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Our By David Hinds

A narrative of political Independence: contradictions

FIFTY years after Guyana gained its independence from Britain, the country has changed in many ways—some for the better and some for the worse. Those who make the argument that there is a lot to celebrate are being somewhat generous while those who say we have nothing to celebrate are being a bit harsh. Yet it is understandable that our responses would reflect the two extremes. In a sense we have

become a nation that generally thinks in binaries—if they say we have achieved nothing we respond in opposite terms. The “them versus us” is one of the negative tendencies we inherited from the colonial praxis and took to scandalous levels these last 50 years. I have said before that if we must celebrate it must be the people’s contributions, especially the working peoples whose tenacity has ensured that we survived the harshness of the last five decades. We must also celebrate the products of our collective creative imagination—our popular culture which tells our stories and defend our humanity against injustice. It is our cultural workers and warriors and our sports men and women and our intellectual workers who we must also celebrate. It is within our politics that there has been our greatest independence disappointments. For me, our Independence journey at the political level has been

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

an experience of contradictions, which is exactly why in order to celebrate we have to isolate the things we want to feel good about. If we dare to look at the totality of our politics, particularly our governance, the picture is not a beautiful one. While, for purposes of discussion we are focusing on the last fifty years we have to remind ourselves that independence is an ongoing process which begun the very moment we were colonized centuries ago. In effect, May 1966 was really a realisation of an independence deferred because the independence of 1838 or Emancipation was quickly smothered by a new form of subjugation that would keep us bonded for another thirteen decades. I prefer to think of the last fifty years as a period of transition from external domination, and transitions by their very nature embody both the old and the new. We brought into our independence the authoritarian state of the colonial order and sadly we have done precious little to modify it since 1966. It remains the biggest obstacle to actualising the promise of freedom that was inherent in our Independence Covenant. Characterised by its institutional coercive instruments, the authoritarian state has been the source of our persistent political and social instability these fifty years. Crucially it has been used as a tool of ethnic, social-class and political-party domination. Freedom has not been a priority of our governance praxis. We have not transitioned away from the colonial state apparatus and the culture of force and domination inherent in it. The prevalence of state sponsored political violence and harassment of citizens in the name of law and order are still very much with us. And it’s not just the politicians who are guilty--some of the most vocal support of the naked force that is being used against the vendors comes from non-political citizens. There is a nauseating sub-culture of justification of state violence against our fellow citizens, especially against the poor. The authoritarian state has stood in the way of ethnic solidarity largely because our ethic-based governments have used the state against their opponents who invariably come from the opposite group. Ethnic memories are long and studies have shown that revenge is very much part of ethnic defence. We have not transitioned away Turn to page VII ►


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Guyana the free

By Tota C. Mangar MAY 26, 2016 marks our Golden Jubilee or 50 years of Independence Anniversary. It was on this very historic day in 1966 that a new nation, Guyana, the only English speaking colony on the South American continent, achieved national sovereignty to become the 24th member of the then British Commonwealth of Nations, thus bringing to an end to over one hundred and fifty years of British colonial administrative rule. Guyana’s road to political independence was indeed turbulent and painful. It was a road which was unfortunately characterized by distress, disgust, and controversy. Arising out of the 1965 Independence Conference in London, a decision was made to eventually grant political independence to the colony of British Guiana. Subsequently, the British Guiana Act 1928 was repealed and was replaced by the Guyana Independence Act which was passed on May 12,1966 Section 1 of this Act provided that after May 26,1966 the British Government was to have no responsibility for the government of the colony of British Guiana and thereafter was to be called ‘Guyana’. Full power was conferred on the Legislature of Guyana to make laws. At that witching hour of midnight thousands of Guyanese of all walks of life stood proudly and cheered lustily as the Union Jack was lowered and the Nation Flag, The Golden Arrowhead, was hoisted on the flagpole against the stirring gun salute to herald the birth of the new and independent nation, Guyana. Among those dignitaries who witnessed this unique ceremony were the Duke and Duchess of Kent as representatives of the Queen, Former Conservative Colonial Secre-

…reflections on eventual independence tary of State, Mr. Duncan Sandys and Colonial Secretary Mr. Anthony Greenwood. A total of 62 delegates from 47 countries worldwide were also in attendance. Of added significance and to the tumultuous applause of the thousands of Guyanese who thronged National Park, was that statesmanlike, symbolic and nationally reassuring embrace, the comforting ‘bear hug’ embrace between the two principal architects of Guyana’s independence struggle, Prime Minister, Linden Forbes Samson Burnham and Opposition Leader Dr. Cheddi Jagan minutes before attainment of nationhood. Their embrace held forth the promise of a bright, prosperous and unified Nation which unfortunately has proven to be elusive over the years. At the State opening of Guyana’s Parliament on the morning of May 26, 1966 the Duke of Kent delivered the Queen’s message which in part expressed a special welcome into the Commonwealth of Nations and with the hope that Guyana would become an outstanding member of that august body, surpassing those countries which had been independent for years. The Constitutional instruments were ceremoniously handed over to Prime Minister Burnham by the Duke of Kent. Prime Minister, Forbes Burnham, in his nationwide broadcast stated: For all of us, Guyanese, May, 26, 1966 is historic day-a day which will give inspiration to our poets, artists and historians. A day to be emblazoned on the pages of history. He went on “our Journey to independence and National Liberation has ended. We face however, the harsher but more emotionally satisfying and definitely more self-re-

