The Star (Jamaica)

Self-taught carpenter still loves trade after 50 YEARS


After more than 50 years in the business, 69-year-old Anthony Hendricks says he still ‘over-loves’ being a carpenter.

Hendricks, originally from rural St Thomas, told THE STAR that carpentry is the only trade that he knows.

“Mi just know say a dat mi want from mi small. Mi grandmothe­r did pull down a board house and mi take it [wood] and make truck and everything mi coulda make outta it.

So a from there me start it,” he said. Now residing in Austin district, St Elizabeth,

Hendricks explained that he went to the parish after he was recruited for a job by a man.

“But by the end of the day him was lying, saying what him have and what him don’t have and make me leave my place. So since me start work me nuh bother go back. Mi just feel comfortabl­e weh me deh. Every month end me guh home,” he said. Hendricks said that he has shared his love for the trade with his son who now also works as a carpenter. “More time mi deh a work inna di yard him will come round me. Him take up mi nail dem, use them up and mi seh alright mi nah trouble him and him come out to be good,” he said. Hendricks said that he loves everything about woodwork, and is adamant that any piece of furniture that he envisions, he can create. “If you even come and a explain something to me, me can ketch it and say ‘alright then, it look like this’. Is a yes or no and we move on with it,” he said.

Though his love for the craft is ever enduring, Hendricks has no affection for the people who order his services and do not pay him.

“When them owe you and nuh pay yuh, that is a regular thing. But when you owe dem, enuh, yuh in big trouble. Them do the deposit and then when you guh fi yuh money den dem tell you seh ‘you know seh me never know seh you did a come’ or all type a excuse. So some a di time mi leave dem and some a di time mi war dem fi mi money,” he said.

Hendricks told THE STAR that he believes the key to being a good carpenter is honesty.

“Because you haffi honest to yourself seh you can do di job. And somebody will recommend you. You have some people now, dem take di money but dem inna problem after. Mi nuh join dat. If mi not going do it, mi tell you no because me doah have di time. So you come back another day or come back another time. That is how it work with me,” he said.

But Hendricks feels like his time in the business is slowly coming to an end, and thinks that he may retire as early as next year.

 ?? RICARDO MAKYN PHOTOS ?? Hendricks works on a cabinet.
RICARDO MAKYN PHOTOS Hendricks works on a cabinet.
 ?? ?? Master carpenter Anthony Hendricks said that he is still in love with the trade after 50 years.
Master carpenter Anthony Hendricks said that he is still in love with the trade after 50 years.

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