It was the wise man Solomon who said, “Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king…” It is a widely-held belief that one’s socio-economic status, education and familial background serve as a pre-cursor when determining one’s future. Whether or not he was aware of this fact, he would prove that theory to be false.
On June 13, 1914, Carlton Beresford, the second child born to Leopold and Evadney Evans was introduced to the world. It was by no means a kind world, not even in his little corner in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. His was not a world that offered much occasion for guaranteed success unless one was born with the proverbial silver spoon or one had at least received a formal secondary education. He possessed neither. On the contrary, the opportunity to listen to voices of self-doubt, despair and cynicism seemed to be knocking at the doors of so many. To ignore the sound of those knocks would call for loud, self-motivated voices shouting from deep down inside, “I will not give in, I will rise”. And so, against all odds and with jaw-tightening determination, this passionate son of the soil arose. He listened to his own voices, knocked, and Lady Opportunity heard and opened her doors. Nothing seemed too hard for him. Ambition, along with a curious nature and a quest for knowledge allowed this self-taught young man to be proficient in so many skills. What wealth he lacked in material things, he more than made up for in wisdom and fortitude.
“Carl B” as he was known, began his career at the Oil Fields in South Trinidad. In February 1939, he joined the Police Force and served as a Constable until 1942. Always on the lookout for further advancement, he acquired a position as an Inspector at the newly- established United States Naval Base at Chaguaramas and in 1943, became a firefighter. Newly married, he had the full support of his devoted and equally ambitious wife, Marjorie. His rise through the ranks was not meteoric, but instead was gradual and was achieved through his portrayal of hard work, self-assuredness and reliability, as evidenced through the many commendations and certificates he received. The crowning glory of his career was achieved when opportunity opened up her doors even wider and he was appointed to the position of “FIRE CHIEF OF THE US NAVAL BASE” in September 1962. He was the first national to hold that position and did so proudly and efficiently until the closure of the Base.
To borrow the words of Rapper/Poet, Tupac Shakur, from his poem —“AMBITION OVER ADVERSITY”:-
“Take one’s adversity, learn from their misfortune, learn from their pain. Believe in something, believe in yourself. Turn adversity into ambition. Now blossom into wealth”. These words perfectly encapsulate the life and career of Carlton B Evans which made him someone in whom his country can still be proud.
The above documents, photographs and biography kindly provided by the daughters of Chief C.B. Evan