specting task of building a free and just society. In Georgetown the British Volunteer Force give a farewell parade and ‘ laying up of the colours’.By midmorning there was the official ceremony for the unveiling of the Independence Arch on Brickdam. Another highlight was the water pageant on the Demerara River. There were also float parades and Pageantries throughout Tota C. Mangar the country. As part of the independence ceremonials we also saw the emergence of our new Coat of Arms, our National Anthem, our National Pledge, our new Constitution and other important developments which symbolize our Nationhood. Addressing the National Assembly on 14th January 2016, His Excellency President David Arthur Granger declared: “We the Guyanese people, this year celebrate the independence we gained 50 years ago on May 26, 1966. We were inspired then by our national motto One People, One Nation, One Destiny ` We are encouraged now by our efforts to make that motto a reality. We renew our pledge to make our homeland a place of unity, security and prosperity.”

Prime Minister LFS Burnham’s Speech in Parliament

...on the Presentation of The Instruments of Independence (From Colonial Rule 26th May, 1966) “YOUR ROYAL Highness, Mr. Speaker: May I, on behalf of the Parliament of Independent Guyana, and the people of this new nation, express gratitude first of all for your Royal Highness undertaking the duty – we hope with pleasure, of representing her Gracious Majesty, the Queen of Guyana on the opening of this first and significant session of the National Assembly of Guyana. Today is historic, primarily because we are indulging in an exercise which is the first of its kind by the Parliament of Guyana. We have come to the end of the road of Colonial Rule and not without significance, to our minds, is the fact that her Gracious Majesty, Queen of the United Kingdom, is Queen of Guyana. Our associations with the Crown, our membership to the Commonwealth, are matte s of free and untrammelled choice by the representatives of the people of Guyana. After some 150 years of British Rule and in some cases, misrule, we are now independent, but we harbour no bitterness. Bitterness we feel is for children and the intellectually underdeveloped. It is difficult, nay- impossible, to change the facts of past history and, in the circumstances, though we welcome with enthusiasm our new status, we are prepared not to spend the time ahead of us abusing those who once dictated to us, but rather to, seek means of

cooperation with them – to our mutual advantage, or should we say self-interest? I desire, on this occasion to request you, Your Royal Highness to convey to her Gracious Majesty, the Queen, the kind feelings we hold towards her as Head of the Commonwealth, and a person whom we have met, seen and admired, and in some cases loved. I shall ask your Royal Highness to convey to her Majesty, the Queen of Guyana, the loyalty of the people of the independent nation of Guyana, who are happy to have her as their Queen. The days ahead are going to be difficult and, in the circumstances, we are heartened and encouraged by Her Majesty’s kind wishes, and also by the asseverations of friendship and willingness to assist coming from other Governments in the Commonwealth, more particularly in the present circumstances, from the Government of the United Kingdom. Tomorrow, no doubt, we as Guyanese will indulge in our usual political conflicts and ideological differences, but today, to my mind, is above such relatively petty matters, for today Guyana is history. Today we say goodbye to the British as masters, and we shake hands with them as friends and colleagues. It is difficult to say more, a descendant of those who were brought here against their will, one who has known the embar-

rassment of being a Colonial subject, I am moved and all I can say now is “Thank You Sincerely, your Royal Highness, and please be good enough to convey to the Queen our thanks, our gratitude and our

undertaking to make Guyana an outstanding member of the Commonwealth – we hope surpassing those who have been independent members for years before us. Thank you.”


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Malteenoes Sports Club (MSC) Founded 1902

‘Fifty Years of Sustained Progress’ 1966-2016 By Dr. Linden Dodson

FROM the inception the Oxford and Cambridge blue facility (colours of the club) provided a forum for the development of sports, intellectual debate and discourse that did not offend the political directorate nor plunder the resources of the country. Particularly in the post-independence years (1966 – 2016) Malteenoes Sports Club (MSC) prospered in a political climate of strikes and strife, in an age where the difference between wrong and right was blurred and illicit drugs became common place, within the general sporting arena. Nevertheless from Rudolph Harper to Winston Semple the MSC Presidents stuck to the ideals of fair play, sportsmanship and high integrity, as they presided over the most progressive period in MSC history. 1. Rudolph Harper: Despite the dilapidated building and faltering attendance, Harper and his executives preserved

performance and achievement. who call themselves the "Friends of Malteenoes," This group was very instrumental in making the centenary celebrations of the club a success and they continue to assist the club in many of its ventures. 3. Edward Richmond: (2002-2007) built on the progress

4. Lance Hinds: (2007-2013) invested in re-introducing the table tennis aspect of the club while expanding the membership. 5. Neil Barry: (2013-2016) in his tenure effectively rehabilitated the entire building and the grounds, giving it the modern new look it has today. He also, encouraged the social aspect and re-vitalized cricket, especially the youth programmes which had faltered over the years. He maintained the focus and expectations evident in the motives of the 1983 Executive Committee. 6. Winston Semple: (2016) like Neil Barry came through the ranks at MSC and represents the quintessence of what MSC has stood for over the years. A dedicated, disciplined cricketer with a positive mental attitude to work and play. It is now for Semple to take the club deep into the 21st century. There is still work to be done on the ground, the fence and above all to make the club into a viable commercial entity.

