My best friend Chris Alleyne passed away recently. It saddens me that he will not be making more visual art or having fun on his guitar.
Our deepest condolences to Adam, Shaun and the family.
Chris was a 'Doer' – he grabbed life by the horns and ran with it!
I got to know him in 1975 when my brother John started going out with Pilar Heath. We often hung out with her family at the Dynamite Bar on their gallery drinking rum until 2 am. Chris was a friend of the family so he was often there with us - a guitar always nearby and some bawdy songs that would have everyone in stitches!
We got friendly having many common interests – photography, guitar, motor sport – often it seemed that I was a voyeur on the outside looking in through my lens, while Chris was often deep within an activity.
In motor sport he wasn't on the outside photographing it – he was sitting in the navigator's seat with Freddie Mapp in his Escort or driving special stages testing the limits.
Of course he had always been into motorcycles so there he was in the fray of the dirt bike guys that started racing at Bushy Park and going on rides in the wild areas of Barbados.
In those days working on your own car was almost a neccesity. When my old Riley Elf was in need of serious help he was there helping me rebuild the engine and then get it into the replacement Mini body I bought from Val Knowles.
Jackie and I were going out and we would often visit Chris at Black Bess and have lunch there with Granny Parris – great memories. He was working at the plantation then and he would take us out in the fields and show us the sugar cane root boorers that were attacking his canes or the fields of onions they were growing. He was always excited and engaged with whatever he was involved with.
I photographed his and Valerie's Wedding and we all got closer over those years. Then they were off to the States for a year or two while Chris pursued study in professional photography – they returned with Chris managing the first official color photo lab in Barbados.
All of my color portrait or event color negatives were processed at SunColor under Chris – I would stop at the lab to pickup a shoot and always had to bum a cigarette from him as I was usually in some stage of quitting.
Chris's strong entrepreneurial side developed further with his forming SunBeach bringing internet communications to Barbados in the 80's. By this time Jackie and I had moved to California so alot of what was happening back in Bim is fuzzy, but whenever we got the chance to return Chris would be there to get us from the airport or lend us a car until we got setup and of course bunk in at his house until our rental became available.