James Harry Small was born on November 26, 1924 in Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago to Albert Small and Mya. His first language was Hindi until he moved in with his father where he would meet the very strick, but loving Momma Rose. She was a lady who didn’t take any crap and made great bread, he would say. He always looked at her as though she helped saved his life.
Independent in spirit he was always a rebel. He would refuse to go to school and sneak off to go pelt snakes in trees and just hang around like a naughty boy and get into trouble with Momma Rose who was determined to make him go to school.
As he got older he was known as a Sweet man, Saga Boi. He would meet Antonia “Nita” Castro and eventually marry her and move her into Country Trace, Point Fortin where he becomes the first person to pave the roads for the Trace. He, along with his wife, Nita and his Step-Daughter, Marjorie Yee Chan (deceased) would create the house that still stands on our original land in Trinidad brick by brick board by board. Together his Nita and him would have 7 children together : Monica,, Albert Small, Elina, William, Veronica and Anthony. James had a first born child before Antonia, named Albert.
In Trinidad his profession would be a welder in which he did a lot of on the job learning. He would work on oil rigs and cars. Like many caribbean people James would leave his homeland for better opportunities for his family in the US. Eventually in the late 1960s he would bring his Children to Brooklyn, where their new life would begin. He would continue to be a welder in the US. He would also help co-found Trinico Sports and Cultural Club established in 1972. In which started out as an All Fours club, but would eventually include family and cultural activities such as driving up to Carabana, having Halloween Parties, picnics where the grand children would be able to play games and partake in races as well as play mas for Ju’vourte!. Trinco would go on to win many championships and still continues to play on till this day.
Many stories, be it good or bad would start at 444 Blake his original address when he had finally gotten an apartment in the 2000s he would have to move to 178 Amboy still in his front apartment on the second floor where he be as macoisious as he wanted.
James was known by many nicknames such as Jamessy, Sweet Swizzle Stick, Sabu, Pops, Daddy, Old Man, 3Granddad or just Mr. Small. He was well liked and loved by the people who knew him. As a father he was rather strick to say the least, he ruled with an iron fist, but he loved his children. When he became a grandfather he became less strick and would show a more loving and relaxed side. He is survived by all his children as well as his 15 Grandchildren, 31 Great Grands and 20 Great-Great Grandchildren. And many nieces and nephews on his wife’s Castro side.
On Tuesday night, August 06, 2019 he would transition to meet his wife, many friends and family who have passed on.
James will be very missed, but his family is happy to know that he is not suffering anymore and his body is now at peace as his soul has transitioned.