DAVID GITTENS, better known as “DG”, or “Mu The Jeweler” died on Monday, April 4, at his residence in Inch Marlow, Christ Church. There was no obituary on the radio or in the newspaper, no church service, no eulogy. For David, just a simple cremation. News of his death surfaced many days afterward, for that was his way.
DG was truly a “character” or a “personality”. Who could forget his appearances on Television? Advertising his black coral and silver jewellery, in a thick drawling voice, he’s say “and the price is right, daaarling, yesss the price is right”
Let us look at his many ventures:
- Stationery salesman for Brydens and H.N. Rogers.
- Restaurant owner at Top Rock – he even cooked the meals.
- Owner of a top quality music shop, stocking musical instruments and LPs imported from London and United States.
- Organizer of one of the first fencing clubs.
- Private detective – how well he is remembered at Seawell, newspaper covering his face as he records names of locals who were returning from the islands. Perhaps he was working for jealous husbands or wives. A quick trip to St Lucia with a secretary, and your name was on his list!
- Jeweller in Norman Centre.
- Stockist of Masonic and esoteric books.
- Introducer of kayaking in Barbados. He once tried to Kayak around Barbados.
Quite a repertoire, but music was his forte. There are photos of him in a small musical group which included Errol Barrow. He gave lessons by e-mail on playing harmonica and flute – remember his bearded face?
He was married first to Agnes Vieira, a Vincentian who worked at the Royal Bank of Canada. I recall visiting the newly-weds in Upper Bay Street – no furniture, because he considered furniture to be a low priority.
We respected his wishes and squatted of the floor. Second wife was Muriel Parris, daughter of the renowned Captain Parris. Muriel was his guardian angel, but he seemed not to believe in angels.
His religious career took several divergent avenues. He was an active Rosicrucianist, then a Bishop in the Gnostic Church, the Ordre Martiniste et Synarchiste. There was a brief flirtation with freemasonry, followed by being a Nowherian or a DG.
David once told me that he was living temporarily in New York. Down to his last $1,000, he aimlessly took a train to the end of the line. On the way, he received a “message” to return to Barbados and open a jewellery store. He alighted at the next stop and immediately took a course in gemology. Returning here, he started his business in Norman Centre.
He was not one for the safety and security of a peaceful existence. He sought forever, tried everything, but always returned to his love for music. His last few years were spent happily at his residence in Inch Marlow, watching the surfers, enjoying the beauty of that lovely stretch of beach, near to Long Beach, in an area which has not yet been discovered by many Barbadians.
Now DG is no longer among us, but he will be remembered by his many overseas friends who delighted in his knowledge of old school chums, and his local fans will search the Web, hoping for a last e-mail from “Simple Simon, as he frequently called himself.
We shall miss this unusual person. There never was anyone like DG.
The above was published in the April 21, 2011 edition of the Nation newspaper, Barbados