the Case Cup and Northcote Cup Teams; the club was never relegated, the proud, committed die-hards gave of themselves to sustain a heritage of self- expression. We won big games against top teams, then lost to lesser adversaries and many times did not play because of the state of our ground. President Harper’s tenure ended in 1983. 2. Claude Raphael: (1983 to 2002) and his executives invested in developing the youths along with the social and physical infrastructure of MSC. They built on the never-saydie culture of the past by fostering an atmosphere of hope and change while reaching for the winner in every member. Enrollment increased and much-needed work was done on the building and the grounds with discipline being the order of the day. MSC started winning consistently. The MSC Cricket Academy was launched in 1993 to create a farm school for young talent. A record seven (7) MSC youth cricketers represented Guyana in its 1987 Under 19 Team and MSC played the entire decade of the 1990’s without losing a first division game. Claude Raphael also created the link with members who migrated to the United States,

made by Raphael, expanding club membership by maintaining order and discipline and renewing the emphasis on physical fitness and morality as the vehicle for improved

Both Neil Barry and Winston Semple joined MSC as youths (Under 15) players and each rose to the esteemed office of President, thereby justifying the vision and wisdom of the 1983 Executive, in the club's motto: OUR YOUTH OUR FUTURE


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Guyana

Years

of Independence

our Golden Jubilee

Dr. Walter Rodney Cricketing stalwarts for Guyana/West Indies Joe Soloman, Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Basil Butcher, Clive Lloyd, Roy Fredericks, Steven Comacho, Alvin Kallicharran, Colin Croft and of course Carl Hooper, The evergreen Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and the all rounder Roger Harper, Stars of the historic 2016 World Champion Under-19 WI team led by the Captain Shemron Hetymer, Kemo Paul and Tevin Imlach plus Shemaine Campbell and Tremayne Smartt of the WI WOMEN 2016 T20 champion in India. Michael Parris, the boxer, who in 1980 won Guyana’s first and only Olympic medal in history, James Wren-Gilkes who in 1976, due to a widespread boycott, was denied Olympic Sprinting glory. The Rupununi Uprising in January 1969 when five (5) Police Officers died in defence of our country. The 1976 Cubana-Air Disaster when 11 Guyanese

FOR 50 years now Guyana has been on the world stage as an independent nation. 50 years of freedom after many years of struggle against foreign domination. Now proud and happy Guyanese at home and abroad can celebrate our golden jubilee. We can all be proud of all the heroes throughout our entire history. From Damon, Quamina and many others, like the very famous Cuffy, Enmore Estate Sugar workers like Pooran, Harri, Kissoon, Surijballi and Lalabajee, Leaders like Governor-General Sir David Rose and Arthur Chung, 1st President of the country, World renowned leaders like LFS Burnham and the foremost of the Jagans, the senior Dr. Cheddi Universally acclaimed historian, Political Activist

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passengers were among the unfortunate 73, The 1978 Jonestown massacre where mass suicides by US citizens give Guyana unwanted infamy. The wanton and merciless killings that have plagued our country since its inception in 2003, The disastrous flood in Guyana in 2005 which affected Regions 3, 4 and 5 mostly. Now as we look forward to the next 50 years to successfully complete a fully century, Let us all make a firm commitment to enhance the image and well being of our beloved country.


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Our Independence... from the deadly politics of ethnicity, primarily because the inflated egos of our political leaders are boundless. Politicians did not create the ethnic problem as some would have us believe, but they have mercilessly exploited it. Having said that, it must be acknowledged that in the midst of ethnic despair there were moments of light. The multi-ethnic resistance of the 1970s and 1980s in opposition to the authoritarianism of that time and the joint electoral revolts of 2011 and 2015 were instances of hope. There was also instances of hope occasioned by the social reforms aimed at lifting up the poor which were enacted by the early PNC government or what is often referred to as the shining moment of Forbes Burnham. It was a moment when independence opened up opportunities for the sons and the daughters of the poor to become socially mobile; some of us are living examples of the positive effects of those reforms. To deny that is to be uncharitable. But to deny the simultaneous dissent into authoritarianism is to be dishonest. It is that complexity, that dilemma in our independence experience

that we must grapple with and try to unravel. Desmond Hoyte would preside over a slackening of the authoritarianism and the society witnessed a tide of hope for a more democratic state and society—a move away from the harshness of power. But that was accompanied by a movement away from the social reforms of

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the early Burnham years. The rise of the new oligarchs with bloated wealth has its origins in the Hoyte era and the poor have never recovered from it. The contradictions of our independence are too glaring to ignore. The PPP era was meant to complete the transition away from authoritarianism started by Hoyte, but in the PPP two

decades the authoritarian sate was resuscitated and given new life. The one-time victims of state violence became the new overseers of that very violence. And the guardians of socialism presided over the most capitalistic expansion of our independence journey. What was worse is that they became capitalists also—the mother of all of our contradictions. Our task moving forward is to work out those contra-

dictions but we have to first acknowledge them. If we can summon the courage to confront their origins then perhaps we can turn the corner and begin to define our independence in freedom terms. More of Dr. Hinds ‘writ-

ings and commentaries can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com. Send comments to dhinds6106@ aol.com


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Independence opened doors for Lindeners

