Smoke signals

In 1901, young Wilbur GLADSTONE Lowe and tied the knot with his Cherokee Sound bride, Ellen Jane Sawyer.  Known to all as ‘Mr. Gladstone’, he is one of many great-great-grandsons of Green Turtle Cay’s patriarch Captain Gideon Lowe and wife Nancy Saunders.

A skilled carpenter, Gladstone helped construct the first Gospel Hall church on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco.   Their union produced three wonderful children – Ashbourne (1902-1986), Susan Annis (1906-1980), and Roger (1914-2000).

Wilbur Gladstone Lowe

In 1942, fifteen years after her first husband’s death, my paternal grandmother Bessie Curry Lowe married eldest son Ashbourne Lowe.  Like their father, Grandpa Ashbourne and his younger brother Roger were skilled carpenters.  Uncle Roger was both a shipwright and a home builder.

Ashbourne Working

Uncle Roger Lowe with the dog on his lap.  Grandpa Ashbourne Lowe to his right. 

In 1925, Gladstone’s daughter Susan Annis married Cherokee Sound resident George Stanley Bethel.   In 1933, youngest son Roger married Annie Vernell ‘Nell’ Pinder from Green Turtle Cay.


Susan Annis Lowe (1906-1980) and George Stanley Bethel (1902-1992)

03-21 Roger Lowe copy

Roger Lowe (1914-2000) and Annie Vernell Pinder (1914-2000)

My wife and I along with my parents had the privilege of visiting with Uncle Roger and Aunt Nell on our trip to Green Turtle Cay in 1992.  As we sat in their home, an unpretentious cottage with fantastic views of the Abaco waters, Dad and Uncle Roger reminisced about the “good ‘ole days”

We went to the home of my stepfather’s brother and his wife, Uncle Roger and Aunt Nell.  It was a very nice visit.  They were extremely happy to see us.  Uncle Roger was indeed a skilled boat builder.  As a young boy I would frequent his boat yard and watch him hard at work on his boat building projects.

One special memory I have as a young teenager is a hunting trip with Uncle Roger.  Along with two of Uncle Roger’s friends, we set sail for Abaco’s Mainland to hunt down a wild boar.  Several years earlier, a gentleman of Green Turtle Cay caught a small pig on one of his hunting trips on the Mainland.  He built a pen to secure the pig.  But to his surprise, the pig escaped and headed for undeveloped land on the Northwest part of the island.  This area of Abaco was where many farmers grew their fruits and vegetables.  As time passed the pig grew into a large boar and feasted on the farmers’ produce.  They were discouraged as their livelihood was in jeopardy.  The boar had been spotted several times, but no one was able to capture or kill it.

When we arrived, Roger’s two friends decided to go in a separate direction.  With his shotgun in hand, Uncle Roger and I started our exploration.  As we stood by a narrow path, we heard a rumbling noise coming in our direction.  Uncle Roger was prepared with his gun loaded.  The boar rushed out of the brush.  Uncle Roger fired.  It was a perfect shot.  My heart raced as the boar fell to the ground.

To celebrate the victory, Uncle Roger built a fire.  These islanders were accustom to one of the oldest forms of visual communications – smoke signals.  The folks on Green Turtle Cay saw the smoke and understood that the mission was accomplished.  We carried the large boar to our boat and set sail for Green Turtle Cay.  Upon our arrival the community came to see the defeated farmers’ menace.  The boar was very large.  It weighed two hundred and thirty pounds with two large and dangerous protruding tusks.

Journals of John W. Lowe

03-21 Roger Lowe 1

Roger Lowe (1914-2000), Nell Pinder Lowe (1914-2000) and son Freddie Lowe (1943-1961)

4 thoughts on “Smoke signals

      1. Keep on WRITING, Evan. This is how we develop better writing skill: to learn to write, we WRITE—as you do! Joy

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