By Angel Nuñez
I must give credit to my good Sanpedrana friend, Lucy Dawson Gordon, who now resides in the U.S. for reminding me of those big days of the Caribeña Fishing Cooperative for Christmas. Those were days that the entire village looked forward to - children, member fishermen and employees.
When Christmas was around the corner, the cooperative gave its first bonus payment to its members. This was something like two or three dollars per pound of lobster produced up until December. This was a way of sharing the profits of the cooperative which worked sort of like a Credit Union.
For a lucky fisherman with a catch of several thousand pounds of lobster produce this could be anything from five to ten thousand dollars. Talk about fat Christmas! This money could not come at a more opportune time, and it meant that Santa Claus did a lot of good spending.
However, Caribeña did not stop there. It also gave a Christmas ham and turkey to each member no matter how much their produce had been. In some families there were up to five fishing members, so just imaging them trying to find space in the refrigerator to store five hams and five turkeys.
I am not kidding. Let me give you an example. Mr. Rosendo Graniel Sr, Rosendo Graniel Jr., Armando Graniel, Baldemar Graniel, Javier Graniel, and Omero Graniel all belonged to one big family of fishermen. They practically needed a wheelbarrow to take their frozen hams and turkeys home for Christmas. It was a spectacle to enjoy perhaps as much as we enjoy the boat light parade today.
The Christmas bonanza did not stop there. Caribeña also threw a big Christmas party for the kids-all the kids- and this involved music and dance, goodies to eat and drink, and toys. It was the children’s party of the year as everyone went home to their hearts content.
Whenever I reminisce about Caribeña Fishing Cooperative, I not only remember the great progress in brought to this community, but also the great joy it brought to all the families in San Pedro during Christmas twenty five years ago. And this is not all. There was also a second payment called Back Pay. I’ll tell you about back pay in another issue of this column. Stay tune and enjoy the Boat Light Parade which we will be talking about in the year 2025.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery
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