By Vanessa Braithwaite

A FORMER mayor and educator of Linden says Independence opened many doors for Lindeners. “We are free! We are independent!” were the words echoed by the 23-year-old Gloria Britton on the 26th of May 1966 as she listened to the radio broadcast of the National Flag being hoisted on Camp Ayangana. An iconic woman, holding the title of Mayor, Regional Education Officer, District Education Officer, Head Teacher and Guidance Counselor, remembers the day Guyana became an independent nation and anxiously awaited the benefits that would come to the nation, but most importantly her home town, Linden from such a significant event. She is strong on the belief that those changes contributed to her serving her town in the many capacities as those opportunities could not have been garnered during the pre-independence era by local residents of Linden as the town was manned by the then bauxite company Demba. The feeling of joy she said, permeated the town on Independence Day and the days that followed as the locals previously had to toe the line behind the white expatriates. “We are free, we are independent now, decisions are made in our favour and we don’t have to feel like second class citizens,” posited Britton in a tone of satisfaction. She revealed how the locals were not welcomed in certain communities such as Richmond Hill, Watooka and Fairs Rust and could only visit with an authorized permit. Locals who made it their duty to qualify themselves by studying abroad were not promoted to certain positions within the company, hence their development was stagnated. This demotivated many on returning after studying abroad according to Britton. “All of the bauxite managers were Canadians from the company Alcan and the locals had restrictions and could not go into certain communities. They were out of bounds for us and so it was unfair because you born here, you live here and you can’t go to certain places,” she said. After Independence, these negativities changed as there was not only the opportunity to access these communities but to own a home in them. She boasted of being a beneficiary of this as her husband who studied overseas returned home and bought a property in the community of Fairs Rust. In addition to that, locals now were given managerial positions in the company and many other benefits were derived. Miss Britton said that Independence brought a sense of patriotism to her that did not only last for the day but throughout her life course as she was more intrigued to serve her country and Linden. She reminisced on walking besides President Linden Forbs Sampson Burnham on many occasions. President Burnham was known for his

love for Linden and visited the community on numerous occasions and she being groomed in the political arena, she became his friend. She was very confident in the President for taking the nation through the transition period of which he did not disappoint. “It was something awesome for a 23-year-old like me to see him and all the locals handle the responsibilities of the nation by themselves. Burnham had a serious vision as well as Jagan and they had an influence on young people like me and it meant a great deal for all of us so it was a sense of awe that encouraged me to stay right here,” affirmed the former mayor. The transitioning period was very easy for her as systems were put in place to have persons trained in the various fields. She benefited in the training of education and politics which allowed the education standard to rise higher even after Independence. “It was all about nation building and patriotism… the grass was green right here and we stayed and fertilized it and make it greener and even influenced people to come right here,” Britton said. Britton used those new opportunities to pursue a degree in Guidance Counselling and to make her way up the ladder serving as an educator in various capacities. She then shifted her career and became a deputy mayor of Linden in 1989 and served for three years. This she said was a superb experience as she was able to serve her community in a greater way. “It felt really good serving as mayor because some way or the other I didn’t want to leave Linden and this gave me the opportunity not just to teach and counsel but to serve through the civic aspect and being born here in 1943, it could not have been greater for me.” She along with Mayor Gabby Haynes worked as a team in raising the standard of Linden and she is of the opinion that they were successful in doing so. Now 73-years-old, Gloria Britton is ecstatic to be alive to celebrate Guyana’s golden jubilee. She remembered attending the first flag-raising ceremony in Linden but what brought tears to her eyes was sitting at home listening to the hoisting of the Golden Arrow Head for the first time and listening to the melodious voices of the choir singing the national anthem. “That brought goose pimples to many people. It was really indescribable. It was this sense of anticipation when Guyana’s flag was hoisted and there were these serious patriotic songs being played and it was a great feeling to experience the exchange of what was and what use to be,” she recalled. Come Thursday, May 26, 2016 Gloria Britton will be enjoying the 50th Independence celebrations in high spirits and style focusing on the nation’s achievements. “There is no room for negatives.” Gloria pronounced.

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Presentation by Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan – Architect of Guyana’s Independence on The Occasion of the Presentation of the Instruments of Independence (From Colonial Rule)

“YOUR Royal Highness, Mr. Speaker, the severing of the British Colonial tie in Guyana, and the attainment of political independence are welcome features of the struggle of this country and its people for a better life. These features in today’s context do not, however, guarantee the realisation of the better life we all seek. They merely represent a further stage – advancement of the continuing struggle. I wish to thank their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, as representatives of Her Majesty the Queen for their presence in the house to hand over the new Constitutional Instrument. But lest our position at this historic ceremony be misunderstood, it is necessary for me to observe that the people whom my party represents hold considerable reservations. The form of the Constitution being handed down at this time is one which perpetuates division in our society and entrenches minority rule. The Constitution has failed to lay the foundation for national unity. The fundamental right, which the Constitution seeks to safeguard, is in a great measure, nonexistent and the Government has provided evidence in great abundance of its intentions to render all safeguards nugatory. Detention without trial has plagued our country since July 1964 when by a Constitutional Amendment, the United Kingdom Government gave to the Governor, acting without advice, power to detain without trial. The power was made to appear by the world press and the radio, to have been exercised by the Government of which I was the head. The [powers were in fact arbitrarily exercised by the Governor to the detriment of the members and supporters of the PPP. Abuse of these powers were now transferred to the Government, and the extension of such state of emergency beyond the date of the attainment of independence have gathered fear in our land, and have frustrated the efforts of our people and their struggle for peace and security. The people whom my Party represents are denied any participation in the gov-

