STORIES OF OUR FAMILIES
To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
and his wife
CAROLINE GWENDELINE FRANCO
Joseph Gomez was my grandmother Elsie's brother, the eldest son of Joseph Gomez and Christina Pereira. He was born on 22 July 1891 at their home in Belmont, Laventille, Trinidad.
Joseph married Caroline on 10 August 1916 in her hometown of St. George's, Grenada. Caroline, a Grenadian, was born on 10 October 1894, the daughter of John Franco and Clementine Pace. Her father John Franco was a well-established wine merchant in Grenada, considered one of the wealthiest businessmen there at the time. Just two months before their marriage, Joseph had performed the duties of bestman at his sister Audrey's wedding in Trinidad, as she had married Caroline's brother Louis Franco. Audrey settled down to married life in her husband's Grenada, while Joseph and his Grenadian bride Caroline made their home in Trinidad.
This photo of Joseph and Caroline was sent by Joseph's mother Christina (Pereira) Gomez to his brother George Gomez who was at the time in India. George had enlisted to serve in World War I and left Trinidad in 1916, the same year as his brother Joseph and sister Audrey were married. In October 1922, Joe was working at T. Geddes Grant Ltd., as mentioned in Audrey's death announcement in the newspaper.
By 1922, Joseph and Caroline were living at 33 Victoria Square, Port of Spain. We know this because of a newspaper article about the funeral of Joseph's grandmother Antonia Pereira. “The funeral took place at 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon from the residence of Mr. Joseph Gomez at No. 33 Victoria Square to Lapeyrouse Cemetery.” Joseph was one of the bearers. When Joe's mother Christina died on 13 July 1949 the newspaper article about her funeral mentioned that wreaths were received from The Directors and Staff of T. Geddes Grant Ltd, and from Mr. and Mrs. Willard Grant - suggesting that Joe was still employed by that firm in 1949 when he was fifty-eight years old.
In 2012 when I visited Trinidad, the old Gomez home was still there. The number 33 on the front porch made it easily identifiable and strangely exuded a cozy warmth to me. How many tales those walls could tell!
Between 1918 and 1931 Joseph and Caroline had had nine chidren - four daughters and three sons. One of them, Peter, died when he was only four years old - we're not yet sure what happened, but how sad it must have been. All the others grew up to be married and have children, some of whom left the shores of Trinidad and settled in abroad.
Joseph with his eldest son Joseph Darrell (Darrell) Gomez
Joseph and Caroline (Franco) Gomez and their family - 1948
Back l/r: Darrel Gomez, Elmo Flintom, Jean (Gomez) Flintom, John Boyce, Barbara (Gomez) Boyce, Bill Adams, Jocelyn (Gomez) Adams, George Dornier Gomez
Middle: Caroline (Franco) Gomez, Grandma Christina (Pereira) Gomez, Joseph Gomez
Children: Mary Adams, Margaret Boyce, Nancy Boyce, Paul Boyce, Pat Boyce, Donald Boyce
To the rest of the family, they were affectionately known as Uncle Joe and Aunt Carrie. Uncle Joe passed away in 1958 when he was 66, but Aunt Carrie lived to the ripe old age of ninety.