Mr. Bedward's 'flight to heaven'
THE EDITOR: Madam:
In The Gleaner of Thursday 27.12.01, Mr. Neita reported about the people from home and abroad heading to August Town to witness the departure of Mr. Bedward to heaven.
I started to think and then remembered that my grandmother, who died over 50 years agoused to tell me about this man and how he was supposed to ascend to heaven on a particular day.
According to granny's tale, people from my village and other places travelled to Mullings Grass yard on Spanish Town Road by dray and walked to August Town to hear preacher Bedward. Many got converted, baptised and healed of various illnesses. Granny didn't quote me any dates so I had no idea of the period of these things.
A few months ago I heard a man telling a small group about Bedward and particularly about the day of his planned ascension. I was interested and listened. He stated the point that Bedward's two sons played while the crowd gathered and watched for the great moment when he would leave for higher ground.
This man spoke as if he was an eyewitness to what took place. When I asked him if he had seen any of what he was saying, he said 'no'. But he assured his listeners that the story is true. When I asked him his age, he said that he wasn't sure of his age because his mother kept his age as a secret from him. He guessed that he could have been born around 1820.
This man doesn't look much older than I, so I know that he is in error in some of what he was saying. I went to the Parish Library to see what I could learn about Mr. A. Bedward. Two ladies were quite helpful to me but no book or writing is there on this man. I was asked if he was a prophet among other questions, which I couldn't answer correctly. Can Mr. Neita or anyone help me on this?`
I am, etc
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