ernmental process. Besides, political independence has been attained under the continuation of the consolidation of foreign economic control and the maintenance of a colonial type of economy based on primary production and extraction. Debt burdens are already increasing with the resulting pressure on the economy. The annual recurring budgetary deficits will inevitably mean dependence on other governments for budgetary support. In these circumstances there is no prospect for real independence in external affairs, and the protestations of the Government of pursuing a neutral policy are illusory. The PPP has been the victims of repeated constitutional manipulation designed to keep it out of office. We are nonetheless confident that, despite these manipulations, the PPP can be triumphant in future elections if these are fairly held. Parliamentary democracy as an important place in this country and a heavy onus lies on all of us, but more particularly in the Government to see how it works. The PPP, the vanguard for Guyana’s struggle for natina berate, is convinced that liberation is achieved only when it has been struggled for and won. It cannot be a gift of charity. For the people real freedom is still a prize to be won – and win it we will, as a reunited free people.”


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Independence Carnival in Linden THERE ARE many things that have their origins in Linden, but one that significantly stands out is the origin of Mashramani in the year 1970. This however, was not the first celebration of a similar nature as Mashramani adopted its roots from the independence carnival celebration that was held in 1966 in Mackenzie in recognition of our nation gaining its independence. This carnival was organized by a social group, the Jaycees, and saw support from countrymen who travelled up the Demerara River in canoes, steamers and ferries to be a part of this historic celebration. As history has it, Mackenzie was at its brightest. Arvida Road now known as Republic Avenue was packed to capacity as persons endured the pushing and shoving to get a glimpse of the revelers and the floats. It was indeed a carnival to remember and every other Mashramani celebration has followed this pattern. After becoming a signature event every Independence day, the Jaycees formed an official committee called the Jaycees Republic Celebrations Committee with renowned cricketer Basil Butcher as Chairman. Other members of the committee included: Wordsworth McAndrew, Arthur Seymour, Adrian Thompson, Jim Blackman, Burton Gilbert, William Harris, Raymond Haynes, Victor Smith,

Nick Adams, Chubby Hoe, Eileen Bowen, Rannie Anthony, Bobby Alstom and Claude Small. Burton Gilbert was responsible for all dances while Raymond Haynes was responsible for Shanto Preliminaries and Finals. After Guyana became a Republica, the Jaycees decided to rename the celebrations and Butcher recommended that it be given an Amerindian name given the indigenous (first) nature of the celebrations. The committee contacted a popular Amerindian resident in Mackenzie, Mr. Allan Fiedtkou, who held discussions with his

grandfather who explained a type of Festival that was held by Amerindians whenever they gathered to celebrate a special event. This event he said was like “Muster Many” (or Mashirimehi in Amerindian) and sounded in Arawak like Mashramani. Jaycees Independent Carnival was then renamed Mashramani with its first parade being held on the 23rd February, 1970 in Mackenzie Linden. This too was deemed a huge success as thousands of persons swarmed the mining town to be a part of the gyrating, celebrating, drinking, eating and imbibing.

Many of those celebrating, even from as far as Kwakwani, Ituni and Everton took the trail to Mackenzie, taking the celebrations by storm. The completion of the Linden Highway in December 1968 opened the gateways for Georgetowners to travel up to Linden to bachannal. It was a colourful bonanza with over 1000 revelers following the many

floats. Lindeners indeed brought the word alive and celebrated after a hard year for most of them, working in the bauxite company. The bacchanal was like Trinidad’s, with minor changes to calypso which was “Shanto” and “fore-day” morning instead of J’ouvert. The parade ended at the newly constructed Turn to page XV ►


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Roy Geddes Steel Pan Museum By Rabindra Rooplall IT ALL BEGAN in 1953 while Roy Geddes was still in his early teens, growing up in a single-parent home at Leopold and Lombard Streets, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown. Around that time he was bombarded with steel pan music since the Chicago and the Casablanca Steel Bands were in proximity to his home. He played in both bands for about four years and also was a vibrant force in the Tripoli and Invaders Steel Orchestras during his teenaged years. Born on September 3, 1939 his popularity grew with time as his natural skills and talents were noticed by the music elite as well as persons in the cultural and entertain-

...an iconic destination

ucate on the values of the art form, the Roy Geddes Steel Pan Museum was established 14 years ago and to date is the only such institution locally. He was even called on by the then Culture Ministry to help them establish a National Steel Band to perform during the Carifesta X celebrations. He selected five tuners along with himself to make this a reality since the art form needed careful and concentrated work of the highest quality. He highlighted that his greatest desire

Roy Geddes waiting at the entrance of his home to greet visitors who were curious to learn more about the steel pan museum

Tourist visiting Guyana from England having a meal at the museum

ment fields. Soon after, he branched off with the National Steel Band of Guyana and was selected along with several others to form the National Steel Orchestra in 1962. That year brought pleasant tidings and the orchestra was selected to play for the independence celebrations in Trinidad. The following year their musical versatility took them to Cuba where they toured, bringing ‘tropical steel pan pleasure’ to hundreds of thousands. Those were the years of fame and Roy reminisced on when he was asked to sign autographs and pose for photos. In 1964 he teamed up with Guyanese Freddie Massay (leader of the then Mediators Steel Band) and formed the Silvertones Steel Orchestra. There was high competition in Guyana back then but it was the Silvertones Steel Orchestra that was selected to play for Queen Elizabeth II who was visiting Guyana at that time. They were the champions in this field for about a decade and also won two Guyana Music Festivals during their reign.

