Clarendon resident bemoans disappearance of jonkanoos

December 10, 2016
Corine Lobban
Fabia Linton
The Port Maria Jonkanoo group, led by Clifford 'Calypso Jack' Walters.

Every generation has its own story to tell when it comes to celebration at Christmas time.

Corine Lobban, also called Mother Fire, is protective of her age, but didn't hold back when she spoke about 'the good old days' of Christmas celebrations.

"Oh Lord, dem pickney nah have fun now man, Christmas boring bad," she told THE STAR as she went down memory lane.

"Three days before Christmas the work start. We cleaned the place and then Christmas Eve we would finish up in time to go out di gate and wait," she recounted.

Lobban remembers the feeling of fear and excitement that would assail her upon hearing the distant drums and loud sounds that she knew signalled the appearance of the jonkanoos.

"It was so scary. I used to run and hang on to my granny's frocktail, bawling because the devil coming is after us," she said.

That didn't stop her from peeking from her vantage point to take a look at 'belly woman', 'the stickman' and 'the man stroking the grater with a nail to produce music'.

"Oh man, those were the days. I wish this generation could just enjoy one season of what we had. My parents didn't need money to entertain us," Lobban said.

She also recalls the days when everyone in the community would wash out the D&G glass soda bottles and pack them in crates awaiting the truck to come for them. The bottles would be exchanged for sodas.

Lobban said that she doesn't see Jamaica's Christmas celebrations going back to that time when it was fun.

"Dem days de soda did nice! A matter of fact, every ting did nice!" she said, with a faraway look in her eyes as nostalgia took over.

But Old Harbour High School first-former Fabia Linton cannot relate to Lobban's experience.

"Christmas for me is the time of year to be loving, caring, always being happy and celebrate with my family and friends," she said.

For Linton, the best part of the whole package is her yearly trek to grand market, where she gets to explore the different items being offered for sale.

"I get presents and I get to spend time with my family ... but it also helps that they share the real meaning of Christmas with me, so I always look forward to going to church too," she said.

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