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Friday, December 3, 2021
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Meliton Auil remembers Cobo

Dear Editor,

This morning I read with interest your article about “Cobo”, whom I certainly remember, and by sheer coincidence, I was telling his story to some friends over the weekend.

When Cobo was in Belize in the 1950’s, I was a young clerk working at Barclays Bank at their main office on Albert Street, where the bank always had British newspapers and magazines on display at their counters. Cobo used to be a frequent visitor at our counters where he used to spend some time reading the papers.

I remember on one occasion, I was attending to a customer over the counter, and Cobo was next to the customer, reading the London Times. Suddenly he turned to me and said, whilst pointing to a picture of a grand mansion in a sales ad in the Times, “Look, my family’s home”. Of course I didn’t believe him at the time, because, as you say in your article, he was a “tramp”.

A couple of months later, however, the bank in Belize received a fax (the speedy way of communicating at the time) from its West Caribbean Head Office in Kingston, Jamaica, saying that the Bank’s Head Office in London, on behalf of an important customer of theirs, had asked for their help in locating and repatriating their son to England. So, it was with the help of Barclays Bank that Cobo disappeared, all dressed up and clean looking.

Incidentally, I did not read your article when it was first published in 1978 as I was working in St. Kitts at the time.

With best wishes,

Meliton Auil


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