Maxie Andrew Assee, aka ‘BIRD’, was born in Arima on October 10th, 1926. His parents were Mr. Assing and Ms. Affoon. They both died when he was very young. His siblings are Theresa (John Agitation’s wife), Alma (‘Cawee’) and Lucy (wife of Vincent Edwards).
Maxi’s mother, Ms. Affoon died when he was only about 8 months old and his dad Mr. Assing could not take care of the baby Maxi. So Lucy Edwards (née Lucy Assee) parents took Maxi into their home and brought him up from this age. So Mrs. Lucy Edwards is considered Maxi’s sister since Maxi’s relatives, the Affoons’ were related to Lucy.
Maxi lived at Vincent and Lucy Edwards home on the passing of Lucy’s parents. Vincent Edwards died in 1995 and Maxi continued to live together with the Edwards family and Mother Lucy, who passed away in 2014. So all of the Edwards siblings grew up with Maxi who is considered their ‘Uncle’ and their Mother Lucy as Maxi’s sister.
Maxi attended Arima Boys’ R. C. School.
He learned tailoring and shoe-making and he became a self-employed tailor. Maxi has worked as a runner for the Horse Racing Club in Port of Spain until it ceased operations and at the Arima Race Club where he is the longest-serving employee, having worked there from the 1950s until the present.
Maxi can well be considered an institution in Arima where everyone knows him riding his bicycle around the borough. The bicycle he currently uses is now over 50 years old. It was given to him by Mr. Baldwin of Baldwin’s Auto in Arima after his first bicycle was stolen.
Maxi also tried his hand at being a jockey but gave it up after a short while because he was apprehensive of the dangers inherent in riding horses.
Over the years Maxi has been involved in a wide range of activities. Apart from his legendary life involved in the horse racing fraternity, he was also the owner and manager of “Cave Boys” an Arima sports club of old for which he played cricket and football. He also coached the Park Stars Windball Cricket Team.
Very few people know that Maxi is a qualified boxing coach who, apart from his coaching activities, has also performed as Ringmaster and Timekeeper at many boxing bouts.
A Carnival enthusiast, Maxi has been a Carnival Mas Band Leader and takes part on an annual basis in the Arima Carnival celebrations.
He has also been extremely helpful to the Arima Boys’ R. C. School in their yearly Carnival productions as well as their Cricket and Football programmes.
Maxi has won many awards especially for portrayals at Arima’s Carnival and has been honoured by several groups and organisations including the Arima Boys’ R. C. School, and the Rotary Club of Arima.
For many years he ran a parlour opposite the Arima Girls’ R. C. School that served the needs of thousands of Arima’s school children.
Maxi married Anita Hernandez-Assee in the 1980s and has a daughter, Sharon.
By Elvin “Ello” Edwards
Is he still riding his bike? Yes, Frank. Saw him this morning.
Of course, Mr. Frank Christo that’s what is keeping him fit.
This is wonderful. Remember him by the shop when I was going to HCC in the 60s.
Other people in the pics: That’s Mr. Calderon from Maturita in the first pic with Maxi. Also Mummy Lal.
Also known as Mr. Calde. He used to address all of us by family name and so all of my cousins and myself were little Reyes.
Mr Calde owned a shop and was a very pleasant and friendly man.
I had the pleasure of witnessing Maxi being honored at the Civic Awards Ceremony years ago, recalled a resident.
Lisa Morris: He has indicated that he does not want any more awards. Once he indicates otherwise, we would do it but ABC has honoured him under different councils, as did Boys RC. and Arima Race Club.
A little man with a big heart. I make it my business to hail out to him every time I see him. He’s a careful rider and responds without ever taking his eyes off the road. He once told me when I see him riding around, he’s running errands for others. At 94 he still cares enough to do so, says one resident.
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