School in itself is a microcosm of society. These kids bring a lot of baggage with them, and as teachers with 30 plus kids in your classroom you have to take the time to get to know them, and not just see them as people you have to teach. And if they want to learn they will learn, and if they don’t want too then too bad. But you have to see them as your surrogate children. Charles Chuck Mackey, former vice principal and coach of R. M. Bailey Pacers…
Everything started to move in slow motion. A vehicle was coming up the hill in the opposite direction, facing us but in its own lane. With vehicles parked on both sides of the road, this meant that there was just a narrow passage area for both vehicles to pass through. However, he had yet to reduce his speed, and now I knew which car he was going to hit. I was frozen stiff with fear in the front passenger seat, as I helplessly watched him slam into the back of a parked car. I was not wearing a seat belt, so upon impact my head crashed into the windshield. I was then slammed back into my seat, but with such force that everything went black.
Through all of those different wars, we came to understand each other. The Mason’s fellas just wanted to chill in their area and be left alone. The Border Boys basically wanted the same thing. Stinky and Robert just wanted to be able to sell their drugs and make their money. But us, we were on a mission to take over the whole town. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
One day I was through Strachan’s Corner just hanging out, and they must have picked up Scrooge earlier for a pep talk, so they were now dropping him back home in one of their police vehicle. Supt. Strachan was in the back seat talking with him, while a male officer was driving. So I asked her, what were some of the things you used to say to Scrooge? I used to tell him it is not worth it, You are hurting people. You are only going to end up in jail for the rest of your life, or you are going to end up in the grave. I knew that he was listening to me. I would talk to him and encourage him. My other colleagues used to say I was soft on crime because of what I was doing, but I could be tuff. I am a mother of two sons; just ask my sons how tuff I can be. If I feel that I have done the best that I can, and cannot do no more than that is it. This was what I was telling those kids down there.I told them if you do not change, you are going to die. Sad to say, that is what happened to some of them eventually. The best came out of you and others in another way. Supt. Allerdyce Strachan, the first female officer to rise to the rank of superintendent on the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
When I hear and see young men like you and Troit, who have turned their lives around, it makes me feel good. We need to learn to love one another; there is just too much hate in this world. Supt. Allerdyce Strachan, the first female officer to rise to the rank of superintendent on the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The cane is just not going to cut it. I shared with some of my colleagues that these brothers live in neighborhoods where they are getting whapped with a piece of stick all night, stabbed with knives, and pegged with screwdrivers that have been sharpened down, and they are leaking blood. When you come to a fella without even interviewing him, without sitting him down to find out why you did what you did, your only interest is caning him, because you are burned out and frustrated yourself. You say to him, ‘Bend over, you are getting six.’ And the boy grits his teeth, skin up his face, takes those six cuts, and he is gone. But have you really been effective? Caning him is no big deal, because he’s probably ducking bullets at night. He has a lot more things on his mind than that. On the other hand, we can further send our delinquent students into damnation by telling them they are no body and all we want to do is punish, punish, punish. Here at R.M. Bailey, we have been trying a lot of different things. But at the end of the day, nothing that we do is better than the voice itself. Nothing is better than talking to the child, listening, developing trust, developing a friendship. Feel free to come to me anytime if something is bothering you, because I was your age once before. Charles chuck Mackey, former vice principal and coach of the R. M. Bailey Pacers school.
Out of all the other gangs that were around, you could always have come to the reasoning table of the Rebellions without being fearful and present your case, and whatever is decided at the reasoning table you know that is what it will be, whether it’s war or peace. Unlike the other gangs that were around, you didn’t even know who to talk to. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the definition of the word ‘rebellion’ is ‘an act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention. Extensions of the expression include to fly in the face of danger and to fly in the face of providence, both of which carry a sense of reckless or impetuous disregard for safety.’Because we did not grow up with our fathers, we became reckless with our lives and disregarded the lives of others as well. Therefore, the problem is not the gangs, so to speak; rather, it’s the conditions that create them. It is the dismantling of our homes and marriages that create the right conditions for gangs to flourish. If homes could be put back together or prevented from falling apart, then these symptoms could be, root cause eradicated.
