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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Should Andrew Thomas' Death Be In Vane?

When I learn of the death of another member of the Bermuda Police Service, I was dishearten, for I know it was possible that I may have worked with that person. When I learnt that the person who met their sudden demised was Andrew Thomas, I searched the corridors of my mind to understand who Andrew Thomas was; however, no matter how hard I tried I could not match a face to the name.

Without bothering to make any inquiries, I concluded I did not know Andrew Thomas. Even after I wrote the article titled Three More BPS Police Officer Die In 2009.. What Is Responsible For The High Passive Mortality Rate In The Bermuda Police Service? something about Andrew Thomas worried me immensely; unfortunately, I just could not put my finger on it. However, on Saturday 2nd January 2010, I was aroused from my sleep with a picture in my head. A picture of Andrew Thomas was washed from the halls of my memory into my conscious. I put that picture out of my head and went back to bed, for Andrew was a young healthy male, who was one year my junior; how was it possible for him to drop dead without any warning. Once again I was awoken and it was the same scene that was responsible for my sleeplessness.

Thanks for modern technology I got onto my computer and I opened my face book page as well as my MSN page to look for anyone who could have provided the information I was looking for. Fortunately I saw Miss Simons on line and I made my inquiries. Unfortunately and to my dismay, I was informed that my friend Andrew Thomas was the one who died. Denial can do that to a person. Because of my relationship with Andrew I presumable block his picture from my mind and thus failed to make the connection; associating the name with the face.

Like each of us Andrew Thomas was not perfect but from my experience with this young man I can conclude that Andrew Thomas was a decent and a humble man. You may ask how I can conclude that. It is said that first impression means a lot, but when a person first impression, becomes a reoccurring theme in your experience with them, then you know that person is genuine.

In order for you to understand the relationship I built with Andrew Thomas, you will have to understand my experience with him. When I left My home land to work in Bermuda, I Left all I knew behind (Family, friends, acquaintances, familiar faces, places practice and customs) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, for a place I knew nothing about except for the little I read about the people and country. I had a hard time adjusting, this along with some problem that was created for me by Ralph Gonsalves’ avenging angel: Randolph (Randy) Liverpool (who were ensuring that I pay for foiling many of Ralph Gonsalves’ ploy to discredit some good people and institution in St. Vincent) were responsible for the mild bout with depression I experienced. This was the frame of mind I was in when I met Andrew.

I can remember about four or so years ago, while assigned to the Hamilton Police Station and attached to C-watch, the same watch Andrew was attached to also but he work at the Somerset Police Station. On this particular date, the Somerset Police Station were short staffed, and they needed help. On this occasion I was assigned to work at the Somerset Police Station and my partner for that evening was Police Constable Andrew Thomas.

After a brief introduction, Thomas used the experience he gained in dealing with foreign police officers in such predicament to put me at ease. He inquired of how I was dealing with my new environment and he offered some suggestion that may help me through my term in the Bermuda Police Service. Thomas took the opportunity to gave me a brief of the dos and the don’ts, the who is and the who is not, vital information that was design to help me adjust to life in Bermuda and in the Bermuda Police Service. We made a stop at Ice Queen and he offered to buy me dinner. Thomas drove for hours teaching me Bermuda’s Western Police District. We hit the trouble spot, the scenic site and the hangout location. After which we drove to his home; he invited me into his home and offered me of the abundance of his pantry. This was the beginning of my friendship with Andrew. It was always a pleasure to meet up with Andrew, for he always had a smile on his face, concern for my well being and a jovial conversation.

The quality of a person and the value of their friendship is not measure by the quality of the fun you had in the good times; however, the quality of a person and the value of their friendship is measured by the impact that person has on you in your time of need and the support they provided to you, in your time of distress.

Andrew was one who many people called upon when they need a friend; he always had a listening ear, a supportive view, words of wisdom and or an honest reply to offer.

According to the report Andrew die suddenly and to date there is no plausible medical explanation for his death. It will be interesting if Andrew traveled out of Bermuda recently. If he did, or even if he did not this reminds me of another young police officer’s sudden, unexplained and traumatic death. I speak of the death of no one but Paul Marsden: the events are the same.

Bermuda, member of the Bermuda Police Service, friends and family of Andrew Thomas, friends and relatives of the countless other who had their love ones became unexplainable ill or die suddenly and unexplainable: are you going to allow Andrew Thomas’ death, to become just another statistic; another dot or number on a page, a means of calculating mortality rate?

Andrew Thomas was there for me in my time of need and I owe it to his family, his memory and his legacy to ensure that Andrews’ death, like the hundreds of other officers who have die suddenly and/or who had undergone unexplained illness, to put pressure on the authorities to bring to the public and the serving men attention, the cause of such illnesses and or their deaths and if they don’t know what is responsible for the sudden and unexplained illness that lead to death in so many case. It is also a campaign for the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to rectify the problems that is affecting the officers health. If the don't already know (which I have a sneaking suspicion they do) what the problem are, that they take the necessary steps to find out what is responsible for these occurrence. This article marks the beginning of my campaign for information and closer for my colleagues whom I knew and don’t know.

You know what the sad thing is? It is the fact that if any authority, be it police management, politician, or any other person with or in authority; who has information of what is killing or making members of the Bermuda Police Service sick; and that person or persons refuse to inform anyone who will be so exposed of the danger of such danger to life and health, and thus induced anyone to ignorantly work in an environment that can induced or cause their health to deteriorate or which may cause any such person who were expose to die may be guilty of of an offence; namely: murder or attempted murder; by reason of neglect.