‘Windy’ wanted Christmas merriment as a child
After losing his home and belongings in a fire four weeks ago, George Dixon's only wish is to have a place to call home.
"Me just glad say me have a family at the Salvation Army. They ensure that I am okay and the place where I stay now, the lady invited me for dinner. I cry every day and I pray that God will bless me cause I have never had a decent Christmas dinner with my family. I woulda want to get that once in life," Dixon said, with tears in his eyes. He is currently staying with neighbours.
The Christmas season hasn't always been the happiest for Dixon. During his childhood years, he never had the opportunity to enjoy the merriment of the Yuletide season.
As most children unwrapped their gifts to discover shiny new toys, Dixon spent most of his days at the Maxfield Park Children's Home and later at the Alpha Boys' Home.
An emotional Dixon, who will celebrate his 83rd birthday on Christmas Day, told THE WEEKEND STAR that five days after his birth in 1938, at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, his mother, Georgianna Dixon, passed away. He was transported via tram car to the Maxfield Park Children's Home, where the matron and the caregivers took him as one of their own.
"I never have no other family that came forward so they took me from there [the hospital] and carried me to children's home. Any time I remember it I just cry cause me nuh like talk bout it, but Christmas there [at the children's home] was probably the best days of my life. I get mouth organ [harmonica], toothbrush and other personal supplies, whistle and scissors but my favourite toy is the mouth organ," Dixon recounted.
It is still his trusted musical instrument and its appearance is a true testament of the decades he has possessed it. Dixon shared that the harmonica was his friend and helped him through his tough times without a family. He smiled as he played his favourite carol O Holy Night, citing that he took two years to learn the musical piece. From his skills playing the harmonica, he garnered the name 'Windy'.
After spending his first 18 years at places of safety, he sought a job at the Maxfield Park Children's Home as a groundsman. Every Christmas, he would ensure that the walls and tree trunks were white washed, the lawns were neatly manicured and the hedges trimmed.
Later in life, Dixon saw Christmas as a time for helping and giving back to others and ensured that he spreads holiday cheer to children, adopting a Santa Claus-esque attitude.
This year will not be any different, as he intends to distribute toys donated by the Salvation Army to his neighbours in the Maxfield Park area.
"I used to sell trucks, balloons, all sorts of toys to children at the primary school. I don't sell them clappers or gun because I want them to smile, I don't want them to get involved in anything bad. Children mostly love balloons at Christmas time. It is a time to be happy, it is a time for you to come together as one and be loving. We need to be loving and smile more," Dixon urged.