The career of tinsmith David Moses, 55, began in his father’s tin workshop, where he began as a youngster cleaning the debris from the previous day’s work. Today he bemoans the unwillingness of young people to start with the basics by clearing the workshop before embarking on a new day’s tasks.
It was a challenge from his father that started him off producing cups and plates from discarded tin cans, first for his home, and then for the rest of the neighbourhood. After honing his skills in his father’s workshop, his path was set, eventually taking him to work on the building of the Sanata Textile Mill as well as the Bel-Lu Claybrick Factory at Canal No 2 Polder, West Bank Demerara. Moses says that the textile mill allowed him to see the results of his labour firsthand when the machines processed the cotton.
However, there were a few diversions over the years, including a stint as driver for the late President Forbes Burnham. According to Moses, during this time he found it hard to maintain the spiritual standard that he once had held. As a result, of his change in lifestyle, he fathered a number of children who eventually grew up under different roofs.
Eventually, Moses established his own business at a workshop he rented. This was at a time when inputs were sometimes not readily available, but he persisted.
Today he is found in the No.2 Polder area, where he makes feeding cans and food feeders for poultry farmers in the area, as well as cake pans and post boxes, among other things. His father, now 81, is retired but is proud that he was able to pass down his skills to his son. Moses too would like his 22-year-old daughter to return and work with him, and also has hopes that his son, who has shown an interest in the trade, will one day join the family business.