On the first Friday of the month of December, Saba celebrates its day, Saba day.
Between 1785 and 1878, during the Swedish times of Saint-Barth, many people living in Gustavia were born in Saba or were of Saban’s descent.
They were ship captains, merchants, shipbuilders, deckhands, clerks, housewives, washers, servants, or even slaves.
They were in big numbers, roaming the streets of Gustavia, loading or off-loading boxes, crates, and barrels on the docks.
They were burghers, Aldermen, customs officers, militia captains, churchwarden, carpenters, shop keepers.
They built the town then, and they’re gone now.
Their last names were like a passport or so.
Haddocks, Dinzey, Linzey, Beaks, Simmons, Johnson, Beal, Leverock, Winfield, Barnes, Horton, Every, Dowling, Hassell, Baker, Heyliger, Mardenborough, Hill, Rock, Kelly, Wright, Young, Peterson, Darsey, Woods, Molonen, Warthon, Vaughan, Granger, Sandyford.
The last child born on the island with both parents born in Saba, was George Benjamin DOWLING. He was born on the 21st of November 1912 in Gustavia, son of George Benjamin DOWLING (senior) and Annie Florence HASSELL. Both were from the village of Saint-John. Their older daughter, Crystal DOWLING even married a local man, Louis Alexis LÉDÉE, before moving to America.
George Benjamin DOWLING (senior) was the brother of Peter John Hassell DOWLING, and the cousin of his wife, Johanna Lovelace HASSELL whose daughter, Elizabeth Nina DOWLING, married Captain Thomas Charles BARNES, another Saban. The Saban’s connection. They were the last of the Sabans of Saint-Barth.
The old links are being lost, but the ones that bound Sabans to Saint-Barth were very strong back then. Let us think of it, for a day.
To Saba and the Sabans, from Saint-Barth!