DR RITA PEMBERTON
The severe nationwide interest in the much-needed and long-awaited new vessels to service the inter-island path was fired by the expectation that, once functional, the brand-new vessels would bring an end to the escalating litany of lamentations of the Tobago company neighborhood.
The arrival of the very first ship, the APT James, named after the Tobago icon, attracted substantial crowds when the vessel got here in Tobago before proceeding to Trinidad in accordance with the quarantine protocols.
It is extremely unexpected that so many in the nation know so little about APT, who lived and worked in both islands. This lack of understanding is revealed in the most frequently asked question: “Who is he?” and lots of confessed that they had actually never heard of him.
What is especially troubling is that, despite the establishment of James Park in Scarborough, in his honour, Tobagonians number amongst the uninformed about the male and his contribution to the island. This shows a major shortage in our education system which highlights the requirement for instructional reform.
Commonly known as Fargo, APT James moved to Trinidad, made his house in Point Fortin and obtained work in the oil industry. He began at the lowest job levels in the market but rapidly moved up the ranks functioning as manager, foreman and eventually contractor with his own groups of staff members.
Having made his fortune he returned to Tobago where he sought to promote a developmental thrust on the island. While he is regarded as a renowned figure in Tobago, it should be suggested that he also made a sterling contribution to Trinidad, particularly the southern areas such as Point Fortin and La Brea. Through the numerous services he provided, he made a substantial contribution to the development of the oil market and most importantly to the oil field employees. One previous worker explained Fargo as “a big guy,” which shows the varied nature of his existence on the islands. Fargo was “huge” in 4 various methods:
Fargo was huge in stature. Because his size and strength were perceived similar to the big, American heavy-duty truck, it is believed by some that he got his nickname after the truck.
However, his close household conflicts this explanation and asserts that the nickname was gotten out of an incident on the job, when he advised a group of his workers to eliminate a stack of poles from the work site and went off to take care of other matters. The men huffed and puffed but concludwd that the job was beyond them, and the poles were not moved.
When Fargo returned, the poles were still lying on the ground and the males grumbled that they were not able to move them due to the fact that they were too heavy. James steupsed, picked up the pile of poles and removed them himself. He was identified Fargo, which was marked at the end of each pole, which became his nickname.
Second Of All, Fargo was thought about a “huge male” because he moved in “huge” circles. He was continuously engaged with Arthur Andrew Cipriani, Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler and other leading trade-union figures to organise the employees and handle the concerns with which they faced. Since of his intercessions on behalf of the workers he assumed positions in the trade-union movement: as branch secretary in the Trinidad Workingmen’s Association in La Brea and president of a branch of the Federated Employee Trade Union. In his efforts to get the very best deals for the workers he represented, he constantly communicated with companies and supervisors of the numerous service operations in the oil market,
Thirdly, to the employees, Fargo, who was highly appreciated by all, loomed large. He was the “big male” to whom they had access. They believed his capability to seek their benefits and were confident that he would always step in on their behalf when necessary. He was approachable and caring and was constantly useful and generous. In the words of one former employee, “he triggered the law of offering” as he attempted to make sure nobody was left in requirement, and his workers considered it an opportunity to work for him.
As he carried out in Tobago, Fargo helped people to obtain tasks and land, build houses, pay school fees and feed their families, so assisting a variety of people to improve their station in life.
Fourthly, James was a big businessman.
One former employee recalls that Fargo’s workers were arranged into teams. He worked with 150 guys who were required to supply the facilities for shipping bitumen. This included a process which was called “laying dunnage,” to accommodate the drums in which the bitumen was shipped. The drums were layered on the ship upwards from the floor and strips of wood were placed at the top of each row, to accommodate the next row of drums. The labourers were carried on little boats to deal with the huge ships which were anchored in the Channel.
His company was well organised with different levels of administrators, supervisors and supervisors to manage all the operations of both his land- and sea-based organization activity. There is no doubt that Fargo was an imposing figure on the landscape of south Trinidad.
Where Tobago is concerned, it has actually been recognised that Fargo’s concepts for the advancement of Tobago continue to be of significance today and as an effect, they remain main features of present-day development plans for the island. These consist of: the interisland ferry service; enhanced hospital and healthcare centers; water and electricity supply; the arrangement of education centers; the advancement of tourism and agro- and fishing industries; increased representation and the extremely evasive autonomy drive.
Fargo James developed a commanding presence in Trinidad and Tobago and his enduring tradition stays indelibly etched on the nation.