ONCE UPON A TIME: Part Two … Through the lens of a Black archivist

Blog title image: ONCE UPON A TIME… Through the lens of a Black archivist. 61 Series with photo of black woman sitting at a tropical bay.
By: Antoinette "Anto" Seymour
Posted May 1, 2024

It’s the first day of the month and, as promised, the launch of “61”.

Welcome to the initial set of 61 archival items, in observance of the 61 years of UWindsor’s existence!

Each and every record tells a story or has a narrative, and we do love a sweet story, so sit back, relax, and here we go.

Bahamian Storytelling Chant
“Once upon a time was a ‘wery’ nice time; monkey chew tobacco and spit out lime.”

Once upon a time in the late 70s there was the Caribbean Students Association of University of Windsor at Windsor, Ontario, Canada, North America, Planet Earth.


It was a home far away from home, a hub of academic and social support for ethnically-similar, culturally-similar, like-minded UWindsor students, settling in from primarily majority-Black countries in the Caribbean. CARISA comprised a gifted, effervescent lot, today diaspora-ed throughout the world but remaining a true blend of minds and hearts.

So, long long ago, every year CARISA elected an executive body comprising a President along with VP, Treasurer, Secretary and Public Relations Officer.

As our CARISA history is slowly but steadily illuminated, consider for a moment some of the CARISA presidents, now trailblazers across the globe. I give you their Then and the Now, represented by 10 of the promised 61 archival items.

Some CARISA Past Presidents

Derek Faria (Trinidad)
Retired GM/Director of Massy Automative at Neal & Massy Group

Then and now, Derek Faria

David Martin (Jamaica)
Photos pending.

Perry George (Dominica) 
Photo pending.

Robert Epstein (Jamaica)
Retired Managing Director of Marksman Limited, second largest security company in Jamaica. On Board of Directors.

Then and Now, Robert Epstein

Michael Clarke (Barbados)
Retired VP, Finance             

Then and Now, Michael Clarke                                    

Stuart Gordon (Jamaica)
Financial Consultant

Then and Now, Stuart Gordon

Then: CARISA always held wonderful events, providing attendees with a taste of the Caribbean.

Colin A Meyers (Guyana)
Believed to be an engineer at USA.

Then and Now, Colin Meyers
CARISA always held riveting cultural shows.

Michael Darville (Bahamas)
Medical Doctor and current Bahamas Minister of Health

Then and Now, Michael Darville
Good ole Windsor dayzzzzz                                   See current photo of Minister at Bahamas
                                                                         Government website.

Ernest Phills (Trinidad)
Listed online as an engineer.

Then and Now, Ernest Phills

Greg Neil (Jamaica)
Medical Doctor
Then and Now, Greg Neil
At Windsor way back then.

Noel Henry (Jamaica)
Operations Manager, Saks 5th Avenue, PA

Then and Now, Noel Henry
Hanging out at Laurier or Mac Hall?                          Looking so young after all these decades.

Leria Archer (Bahamas) – A woman at last – Yay!
Educator, Entrepreneur, HR Professional, Student Success Coach, Proprietor

Then and Now, Leria Archer
Our illustrious performing artist, including songstress,
getting ready for Prince concert at
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit?

Now do pardon me for teasing you with a foretaste of the coming [largely pictorial] CARISA Collection
at https://leddy.uwindsor.ca/key-service-areas/archives-special-collections

Five black students wearing CARISA t-shirts
Bahamian CARISAns in their lovely CARISA tee shirts in early 80s.

L-R: Randy Albury (Entrepreneur/Proprietor), Juliette Storr (Penn State Emerita and author),
Antoinette Seymour (University Faculty/Archivist/Librarian & Chess Olympian),
Julie Tucker-Campbell (Minister Plenipotentiary in Bahamas Embassy to China),
HE Joseph Curry (Bahamas Ambassador to the Holy See)

And while I am presenting a wee portion of the CARISA story, might I interest you in the following [associated] collections at Leddy?


Moving right along, do continue to blog-travel with me to the end of 2024 as this space constructs the memory of CARISA, now defunct, but once a UWindsor Student Life powerhouse of Diasporic academic and socially-artistic talent [performing and visual arts], and do stay tuned for the CARISA Collection at #UWindsor#LeddyLibrary.


I implore everyone to be proactive in retaining and preserving memory, culture, history, legacy, heritage and, of course, identity - including you UWindsor Student Clubs.

Ask an Archivist today♦.

Bahamian Storytelling Chant
“Be bo ben, my ole story end.”

Associated Links

Photos: Courtesy of CARISAns: Marcella Bariffe-Henry, Reginald Saunders, Antoinette Seymour, Dr. Greg Neil, Andrea Rohlehr, Elizabeth Mitchell

Please send feedback to antoinette.seymour@uwindsor.ca.


Antoinette "Anto" Seymour is a proud University of Windsor alumna and professional archivist cross-appointed to Leddy Library and the University of Windsor Black Studies Institute in 2024. 

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