I came from as low as one could come, with no mother and no father. So in return I build a family for myself and these fella’s were a part of my family. So I had to look out for them, as if I was looking out for my children. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
We really had a close netted structure to rely on for anything, you could have gone by anyone house and get something to eat. Whatever they were eating, they would’ve fed you, and all the mothers would’ve treated you just like they treated their own. What the gang also did, it provided some level of protection for a lot of the working adults in the neighborhood. They knew that their houses were safe, when they went out to work and didn’t have to worry about anyone breaking in to their homes. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
The gangs filled a void in society, and the void was the absence of family life. The gang became a family. For some of those guys in the gang that was the only family they knew, because when their mothers had them they were too busy having children for other men. Some of them never knew their daddies. Their daddies never look back after they got their mothers pregnant, and those guys just grew up and they couldn’t relate to nobody. When they had their problems, who could they have talked to? Nobody would listen, so they gravitated together and form a gang. George Mackey, the former representative for the historic Fox Hill community in The Bahamas.
The groups in different areas that were affiliated with us knew one thing for sure, and that is that they could trust and respect the base. When you look at it, people want to know they have someone in their corner for the worst. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
Drugs are also a part of school life in particular marijuana. Alcohol beverages, prostitution - not so much on campus - but that is a way of survival for some young women and young men. These are societal ills.
Giving these lil’ fellas a gun was important to keep the name of the Rebellions strong, because whenever the name drops, it’s only a matter of time before someone kicks your door in. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
I used to be in control of a yard on Milton Street, where fellas could come there and sleep. If they came there with jewelry, money, guns, or drugs, whatever they came with in their possession under my watch, they always left with what they came with. There was no one there trying to take advantage of them, or trying to take their possessions. This was one of the main things that I stood for, but in other parts of the gang that trust was not there. They did not feel safe. Even though we were a part of the same gang, they knew that they could be robbed by their own fellow gang members. Galen ‘Ninja’ Nordelus former leader of the Public Terrorist Rebellions through Milton Street
The leaders at that time believed so much in protecting the name and the reputation of the gang, that I along with one or two other individuals who were still in school who were trusted, responsible, and ready were given weapons to take to school to make sure that if anything arises, the matter would be dealt with properly. They made sure that even if their presence were not there during a fight, we were in a position to properly defend ourselves. Troit Lynes, former death row inmate of Her Majesty Prison
Before I was born my father disowned me. You know those ones who get the females pregnant, and then say the baby is not theirs? He rejected me, told my mother that I am not his child, so I never had a relationship with my father. Shelton ‘Apples’ Burrows reform gang leader
Everyone who I called my friends, persons who I used to hang out with, these were the individuals who formed and made up the gang known as the Rebellion Raiders. So when the gang was formed I was automatically a part of it, because it was formed by my friends. I didn’t have to go out and join the gang. Troit Lynes, former death row inmate of Her Majesty Prison in the Bahamas
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard someone got slapped. By the sound alone, one could tell that it was a hard one. I figured whoever got slapped had to be close by, so I spun around in search of this person who had just gotten the daylights slapped out of them, only to discover that the person was me.
Listening to their argument made me aware of how empty my life was, and I hated the life I was living all the more. It was quite obvious to me this lady was deeply in love, for she was fighting for what she thought to be hers. Even though I was dating two females at the time, and stringing a third one along, yet I’ve yet to discover that kind of love. I guess this was why my favorite song was ‘I wane be love’, by the Jamaican reggae super star Buru Banton.
You have to respect a person for what he can do, and you can’t judge him to the fella who shoots ten people who feels nothing, goes to jail and come out and shoots ten more. You have to make people feel that whatever you are good at, we appreciate and respect you for that. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand membersRespecting people, coaching, gang recruitment, gang membership, gang leaders, street code, street life, gang involvement, team members, self-esteem, self-confidence, feeling respected, feeling wanted, feeling good feeling apart, Rebellions-Raiders, Rebellion RaidersYou have to respect a person for what he can do, and you can’t judge him to the fella who shoots ten people who feels nothing, goes to jail and come out and shoots ten more. You have to make people feel that whatever you are good at, we appreciate and respect you for that. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
One of the things we haven’t taught our people as a nation, that this is their country. We haven’t told them that this Bahamas belongs to them. Whether it succeeds or fails it is entirely up to them. WE haven’t told our people that they are valuable. I sometimes pass little boys playing in the road and I would stop my car and say to them: ‘Excuse me baby, do you realize how valuable you are? Do not play in the road, if anything happen to you that is going to hurt us. Because you might be our Prime Minister one day. Iris Adderley, consultant in the Disability Affairs Devision of The Department of Social Services.
