George Jones of Square One gets a second chance

I featured an
illustrious musical icon, former band leader and keyboard player for Square One
on Friday, 9 October 2009.  Square One
was a Barbadian soca/reggae group that ruled the Caribbean region as a musical
force to be reckoned with from 1986 to 2004 by the time that the group
disbanded.

Alison Hinds,
who was lead singer, went on to further magnify her status while other band members
did different things. George Jones retired from the limelight, to the peace and
tranquility of the Cayman Islands with his Caymanian wife and daughter.

This young man,
now 41, had already travelled the world – 48 different countries, to be exact,
in a span of 18 years and had produced an arsenal of 13 albums. Me, I’ve only
touched base with three countries so far and am now struggling to get my next
ticket to anywhere – and hope Tracy Chapman will be there.

Mr. Jones, now
fully settled in with his family, was thoroughly enjoying that new phase of his
life. It was a stark contrast to the fast life he once lived, but as life
changes so do our priorities and George was finding this to be an enjoyable
experience. Little did he know that his life was again about to take another
shift, in a not so pleasant direction.

Apart from a
bout of sickness here and there, nothing quite prepared him for the shocker he
received in February 2010. He was diagnosed with colon cancer.  A few weeks later, he underwent extensive
surgery at the George Town Hospital. The news was numbing and it took a while
for his senses to thaw to the reality of what was happening to him. His reality
was plucked up and was suddenly replaced by a kaleidoscope of bewilderment,
uncertainty, desolation – what next?

He had always
believed in God and after the operation, something happened that has since
changed his life. He was hospitalised and convalescing in bed one night, his
wife Nicole beside him, when he suddenly had an out of body experience. He
tried to reach for his wife but he was taken at such a great speed that she
slipped away.

He then found
himself in a place of unimaginable beauty and peace with lovely gardens,
mountains and colourful buildings. He saw people going about their business. He
shouted out but no one paid him any attention.

Suddenly an
angelic being surrounded by a wonderful light appeared. The image was blurry
and it was hard to focus on the person. 
Even though it was all so great the musician knew that he wanted to go
back. He asked the being to show him the way – then he was in his body again.

A group of
strangers came into his room to talk to him about Christ the next day. One of
the ladies randomly distributed four books to him and his visitors.  The title of the one he received – “Absent
from the Body” – explained that he had experienced a near-death encounter. The
musician had had a brief personal encounter with the God in whom he believes.

As he fought
his way back to recovery, he was once again confronted with bad news – he lost
his job. God, however, did not allow him to be swallowed up in much sorrow.
George described the outpouring of love and support from his family and friends
as overwhelming. As he had travelled the world, bringing musical joy the news
of his illness travelled like wild-fire and support has just been pouring in
from all over.

On Saturday,
17 April, the music fraternity in Barbados will hold a benefit concert for
George Jones and another musician, Smokey Burke.

Big names like
Alison Hinds, Rupee, Red Plastic Bag, Gabby and a host of others will be
performing for their friends.

The Cayman Islands
Music and Entertainment Association got wind of the musician’s condition and
are ready to be supportive. Anyone who wishes to contribute may do so via Butterfield
Bank account “50000043745 – account name Come together for Smokey and George.

Anyone who
wishes to contact him with words of encouragement should e-mail him at [email protected]

God has now
ushered him into new dimensions to make bigger and better contributions to life
on this side, to the glory of God! Get ready y’all!

Give me a link up of any notable person in entertainment,
of any genre or nation. We are many nations basking here under the Sun but
music speaks one language. Please send your link and info to
[email protected]

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