They did not stop there but moved on to raise funds for the University of Guyana in the 1970s, also playing for many charity events and raising funds for churches and schools. Their many concerts in the rural areas can be remembered as events that offered much entertainment for those residing in the rural districts. So in the early 1970s, he established the Roy Geddes Pan School situated in his community to impart musical expertise and a trade to single parent youths and others in the society. He had his sights set on playing a more instrumental and personal role in the improvement of pan music, which he also saw as a vehicle to transform the lives of many people. In 1971, Roy was the recipient of the Medal of Service award and the Golden Arrow of Achievement in 1996 for his sterling contributions and excellence as tuner, leader, player and social worker among the youths with whom he was associated. Geddes reflected that his talent and wellearned popularity paid off in 1984 when he was selected to travel to Tanzania and con-

signed to make steel pans for the Tanzanian National Service. He related that his affiliation with the Silvertones Steel Orchestra taught him discipline, patriotism, and a sense of responsibility, while gave him an opportunity to better his life. Taking pride in overcoming all adversaries and focusing on his strength and momentum, the talented Geddes who will be celebrating with all Guyanese in the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016 showered praises on his wife, Pamela Geddes, who in August will be celebrating 50 years of marriage with the Guyanese icon. In 2004 the Pan Podium paid him homage and featured him, while in 2005 he was featured in the magazine ‘Celebrating African Achievements.’ GEM Magazine also featured his successes in 2005. In an effort to preserve and further ed-

Roy and his wife Pamela Geddes whom he showers with praise for supporting and maintaining the museum

is to see that there is respectability and commercialisation of pan music. While there is dissatisfaction with many aspects of what currently exists, Roy views himself Turn to page XVI ►

Students who visited the Roy Geddes museum take time out to take a picture with the living legend


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The Golden Arrowhead At the stroke of midnight on May 25, 1966, Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead was hoisted as the British Union Jack was lowered – a symbol of nationhood. Designed by American vexillologist Whitney Smith, Guyana’s National Flag has five symbolic colours: green, white, gold, black and red. Green is a representation of the country’s massive forest cover ranging from the dry evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests, not forgetting it’s rich agricultural prospects. White symbolises the rivers and water potential of the country, the golden arrow is an emblem of Guyana’s mineral wealth and black portrays the endurance that will sustain the forward thrust of the Guyanese people. Red, on the other hand, stands to remind Guyanese of the zeal and sacrificial nature of nation-building. However, Smith’s original design of the flag was primarily red with a green hoist triangle and a stylised yellow arrowhead. Guyanese reversed the green and red and added a black fimbriation (narrow border) to the triangle and one of white to the arrowhead to make it their own.

Coat of Arms The National Coat of Arms is another symbol that is exceptional in Guyana’s history dating back to February, 1966 when it was accepted into the House of Assembly. It was Alvin Bowman, Stanley Greaves and L.R. Borrows who had created the masterpiece. It is constructed with a white shield bordered on the sides by jaguars, an Amerindian Headdress at the top, and the country’s motto inscribed on a red and gold ribbon at the bottom The Amerindian Headdress also known as the “Cacique’s Crown” is a representation of the contributions made by the Indigenous People who were the first to inhabit this dear land. The diamonds affixed on the two sides of the Head-Dress represent the country’s mining industry. The third is a monarchial emblem – the Helmet – which serves as a reminder that Guyana was a colony ruled by a Queen. The two jaguars – one holding a pick-axe and the other a stalk of the rice and sugar cane represent the two major agricultural crops – sugar and rice – and the labour of the Guyanese people. The white shield, which is decorated with the National Flower – the Victoria Regia Lily, – is a representation of the country’s defense while the three blue wavy lines represent the many waters of Guyana. The Canje Pheasant, the National Bird, at the bottom of the shield represents a rare bird found principally in this part of the world and also the rich fauna of Guyana. Last, but not least, is the national motto on the ribbon, “ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION, ONE DESTINY”, a slogan meant to represent the unity of the various races and regions of the country.


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The National Bird

t n a s a e h P e j n a C e h T In Guyana it is commonly known as the Canje Pheasant but its scientific name is Opisthocomus Hoatzin which means “pheasant with a crest down its back.” Measuring 22 inches long from beak to tail during its adult life, the Canje Pheasant is a rare bird that is found in the southern parts of world. In Guyana, is a common feature at the Abary, Mahaica and Mahaicony Rivers, on the Canje area and the Berbice Rivers

The National Flower The Victoria Regia

The Victoria Regia, a water lily, was discovered by Robert Schomburgk, a German Botanist in 1837, while leading an expedition into the interior of what was then British Guiana. In its native habitat of tropical America, the plant is perennial. It grows in 4 to 6 feet of water, the base of the stems being situated in soft mud. From each plant there are seldom more than 4 or 5 leaves. The largest flowers can measure 10 inches to one foot in diameter. When first open, they are white with a sweet smell rather like a ripe fruit; by the second day they are fully expanded and a deeper pink; by the third day, they start to wither.

National Animal: Jaguar The Felis pantera whose common name is the Jaguar is the National Animal of Guyana. Its habitat ranges from the coastland of French Guiana all the way to Central America and the south of South America. The Jaguar feeds on animals sometimes as large as its own body; birds are also a supplementary part of its diet. Jaguars have been known to hunt in trees. This animal only kills as a form of defense and to acquire its meals and have seldom had direct encounters with humans, instead they can be quite shy towards them.

