K B Supplies.
bb: were you in Manhattan for 9/11?
CT: Yes, I saw the second plane hit the south tower and realised it was not an accident. We had to evacuate our building and it took me 4 hours to walk home to the Bronx. I also experienced the big electricity blackout when I was on the subway. We had to wait an hour in the dark for help to arrive before we could walk to the next subway station.
bb: tell us about your families
CT: children Kayla, who is 7 years old, Kyria, who is 5, and the baby, Craig, who is just 19 months old. Kayla is very good academically, she attends a charter school. I also have a son, Isaiah, who is 9 and attends school in the Bronx.
GT: I have a girlfriend, but no children.
bb: what advice would you give to the young people of Barbuda?
CT: Stay away from drugs! Play more sport! Sport offers so many opportunities for education, travel to other countries and experiencing other cultures, as well as providing international exposure for Barbuda.
GT: Go to school and finish school. I regret that I didn’t work as hard as I should have at Holy Trinity. I agree with Craig – stay away from drugs and stay out of trouble.
bb: Thank you Craig and Gregory, we wish you well for the future.