CHAPTER XVIII – Charlesworth Malonie Alleyne 1933-2022
I am Jude. I am the proud son of Charlesworth Malonie Alleyne.
It is with great sadness that I announce that my father peacefully passed away on February 4th at 12:59pm in the Moncton City Hospital. He was 88 years old.
Charles was born in Charlotteville Tobago on October 15th, 1933. He was the son of Jude and Beatrice ‘Tan Tan’ Alleyne who, together, created a lasting legacy of industry, education and spirituality. Their faith and sacrifice have continued to live on through their children, and in turn, their children’s children.
Death is never easy. Mourning is a complex and emotional process. It is deeply personal and yet it is a very public and shared experience. It involves reflection and ‘big feelings’ like regret, disappointment, sadness and sorrow.
Life is difficult when things fall apart. However, if we recognize that hardship, adversity and grief are part of the human experience, it allows us to accept that bad things are going to happen. It normalizes pain and misfortune.
Understanding that, I still choose to believe that our attitude and perspective are responsible for determining how we interpret and respond to the storms of life. I have learned that there are lessons and blessings in everything, including tragedy and personal loss.
My Father Lived a Good Life
My father was a good man. Like all of us, he had his shortcomings and made a host of mistakes. With that being said, he also expressed regret and attempted to reconcile some of his past missteps and poor-decisions. I believe that he genuinely aspired to Be Better.
He dedicated his life to God and was a devout, lifelong member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He valued this calling above everything else and made it his duty to share his faith with others.
He worshipped his mother and deeply respected his father. He had fond memories of his childhood and the happiness he experienced growing up with his siblings, cousins and the other children living in Charlotteville, a small rural village on the northern tip of Tobago.
He maintained lasting relationships with all of his brothers and sisters and a number of other close extended family members despite time or geographical distance. He loved people and made friends everywhere he went. He was affable and outgoing and had a beautiful ever-present smile.
A healthy lifestyle was always a priority for my father. He has been a vegetarian, an avid walker and has had a daily regimen of natural supplements for as long as I can remember. He understood the mental and physical benefits of exercise, drinking water and eating right and it served him well.
It was also very important for my father to dress presentably when he was out in public. He purposefully wore dress pants, an Oxford shirt and a sweater or a suit jacket everyday. It was like a uniform.
Charles Alleyne was different and I love that about him.
What I know from my own personal development journey is that I am not in a position to judge anyone’s actions, including my father’s. When I consider his childhood, his experiences growing up and some of the impossible choices he was forced to make, I have much more perspective and understanding.
I am confident my father did the best he could with the tools that he was given, and that’s enough and more for me.
Suddenly, corporal punishment, the Charles Alleyne Summer School (I was the only student) and his impossibly high expectations make much more sense. The urgency to get my shit together and the transformational benefits of developing a better relationship with myself and the Spirit were on point.
He wanted me to Break Free and Be Better and, in retrospect, he was prophetic.
I am so blessed that my father got to witness the recent personal changes my life has undertaken and that I got to thank him for his ceaseless prayers and devotion.
He was proud of my ever-evolving relationship with the Spirit, even though it was not aligned with his religious beliefs.
It brought him comfort and joy to know I am walking a better path.
Positive Reflections – What’s Good?
A Lesson and a Blessing – My Last Visit
My father and his wife recently sold their home and moved to Sackville, NB to be a little closer to family and friends. I will forever remember my last visit with him the preceding Saturday before his stroke.
He was still adjusting to the move and was feeling relatively low so I purposefully went into the exchange with positive energy to raise his spirits and make him smile. I tried to ensure he was center of our conversation.
And it worked! He was the man I knew and loved. We had a great afternoon together and something I will cherish for the rest of my life. He was bright and upbeat, was recalling memories fifty years in the past and was laughing out loud.
I cut his hair and removed his beard, we engaged in some great discussion and I provided him with my regular update of all his remaining friends and family from Truro, NS.
I learned some interesting new things about his past and we simply enjoyed each other’s company.
I made a conscious effort to touch him with care and tenderness and to listen intently while he attempted to express himself and I’m so glad I did. Despite his advanced age and the previous strokes, his mind was still clear, he just struggled with finding some of the words.
The visit was unforgettable not just because it was the final interaction with my father, rather because it was such a meaningful interaction between us.
I am grateful I was so patient and attentive and that I had the opportunity to communicate my feelings for him. It has provided me with a unique and memorable blessing.
It has also taught me a valuable lesson about being intentional when you are with the people you care about. Is sounds cliche, but it very well could be your last.
On January 23rd 2013, during one of my father’s rare overnight visits, we entered into an interesting conversation about his past. After about an hour or so, I asked him if I could begin recording our discussion and we continued talking for another 2 hours, 49 minutes and 48 seconds.
It was a special moment between a father and a curious son and I discovered a lot about him during that memorable interaction. It served as a portal into his past and has become an important piece of my personal oral history.
I learned that my father left his small village and stayed with his eldest brother in Trinidad while he completed high school.
I learned that my father got married when he was only 21 years old. At the time, he was helping local farmers improve agricultural practices while supervising up to 40 adults as a field worker. At 21 years old!
I learned that the surname Alleyne is of English or Celtic origin and is associated with other derivations such as Allen, Alan and Allain.
I learned that my paternal great, great-grandfather was white and emigrated to Tobago.
I learned that one of my father’s uncles is known to have introduced the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to Tobago, after adopting his wife’s religion and returning to the island to raise a family.
I learned that American soldiers stationed on the island sank a German submarine in Man of War Bay during WWII. He vividly remembered local men rowing out in fishing boats, rescuing the survivors and clothing and feeding them in the village until they were taken away as prisoners of war(POW’s).
I learned that his parents valued education and encouraged all of their children to attend school. The family lived outside of town which meant that they had to walk two miles back and forth to school everyday – without shoes.
In short, I learned a lot. My mother passed away almost thirty years ago and my father didn’t share much about his life before Canada. I have only found bits and pieces of my familial history as an adult. I may not have obtained all of the answers I wanted, but I got enough.
Rest in Power
By my final accounting, my father lived a good life. He touched countless lives with his kind words and actions and left an indelible mark on the world. He was dedicated to something bigger than himself and will be remembered as a man of faith. His work here is done.
I am the proud son of Charlesworth Malonie Alleyne. I am Jude.
3 replies on “BOOK OF JUDE – CHAPTER XVIII”
your dad was cuzin to angel s father michael gordon alleyne
This was just so beautiful ❤️.
Your Father was a very sweet and congenial man. He always wanted to know how you were and had that lovely smile. I saw you in your father, even when you were young. Now, even more so.
Love Helen 😘
What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. Bought tears to my eyes. I remember Charles so well because he was like a piece of furniture at our house. I can see and hear him now talking and laughing with my Mom in our kitchen. Always smiling and respectful.
He always dressed to impress. Your Dad was a blessing to many. Everyone in Truro adored your Dad. I can see a lot of your Dad’s kind traits in you. I know he must have been so proud of the young man you have become. RIP Charles and we will always speak your name. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