Glendon Morris Speaks

Oba, Douglas and Glendon Morris at Glendon Morris's Mas camp in Belmont
Left: Oba, Douglas and Glendon Morris at Glendon Morris's mas camp in Belmont

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I put my hands on everything Reporters
Interview Recorded: April 25, 2005
Posted: May 15, 2005

I am also a dye-sinker. Everything that you see around you comes out of a mold or a dye; everything. That is what I did in Canada. I worked for Y De Lima for about fifteen years actually making dyes for the company. The last major dye I did was for police buckles. They were having a lot of problems manufacturing it and the police stores wanted to go abroad to see about it and they asked me. Some of my friends did not agree that I should do it for them, because they felt I would just get a kick in my behind. But I did it and I showed them where it could be done. Even the guys who worked in my department said, "Morris you are dreaming in colour. You cannot do that because we have problems trying to stamp a small medal, and you are going to attempt to do something as intricate as a police buckle? How?" I told them that there was a thing called Progressive Dyes and you do not need that tonnage in order to do it, it depends on how you form the dye. Mold making would give you that kind of attitude. I did it and the police stores are probably over flowing with buckles now because they can produce it very fast. It is a very rare trade in Trinidad.

A company down in Diego Martin by the name of Reed Monza retains me. I go there on Tuesdays and Fridays. I used to go there everyday for half a day but I have cut back on the amount of time I spend there because I have gotten too old for the hustle and bustle, and I still have my work here to do. I left De Limas and they gave me a nice watch. I have always complained about that. As a matter of fact, the last time I had an interview with the Guardian, the guy wrote what I said and they were very upset about it. They felt that I had no right to say what the guardian stated. But what I said were the facts. Like everything else, I think they accepted it at some point in time. If I was a different person I would have made a little thing and go to the industrial court. But I didn't because I am a very humble person and the man upstairs will look after me, and I came out.

Strange enough, the same company I was working for, I was supposed to work for them a lot of years ago. And Gransol, who is the owner of the company, offered me four thousand dollars a month to start. My boss at De Lima, which was Robert, said, "Listen, listen, when you go down by Gransol, whatever they offer you, I will give you five hundred dollars more." He did, and I stayed with De Lima. I was in demand and they knew that. My senior boss at the time was Jack De Lima and he was a nice person, and that is why I stayed. He was a very understanding person. I remember there was a time when we had a problem in the stamping room. The stamper had a problem and he imported a lot of material from Brazil or one of those places. When the material came, the stamper said that the bronze was too hard and it was not stamping. The whole set of material had to be shipped back, and it was really setting him back. Mr. De Lima called me and said, "Glendon, I want you to do something for me. Before I ship this material back. I want you to tell me that we have to carry it back. Go downstairs and see what that guy is doing." I went down and I said to the stamper, "Gerome, Stamp one of those medals for me, let me see what you are doing." He heated it up, dipped it in water to cool it down. I said to him, "That is what you are doing?" and he said, "Yes." I told him that he was supposed to let it cool down on its own. I told him to let one cool down and then stamp it for me. I went back upstairs and I told Jack. He asked me what happened. I told him that Jerome was doing the wrong thing. Jack pushed his hand in his pocket and gave me five hundred dollars. This is something I learned from my father.

I learned to do plumbing, electric work, carpentry; I put my hands on everything. I just have to look at you. I am an A-Class welder for instance. Right now in that company, they retain me because they do not have anybody with my caliber of welding, which is called TIG welding. It's aluminum welding - the molds are made out of aluminum. I learned this stuff in Canada. When I worked at De Limas, they used to send all of their work from Reed Monza to De Lima. When I came out of De Lima I used to go down there and help them and so on. But now they saying that things happen all the time and they have to be calling me often; I should come down two days a week or come down part time. I go in just in case there is a problem and if I have nothing to do I would come back. It pays the bills.

It is another area that is very rare in Trinidad, the people who do that type of welding work in the aluminum industry making window frames and so on, even in the aircraft industry. I used to work with a company called Compo Industry of Canada, it was an American company but they had a branch in Canada. I worked with them for seventeen years. I learned the trade of dye sinking and machinery and everything. As a matter of fact, just recently, my boss Mr. Gransol had a part of the boat called the turbine, which the salt water when it comes in from the ocean passes through to keep the engine cool. A part of it was worn so badly that the Mechanic told him that he would have to buy a new one which costs about twenty six thousand dollars. Gransol said to the Mechanic, "You telling me that can't fix? It has one person I know who could fix that," and he called me. I told him I would try and to send it down, and he did. The Mechanic kept calling me because he wanted to know who this guy was. He didn't believe I could have fixed it. He said to me, "When you weld it, it is going to warp." I said, "Yes it would warp, but what I would do is to put it together, weld it on the outside while it is together, then take it back apart and then weld the inside. It will not warp." He was still asking if I could do that. Up to this day that guy still cannot believe that I attempted to do something like that.

My friends joked about how Mr. Gransol gave me an executive handshake instead of pushing his hand in his pocket to give me a five hundred dollars for saving him twenty six thousand dollars. I have many portfolios and I do it one day at a time. It is only one day you could use. But I love Carnival; it is my passion. I stay in it all the time and it doesn't matter in what aspect I stay in it, whether it is in N.C.B.A., or whether it is in my band. Whether it is in helping somebody bring a costume or giving them ideas; the judging situation or the skills. That is my passion.

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