The National Motto Our National Motto: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny” was authored by one of Guyana’s former Deputy Prime Minister Brindley Benn – the father of the former Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn.

displaying an array of colours. Its colour is reddish-brown streaked with green. The under parts are pale brown. The feathers on its shoulder and sides are edged with creamy-white. There is a crest of very long feathers on its head which gives the bird an almost majestic look. The Hoatzin has a very short and very thick beak, and the skin around the crimson eye is of a pale blue colour.


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‘Burnham’ wrist watch to be auctioned By Rabindra Rooplall

Fazeel Razac displays one of the limited edition Burnham memorabilia

ONE OF THREE limited edition wrist watches specially made with former Prime Minister Forbes Burnham portrait, along with his name inscribed inside are up for auction for Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary and Jubilee celebrations. In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle owner of the watches and present Swiss House Cambio Managing Director, Fazeel Razac said his uncle George Khan on May 14, 1966 gifted Forbes Burnham with the first specially made watch in observance of Guyana’s independent anniversary. According to Razac, the watches are all in working condition and were made by “SORNA” Watch Company of Switzerland. He said the watch is seventeen-Jewel waterproof masterpieces that

The 50 year old Burnham wristwatch memorabilia

has a built-in portrait of Forbes Burnham which has a manual setting. He said the watch was made 20 years after the first wrist watch was made, since only after the Second World War men started to wear wrist watches. He said the watches will be given to an agent who will auction them off to the highest bidder. Razac said a small batch of the watches was made by the Sorna watch company in dedication to the late Prime Minister on the occasion of Guyana’s Independence in 1966. “The glass had to be configured to carry the portrait and the numbers for the watch is on the glass instead of on the dial,” the businessman explained about the specially manufactured memorabilia. Razac said it may well be that it’s the only watch in the world specially made to commemorate the independence of a country.


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“Dear Mr. President”

MANY local singers have paid homage to Guyana’s 50th Independence celebration by producing songs, but overseas based Guyanese poet and author Leon Labastide, has decided that one does not need to pull a note to express one’s patriotism. His poem “Dear Mr. President” speaks volume on how President David Granger has brought hope to Guyana and how this hope has made this 50th jubilee celebration more significant to Guyanese. He was inspired on the widespread rejoicing of a new government and the change that was brought to his country. “ I wrote the piece in three days and I took it in a way of a woman’s perspective… relating the country as a woman and how she has been hurt and now we see hope and looking for someone to bring change… it’s about thanking the President for giving us hope again….. giving us joy and no more sorrow. Labastide is hoping to recite this poem so close to his heart at the flag raising ceremony on the 26th. Dear Mr. President is the latest piece of the many he has published over the years. In addition to being a poet and spoken word artist, this renowned writer has also published

three books; Breath of Life Poetry, Here Comes the Dreamers and the Journey and Transparency. These publications were completed within the span of five years as Leon’s passion for art is indeed spectacular. He has mesmerized hundreds of audiences during his career with his inspirational prose, insightful short stories, and authentic life experiences. Many have experienced his natural talent of storytelling at poetry events, church services, college campuses, motivational conferences, and book tours in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Curaçao and in his homeland Guyana. Last year Labastide launched his three books while on tour at the National Library in Georgetown and the Linden Library as a way of giving back to his homeland. He is anticipating the commencement of creative writing workshops with young Lindeners so that those who possess the talent to write can perfect their skills since he was motivated by his teachers in High School who prioritized on creative writing. “I started writing from the age of 15… just writing my thoughts down then I started to take classes to get my skills going, writing workshops, college courses and slowly I started writing po-

etry and my books came right after,” he shared. Though he migrated 23 years ago, Leon is passionate about giving back to his homeland in this way and is currently working on his fourth book which will exclusively focus on his roots. “The book is more of my roots dealing with a child being raised in Guyana… I’m excited to see where it goes,” he said. Currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, Labastide strives to spread words of wisdom to many nations around the world using this God-given talent (poetry) to motivate his emerging generations to speak out. He is currently the CEO of SpokenWordAndCoffee organization: The organization’s tagline is “It’s bigger than poetry, it’s bigger than you and me, it’s PoVetry.) PoVetry is the combination of poetry and poverty. “Poverty is what has been plaguing my generation for so many years, this catchy phrase has people asking questions like, how do we get involved…. PoVetry is a unique sound mix with a unique opportunity for young minded individuals to get involved and provoke the change we all wish to see.” Labastide has overcome several hurdles and challenges to attain his goal and advises the youths to don’t stop believing in yourself “One of the things I struggled with is people telling me no…. If you have a talent or gift that you want to pursue, don’t be afraid to do venture off and pursue it because I’ve done it, wrote three books working on my fourth, travelling the world and doing it and people said I couldn’t,” articulated Labastide.

