It’s not every day that toe-tapping soca beats come emanating from Loyola’s The Hive, but that’s exactly what students who caught DJ Gordon “Gee” Weekes at the Loyola Luncheon heard on Jan. 25. What’s even more surprising is finding out that the DJ in question not only co-hosts a Caribbean music show on Saturdays at CJLO, but is also a coordinator of the security team for the Loyola campus.
At six feet tall with a quiet dignity and an easy smile, Gordon Weekes has a unique perspective on life at Concordia as he switches between his DJing gigs and campus security job with ease. He expresses himself with his hands and there is a glint of gold on his finger which he confides is a good luck charm—a ring that boasts a horseshoe with a tiny, carved horse head.
“Soca Man” by Baron (soca), “Cuban Pete” by Tito Puente (latin) and “Min Medikaman-an” by T-Vice (kompa) are just a few examples of the songs Weekes plays, but he prefers calypso because to him the words are imbued with comedy and double entendres even when the lyrics sometimes deal with heavier issues. Calypso is more of a “thinking man’s” music whereas with soca you can get away with the same words or a sentence being repeated along with the drum beats and not necessarily have the song transmit a message.
Weekes wasn’t always found around the Loyola campus. After spending 23 years in the military, he found himself out of a job. Luckily, back in 1925, a company called The Commissionaires was set up to help ex-soldiers find jobs and, coincidentally, Concordia hires security personnel from this company.
Over the past eight years, Weekes and his team of about five other guards canvas the Loyola campus, while another team of thirteen work at the downtown campus.
“I would love people to realize that the image of a big, fat guy sitting behind a desk doing nothing is not what it is nowadays,” Weekes admits, confronted by the idea of a stereotypical security guard.
The security personnel, some of whom are pursuing advanced degrees or using the job as a stepping stone to join the police force or the armed forces, are highly trained in CPR and other necessary procedures to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
“We need to learn about fire control, we have to take courses in hazmat [hazardous materials],” he explained. “There are lot of chemicals in the labs here at Loyola, so if there is a chemical spill we need to know how to contain that spill.”
While theft is one of the most common issues he faces day-to-day, he points out that “Loyola has a much calmer vibe and is more quiet compared to the downtown campus. The radio here is connected to downtown and those guys work very hard downtown, there’s something going on there every day,” he continued.
“The younger guys don’t like to work here because it’s too quiet,” he jokes. “They want to be transferred downtown where all the action is.”
When he’s not keeping up on the latest in soca for his weekly gig at CJLO, the volunteer DJ likes listening to jazz and blues and maintains a keen interest on student life. He once considered studying exercise science, and this year he is planning on taking French language courses.
With his job as a security guard and his particular interest in Caribbean music, Weekes has carved himself a unique niche here at Loyola.
Listen to Caribbean Callaloo with Gordon “Gee” Weekes and his co-hosts Raphael McKenzie and Pete Douglas every Saturday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on CJLO 1690 AM.