This book consists not only of my stories of mistakes, rather it’s all our stories of mistakes and heart aches. It’s the plight of all of us who were rebelling, and kicking against the social messes we found ourselves in. Yet there are so many others who are not alive today, and I feel obligated in not allowing the lessons of their mistakes to lie in the grave with them. It was the United States Senator, Al Franken, who stated, “Mistakes are a part of being human. Precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” I’m revealing all of those mistakes and more, sadly a lot of them are fatal. In an attempt to have these real life lessons obtained in blood, prevent the blood-shedding of so many others. These stories are ones that young people can understand and identify with. While at the same time empowering them, to make better decisions about their choice of friends, the proper use of their time and how one wrong move can be fatal. I guess the major question that we all have to ask ourselves at the end of the day would be: how could I and so many others have been prevented from becoming monsters? You be the judge. I now extend my hand to you, and personally invite you to take a journey with me into the heartlands of innocence to menacing, from a youngster to a monster, and the making of a predator. I will safely walk you down the deserted and darkened street corners which were once my world of crime, gang violence and senseless murders. It’s a different world unto itself, one which could only be observed up close by invitation only. Together we will learn the motivation behind hard-core gangsters, and explore the minds of cold-blooded murderers. You will discover the way they think about their own lives, and why they are so remorseless about the taking of another’s life. So, if you will, please journey with me as we discover together how the fight of our lives were wrapped up in our fathers.
Life is so fragile and unpredictable, especially when you are in a gang or in a life of crime. It’s like playing poker; you think to yourself that you have a good hand. However, it is only when you reveal your hand do you sometimes discover to your horror that someone else’s hand is better.
My volcano of compress anger was about to erupt in school, and it would take more than five years for my molten lava to be brought under control, which was through the loss of my sight. However, shouldn’t there be a way of detecting and reaching out to kids like me before there is a massive problem? Why wait until there is a devastating eruption before we intervene?
There is another dangerous component to armed robberies, one that I could never understand. I noticed some time ago that with each robbery I committed there was an intense out of control anger that gripped me. It was as if I was there to get something that was inherently mine, and I came to take it by force. I’ve heard many stories directly from individuals about how they just burst into stores with their guns drawn. They would be shouting at people, gun butting them sometimes for no reason at all. One individual told me that he ran into a store and jump kicked a fella who just stood there. The only reason he was kicked is that he was there. It’s as if once you’ve overridden your conscience of going through with the act, it is replaced with anger and a level of brutality that is usually reserved for when you are fighting for your life. This, to me, is what makes armed robberies so dangerous—because the slightest provocation or any sudden movement by anyone could lead to them being shot or killed. It is always an extremely delicate and dicey situation, because the armed robber is pulling the trigger out of fear more than anything else.
In these story telling moments we equip our children, with crucial solution tools for life. To deprive them of these necessary teachable moments is like denying a carpenter the tools of his trade.
As parents one of the biggest jobs we have, is teaching our children how to resolve problems effectively. We live in an era where everyone is quick to act the fool over simple issues. As we used to say when I was on the streets, ‘everybody wants to cut a movie’.
You have to talk to your children about things, a lot of our parents don’t do that. You have to explain things to children as to why certain things happen. I think that a good way of improving comprehension is to read the newspaper with your child. A lot of times certain sensational things happen and children want to find out why it happened. And sometimes you would hear them talking to each other passing on erroneous information. Daynette Gardiner, the best School Psychologist in The Bahamas
Story telling or teachable moments, provides us with a vast reference base of real life antidotes for possible future problems. They not only entertain and give us a resource of proven solutions, but they also help shape and mold our character. Therefore, when we don’t take our time to communicate with our kids, then we rob them of critical life lessons that we and our forefathers learn the hard way - lessons that they would needlessly have to learn through trial and error themselves.
