Spragga Benz: Expelled From Maritime Institute
Having lost the opportunity to become a Police Officer, Spragga Benz looked to the sea as a means of getting a profession.
“It wasn’t anything to do with fishing, but a marine officer. I got the opportunity through the HEART programme. I didn’t have to do a test. I had qualified being a Heart trainee. This offers rigid training and discipline.”
“We had to run from Port Royal to Maritime which was about a six mile stretch to reach in time for breakfast which starts at 7:00 am. We were staying at Heritage Trust located at Port Royal. Another part of the training was to learn how to keep a ship under control throughout its voyage.”
“I was excited about travelling – not on a boat or taxi, but by sea. I wanted to travel the world.”
“There were about 40 of us who applied for the training; they only select about 20 of us.”
Spragga Benz was bright from he was attending Camperdown High School, but so too were some of his friends.
“I had a friend named Rambo( given name David Dennis). I met him at Maritime Institute. We were among the brightest in class. So, if I didn’t come first it would have to be Rambo.”
School was riding distance from Dunkirk, the home of Spragga’s friends. So, on most weekends his friends would come to visit him, about six of them.
“They would be able to ride onto the compound as we had no classes. Not being in the community they came up with the latest stories, like who get shot and they would re-enact the entire scene with the sounds of gunshots.”
These friends wore a lot of expensive jewellery that drew the attention of almost everyone, including administrators at the school.
Dunkirk did not have a sacred name. Many outsiders felt there were a lot of undesirables living in that community.
No one said anything about these men who were visiting Spragga. He had never heard the slightest tone of resentment, but deep down he felt they weren’t welcome at the institution.
Before long Spragga was given the walking orders. He was expelled from the institution – another of his dreams shattered.
Be sure to read Part 3: Spragga Benz: The Security Guard.
(Photo below contributed by Spragga Benz)
(from left) Spragga Benz, Greg Page, and Man T