TOCO Tells Story of a Family in Toco Village
Toco is the most northeasterly village on the island of Trinidad in the County of Saint David at the point where the Caribbean Sea and theAtlantic Ocean meet. Tobago lies only some 35 kilometers to the northeast which renders Toco the closest point in Trinidad to the sister island. The name Toco was ascribed to the area by its early Amerindian inhabitants. The meaning of the name is uncertain, yet its historical significance and value to the country is well noted.
TOCO written by Vivian Jack is a story centered on the Nathaniel family of Toco Village, Trinidad during the thirties and forties. It is a mixture of facts, stories, and experiences seen through the eyes of Jack from the time he was five until he turned fourteen. Gabriel, as the main character is called, talks about his daily life as the youngest of three boys with strict religious parents who believed in the supernatural. He remembers happy days with his family, teachers, and classmates. He also remembers the struggles for survival in a poverty-stricken village called Toco.
Every day around four o'clock in the afternoon, Gabriel positioned himself at the window of their home, a room in the barracks they lived in on the Gordon Grant estate at Garcia often eating a piece of Ma Gool's roti and hot curry from his East Indian neighbor proudly waving to his father as he rode by on the company's horse to take the daily newspaper to Mr. Hutton, the Chief Overseer resident at San-Sousi. Those were the days of real poverty. The barracks was one originally built for East Indian Laborers imported as indentured labor in the late nineteenth century consisting of four rooms approximately