Eulogy - Alfred Gilbert Smith - Also known as Tengleman or Blood Print E-mail
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Written by The Guardian   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:00

Alfred Gilbert Smith was born on January 9th, 1928 the second child of Mr. and Mrs Thomas Smith. He has three (3) brothers, Robert and Wilfred who is present with us today and Arthur who I am certain is now with Alfred. He also has three (3) sisters, Leonora who is present and Icene and Iris with no doubt are with Alfred and Arthur in heaven.

Grandpa as he was affectionately known as “Tengleman” or “Blood” was  a father figure to many, sharing whatever he had with everyone who visit him at his home. I can recall lately when one of his friend came to visit him he told his care giver “Ruby get one of the milk to give the man”. He was talking about his ensure. Ms. Maria recall when Alfred came from work he asked her if Mr. Jones ate, she said no cause only your plate of food left. Grandpa told her give him my plate and fixed me something else to eat. Grandpa was a giver; even if he does not receive anything, he was happy helping out everyone.

Grandpa was small in structure, had a big heart, and was a giant in his village. We knew he was coming from a distance because we heard his voice and felt his presence before we see him.

He attended Wesley Primary School in Belize City, and had to withdraw from standard four at age 10 to seek employment to help his family.

Alfred then moved from Belize City and came to Tea Kettle where he lives in ‘Young Gyal Road’ with his uncle Jex Francis. At age (13) thirteen he started to work in the mahogany fields where he used to cut mahogany and rose wood. Alfred met the love of his life, Maria Ical, at twenty-three years old. The love they had brought five children; Thomas who is the first and only son, then Sonia, Cynthia, Ann, and Claridine Smith. He started his family across the river which was called “little Belize”. After the 1961 hurricane Hattie that devastated Belize, he moved across the river to Tea Kettle to seek refuge at the school before constructing his home where we are now gathered. I could recall about 36 years ago, Grandpa rode his bike into the yard with a little girl wearing a red and a white blouse; it was Chelina who he brought to be apart of our family. Chelina was his god daughter. Grandpa loved his children so dearly that he worked hard to provide for them. We couldn’t complain we were hungry because we had food to eat... if nothing else grandpa made sure that he fed us. He was very strict, he worked us so hard we didn’t have time to play or go out. We had to go to farm with him to back fire wood, plant rice, corn and every other thing on the farm. We do not regret having that type of discipline today. I could recall us trying to outsmart grandpa. We decided to drink out our water so grandpa would send us home, but grandpa was smarter; he saw us under the tree from the corner of his eyes and told us, drink it out we stay here until we finish work. He was a man with lyrics, he had answers to everything. Whenever he saw his grandchildren moving slow, he would say “look at them, dead but just no stick”.

During the mahogany and chiclero work, he started his own farm. He was one of the best farmers in the Cayo District. He developed a love for cattle, where he owned his ranch in neighbourhood Arizona. He rared cattle and worked on his farm from sunrise to sunset. I could recall every year he would go to show grounds with his cattle; he always won first place. Grandpa would walk around the grounds with his blue ribbon and show case his prize with a big smile. Even though grandpa was aging, nothing stopped him from going to farm. He would take his grandsons to farm during the summer. Whenever they heard that scabat lashed against the house side they knew it was time for bush. He had a way of calling his cattle, those cattle were well trained that they knew when grandpa came.

Alfred wasn’t only a farmer, or a father, but he was also a herbal and a snake doctor. Blood knew every bush medicine for almost every sickness. I could recall not waking up in my bed because grandpa had a patient in my bed taking care of a snake bite. It doesn’t matter what time, day or night, Alfred was always ready to help out; so sad the tradition of a snake doctor didn’t continue in the family.
Tengleman also worked with Rancher Patricia Shaw in the Beaver Dam Area until the 90’s.

Many of us could recall he was a business man. He had a popular shop known as “moms’ grocery” named after Chelina or mamcy. Grandpa wasn’t a man who stayed home; he was always on the go. Whenever you see him at the road side with his backpack, hitch hiking or trying to catch a bus, he was going somewhere. With no doubt, when grandpa came home he would bring back something for the house or for his family. Grandpa was never late, he was a man who was always on time, in fact, he was always ready long before time. I could recall lately when we went to the hospital for regular check-up, I would tell grandpa I will leave at 9 am, so that I can arrive in Belmopan at 10:30 am; grandpa would leave his home from 7 am and wait at terminal for me. He would even call me and ask where I am because he at terminal waiting so long.  He was the type of person who would never give up. He was determined and always wanted the best for himself and his family, especially his grandchildren and the community.

During his later years of his life, he devoted most of his time to his tractor business. He couldn’t drive so he hired a driver for his tractor. If you think that would keep grandpa from going, Grandpa would be right on that tractor with his driver, Banny, through rain and sun working on the road.

Grandpa’s greatest wish was to win the lotto or mega bingo before he die, which he never did, but we are certain that he won the greatest prize to be with Jesus.
He fought a good fight, he won a good race. We will never forget you grandpa. Sleep on grandpa until we meet again. Surely you will be miss by the entire family especially your wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers and his best friend Fusto.