arrowbookcheckclosecommentfacebookfavourite-origfavouritegooglehomeibapdfsearchsharespotlighttwitterwelsh-government

Mr Everton Pingue

Everton Pingue was born in Newport in 1963, but grew up in St Elizabeth, Jamaica. Everton returned to Newport in the early 1990s but remains Jamaican at heart. He is married to Sacha and has four daughters.

Eitemau yn y stori hon:

  • Use stars to collect & save items
  • 892
  • mewngofnodi

A Caribbean childhood

Until Everton was seven, he lived at Mill Parade, Pill; however, when his parents split up, his mother decided to return to Jamaica.

Everton had never been to Jamaica, but he quickly adapted to his new life and loved the sunshine, culture and outdoor life of the Caribbean. He made friends and played cricket, football and marbles with them; they would put down sweets to attract wild birds.

School was stricter than in the UK. Everton remembers the children lining up so their teacher could check if they’d combed their hair before coming to class. Manners and respect were important too.

Everton’s grandmother was a Seventh Day Adventist so the family always respected the Sabbath. There was no cooking done on Saturday, so before sunset on a Friday Everton’s mother and grandmother would prepare sufficient food to last the Sabbath.

Music

Music has always played an important role in Everton’s life and he has long been a huge fan of Bob Marley.

Everton recalls how in the 1970s everyone in Jamaica was ‘getting Rasta-minded and living that religion’.

He found himself being drawn to Marley’s music, liking the fact that his hero believed in defending truths and rights, promoted peace and rallied against war. Everton admired Marley’s lyrics because they encouraged people to love rather than fight one another.

Unfortunately, his mother was less enthusiastic and refused to allow Everton to wear his hair in dreadlocks, telling him she didn’t want ‘no Rasta living in my house’.

Being a music lover in Jamaica in the 1970s wasn’t as easy as it sounds. There was no mains electricity in Barbary Hall where Everton lived, so he and his friends would listen to music on a battery-powered radio by kerosene lamplight.

The young people would listen to cricket coverage well into the night, but it was their love for music that was to be Jamaican radio’s lasting legacy.

New York

In 1980, Everton’s mother decided to emigrate to the US.

Teenager Everton had no wish to leave Jamaica, but his mother insisted he go with her. The first six months were tough – he hated the cold weather and the frenetic pace of life in New York. Everyone was in a rush and he missed the friendliness of the Caribbean. 

Living first in Queens and later in Brooklyn, he began to link up with other Caribbean people and gradually began to feel more relaxed in New York.

As always, it was his passion for music that got him through the early days in America. Everton and a friend built a music system and started playing at friends’ houses before moving on to community events.

One thing the peace-loving Everton always hated was the culture of violence in 1980s New York and after twelve years, it was time to move on.

Returning to Newport

It was Everton’s mother who suggested he return to the UK for a visit after 22 years.

He didn’t stay in the UK permanently on that first visit – just a year. He returned to New York, but a year later he was back, this time for good.

For the second time in his life, Everton experienced a total culture shock. For a start, he was used to police officers carrying guns in America.

He was introduced to family members who vaguely remembered the little boy who’d left for Jamaica all those years ago. It was a long time since he’d seen his father, who had married and had two daughters in the intervening years.

In the early days, Everton thought Newport too quiet and wasn’t sure he could get used to living here. When he discovered Bristol was the place to head if you enjoyed partying, he decided he would live in Newport and party over the bridge in England.

Dominoes

On his return to Newport, Everton soon got involved with the dominoes team. His father ran the dominoes tournament and Everton found that playing relaxed him.

The Newport teams – one was called Thunderbolt, another Jasper – would play home and away tournaments. Everton got to meet a lot of the Caribbean elders through his involvement in dominoes. He remembers the drinks kitties and how the older men played as though they were still in Jamaica, swearing and mouthing at one another.

Keeping Jamaican culture alive

Despite being born in Wales, Everton is a proud Jamaica who lives and breathes Jamaican culture.

His wife Sacha is Jamaican and the family enjoys traditional Caribbean food, like fried and boiled dumplings, brown stew beef, saltfish, ackee and saltfish, callaloo, yam, fish and soup.

Saturday is soup day at home, no matter what, and on Sunday it’s always chicken, rice and peas. 

Sylwadau (0)

Rhaid mewngofnodi i bostio sylw