'Skill' hails 'Pee Wee' FraserMonday, November 22, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
Alan “Skill” Cole, former national footballer and confidant of reggae king Bob Marley, remembers Dr Carlton “Pee Wee” Fraser as “a very caring bredrin”.
Fraser, trusted physician of Marley, died in Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale yesterday morning after a brief illness. He was 74.
“I've been up since after 4:00 this [yesterday] morning. It's sad. Mi feel a little way. It's jus' unfortunate,” Cole, who was also manager of Marley, told the Jamaica Observer.
“Pee Wee gave his all; ah humble little bredda. He's an unusual character. Is di only doctor mi see people guh visit an' nuh have no money fi pay di fee an' when him done look after dem, him give dem money fi go buy dem food. Give dem money fi go buy prescription. He was one of a kind. It's hard to see dem man deh go. Bwoy, he was a very caring bredrin. Him come an' do a great work,” he continued.
Cole, who represented Vere Technical High School in daCosta Cup football in 1965, said he met Fraser during a practice match with Wolmer's Boys' School.
“We played against Wolmer's an' Pee Wee was part of their team. Him play all hockey fi Wolmer's an' all dem thing deh. A top all-rounder,” said Cole.
“When he was in Washington doing his medical [studies] I got closer with him; go fi him ah airport an' from that wi tight. Me an' him did deh a Germany wid Bob,” he added.
In May, Fraser spoke to the Jamaica Observer extensively about his relationship with Marley.
He said they became close in 1975 after his return to Jamaica following studies at Howard University in Washington, DC, and commenced his internship at University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew.
Within weeks Fraser found himself at a meeting of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, which was at the peak of its popularity; its members included Marley, Cole, and Dennis Brown.
In 1977 Marley was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in a toe on his right foot. According to Fraser, Marley insisted that, “Only Pee Wee can touch me,” so he was called in to discuss the matter.
Fraser was part of the small inner circle with Marley when he journeyed to West Germany in September 1980 for ground-breaking treatment from Dr Josef Issels.
When the decision was taken seven months later for Marley to return to Jamaica, a stance Fraser did not support, he left West Germany for London to deal with personal and professional matters.
On May 11 came news that Marley was dead at age 36. He died en route to Jamaica at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami.
“I was dismantled. The news hit me hard. I was in London dealing with Twelve Tribes [of Israel] matters and a brother came and told me Bob had died. How is that? He was doing so well in Germany. Even if he was to die, it should not have been so quickly. It was crazy. I could not believe,” Fraser shared with the Jamaica Observer.
“I would not have made him leave Germany until there was no more evidence of cancer, which was definitely disappearing. I would say another month or so of the treatment would have done it, as all the complex symptomology associated with the tumours had disappeared. I wanted him to stay there longer so that you would have to use a microscope to find even the scar tissue,” Fraser said.
Dr Carlton “Pee Wee” Fraser was still a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In 2013 he was controversially sacked as team physician of the Jamaica football team.
He is survived by seven children.