bb: Hello George, tell us a bit about yourself
GJ: I was born in 1953 on the island of Barbuda in Codrington – on the north side of the village in a house that is still there today. I come from a very large family – my mother has five children – four girls and me, and my father has nine other children, most of them still live in Barbuda. I have seven children – three are teachers, one is studying in Greece and the others are in Antigua and Barbuda, one is a Rastaman who lives in the forest.
bb: Where did you go to school?
GJ: First I went to a private school called Windspear School which was held at the Pentecostal church, then went to Holy Trinity School. My favourite subjects were spelling and history. I used to go fishing and hunting a lot so I was as fit as a fiddle and I didn’t need to do any sport!
bb: Tell us what you love about Barbuda and what is your favourite food or drink?
GJ: I love everything about Barbuda and I love it more as I get older. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of our island and that is one reason why I am now in the tourism business. Mostly I love the east coast on the Atlantic side – every day it is different and full of interesting things – I once found a buoy that had floated here all the way from Canada. I like local passion fruit and soursop drinks, fish water and I often make ‘pop’, which is local porridge.
bb: What is your work George?
GJ: started as a gardener, then a water sports instructor, then I operated heavy equipment for the Council and still do a bit of masonry. I am now a fisherman and tour guide which I like best of all. I go fishing about three days a week, using fishpots. In the future I plan to get a small hotel open at Gravesnor Landing. I am also featured in several guides to Barbuda especially the Chris Doyle yachting guide.
bb: What advice would you give to young Barbudans?
GJ: Pay attention at school, you must have an education. I tried to reward my children for their achievement to encourage them. I also tell them I was born into heaven, this island where our ancestors took the land as the top prize, and where all Barbudans are equal.
You can change a piece of land here like you change your clothes, and today we are still as free as a bird. So I would advise future generations to be careful with our land because it can easily slip away – just look at other people in the world whose land has been taken from them and see how they have been left with nothing.
bb: Thank you George, for being on “It’s My Life”, we wish you well for the future.