A group of us were downtown on Bay Street. It was some twelve to fifteen of us with nothing to do. We had just been in a fight with some Kemp Road fellas. It really wasn’t anything to talk about, because we quickly ran them off Bay Street. Feeling pumped up about what we had just done and looking for more action, we started running in the middle of Bay Street, screaming and shouting ‘Rebellions!” and ‘Raiders for life!”, making a real nuisance of ourselves. About nine of us were arrested by the police and charged with public terror and disorderly behavior. So in fact, we were given our gang name by the police, and Milton Street became known as the Public Terrorist Rebellions. Galen ‘Ninja’ Nordelus former leader of the Public Terrorist Rebellions through Milton Street.
The Rebellions were the first gang in The Bahamas, to come up with a popular logo/brand in the wearing of Raiders clothing. However, other neighborhoods gave birth to their own gangs using popular sporting team images as their official colors and name. You had the Hoyas Bull Dogs out of Kemp Road; the Coconut Grove area took on the name Nike, which became their clothing of choice. Miami Street took on the name Hurricanes, and wore Miami Hurricanes clothing. However, when you look at it closely, because of the lack of involved fathers, a lot of us were simply lacking an image and a positive identity of ourselves.
There were times in meeting I was called a baby sitter, a social worker by my colleagues. Now that we have a different leader, he looks at it the way I look at it, and he supported me in what I was doing. There were times he saw me crying, and he would comfort me and say that’s okay. Commissioner Paul Farquharson was one of my biggest supporters.It used to hurt me, because I was trying to help somebody and they say I was babysitting. Don’t tell me I am babysitting, now that I have retired now I am babysitting. So not because I was trying to reach out and work with those children, don’t say I was babysitting them. I work the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for 22 years and I was rough in CID. I realize CID was the end result, because whenever you get to that stage you are almost finished. It is in line with the broken window theory, if you can save those youngsters before they start committing those big offenses, then they wouldn’t reach CID. Crime prevention was a part of my job, I believe in going out there and trying to prevent that youngster from committing crime. He should respect other people’s property. Supt. Allerdyce Strachan, the first female officer to rise to the rank of superintendent on the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Everything starts from home. If the father isn’t there, then the friends are going to step up to influence the young boy astray. This is where the problems come in, because in my community the majority of the children do not have any fathers in the home. I can only speak for my community. This is why with the young guys who do hang around me, I always do my best to encourage them. I have already lived the negative side on the streets, so I prefer to encourage them on the positive side - to encourage them to get a job, save their money and to do something for their families.Franco ‘Co’ Bethel, former gang leader and right hand man to Scrooge.
I asked, “When the Rebellions were at its peak doing nonsense, everyone was trying to keep away from the area, yet you were going in, why were you going into that area? Supt. Strachan answered quite frankly, Because I was not afraid. I felt like they are my people, they are my color. I don’t know of anyone born after me that I should be afraid of, that was how I felt. I knew I could’ve walk through Strachan’s Corner, sit down and felt at home, and their parents also accepted me. I came to the conclusion; these kids just need someone to show them some attention. They just wanted to belong, that was what a lot of them were looking for. So I said to myself, if I could assist them I would, and that was what I did. Supt. Allerdyce Strachan, the first female officer to rise to the rank of superintendent on the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Looking back, I have come to realize that the gang lifestyle back then—the fame, the respect, and the recognition—was stronger and powerful than any drug. We were serious with what we were dealing with. It was like a do or die situation. Shelton ‘Apples’ Burrows reform gang leader
I never understood why, but the best of girls like gangsters. This was something that was always odd to me. Here, you have fine working girls who are involved with someone who isn’t working, just sitting on the blocks all day with a big gun in his waist. For some girls, they like that. I don’t know why. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members
Do you know the reason why fellas liked hanging around me? It is because I made them feel appreciated and respected. If you were a scary fella but you are good at stealing cars, then be good at that. This is where your respect is coming from. Scrooge, former leader of the Rebellion Raiders street gang that once boasted of having some ten thousand members.
I will always respect Mr. Charles chuck Mackey for the way he dealt with me. His approach was not hostile, rather his approach was one, “Look here, I’m working with you, so I need you to work with me.” He showed me first that he had my back, and it was easy for me to do the same for him. Mr. Mackey was well known in the entire school as a no-nonsense but fair person. There are some school administrators that aren’t intimidating at all, but with Mr. Mackey, it was totally different. When we saw him, even if we were not doing anything wrong and our uniform was intact, we still tend to avoid him by going in a different direction. His presence alone demanded that kind of respect.