Independence Carnival... Mackenzie Sports Club Ground where the floats and revelers were judged. Competition was indeed high as the participants gave it their all in bringing life to their floats. Evadne Gravesande won Mash Queen in an Egyptian costume and drove off in a brand new Morris Minor. Martha James travelled from Hope Town, Berbice with her family to be a part of the celebrations in 1970. She recalled the excitement as she approached the junction at Millie’s Hide Out. “We had heard of the celebrations in the village and I wanted to be a part of it

as I had just started working,” she said in the frail voice of a 75-year-old. “I remembered the colours, it was nuff nuff colours and the floats, oh man if you see them floats man,…. we had lots of fun it was a blast,” recalled Martha. The success of Mashramani reached the length and breath of Guyana making other towns anxious to host such a bacchanal. David Singh, a Government official held discussions with the Jaycees Committee about bringing the event to the capital city. This was approved by the then President Linden Forbes

Burnham of whom the town was named after. Burnham wrote: “I congratulate the community of Mackenzie, Wismar and Christianburg not only for having presented one of the most comprehensive programmes for the first anniversary celebrations but also for  having provided  the title for the celebrations – MASHRAMANI.” He contended that the name “Mashramani” was particularly appropriate since it was one of the words used by Guyana’s indigenous people, the Amerindians, in reference to the celebrations which follow a successful

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completion of a community or co-operative project or enterprise. Mashramani became a national event being held in Berbice. Today Mashramani is held in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Bartica and Buxton. Rather than being one-day, it is extended to an entire period accommodating a hive of events ranging from calypso, soca, costume, masquerade and float parade competitions. Linden continues to hold a float parade competition which is most times held the Sunday after Republic Day.


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Independence granny By Michel Outridge

THIS YOUNG lady will be celebrating her 74th birthday on May 26, 2016 which she describes as a milestone indeed and feels very good that it coincides with the 50th Jubilee of Independence celebrations. The Guyana Chronicle met Hulda Johnson at the Egbert Benjamin Exhibition and Conference Centre in Linden on Wednesday during a luncheon and she was upbeat about our anniversary observance. The mother of six currently resides at Blueberry Hill, Wismar and told this newspaper this is her golden years and she must relax having worked very hard almost all her life as a mother and grandmother. She said, “The feeling is good, you know I feel quite privileged to celebrate my birthday on Independence Day this year when it is such a massive event in the city at D’urban Park.” After her husband passed away two years ago, life is somewhat lonely for this centenarian since she lives alone but she works along with women her age at the local senior citizen community centre where they are engaged in craft, cooking and

sewing courses. She said about 35 women were a part of that women’s group and it was quite relaxing to be involved in such activities where her time is spent meaningfully. Johnson is mother of five grown men and one woman. She has eight grandchildren, who have all moved and reside on their own with their spouses and children. She however made it clear that her home was always open to her children, grand children and relatives. Having worked many years as a cook Johnson said she retired some years ago but got bored at home not doing much and she decided to open a snackette at her residence to be occupied. Johnson said “When you are accustomed to working it is not easy to just sit and do little or nothing but with age you get to enjoy the simplier things of life …like sitting by the window watching folks go and come.” She will be celebrating her birthday with a lunch where relatives and friends have been invited. Johnson told this newspaper she would like to visit Georgetown for May 26 but would make that decision later.

Roy Geddes Steel...

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as successful in bringing ments were first invented about enlightenment and in Trinidad and Tobago, in improving the knowledge the last century, but with base and putting Guyana Guyana’s investment it on the map in terms of can be taken to a higher highlighting expertise in level. this regard. “For the jubilee celeWith many visits from brations I would like all foreigners to his 190 Roxvisitors and Guyanese anne Burnham Gardens, living overseas to pay South Ruimveldt, Georgeme a visit, because it’s town home which houses the only steel pan muse“Roy Geddes Steel Pan um in the Caribbean with Museum”, the “Pan Man” authentic and historical has a beautiful array of facts. History is very imtropical trees and flower portant because a man plants which line the lush without a sense of history walkway to his home, is a man without eyes and workshop and which he ears,” Geddes told this converted to a walk in publication. “The musemuseum. um continues to play an A visitor to this “Pan educational role within the Man’s” paradise was Guyanese community, my accentuated with steel collections date back from pan souvenirs and other 1947.” assortments. In a walkAccording to one of through of Geddes home the many tourists who a vivid and colourful pic- A collection of trophies, awards and plaques along with classic music CD’s adorn a table within the Roy Geddes Museum visited the museum, “he’s torial display of Roy’s a player, a teacher and from raw material to the finished present those involved with steel of Steel Pans, the Pan Podium, successes adorns his walls creator of steel pans and and shelves with an abundance of product. There is also a wide array pan are very reluctant to go the ex- recognised his achievements in his home is a museum to share the reading materials, trophies, medals of trophies and medals to the music tra mile and would scarcely attend development of the music genre. history and passion of the music.” discipline in Guyana and abroad. practice sessions since there is little Roy Geddes is a true Guyanese Upon arrival at his home a beautiand souvenirs. He noted that while the steel discipline in the industry. icon in the steel pan music industry. ful array of flowering plants in full This collection speaks of GedHe is the recipient of two Na- For more than five decades, he has bloom plus a myriad of different des’ successes and contributions pan has advanced technologically, to the music discipline in Guyana the love is not there for the art tional Awards for his sterling dedicated his energies into develop- lights in all colors, and sounds of form, thus hampering its ultimate contributions in the field of steel ing the art form and tuning the steel crickets and frogs greet you. and abroad. pan music. In 2004 the official pan in Guyana. The steel pan museum also success. It is an amazing place that Mr. Geddes lamented that at magazine of the British Association He said the steel pan instru- should be shared with the world. displays the making of steel pans,


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Hew Locke

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Down memory lane with By Dominique Hunter ALTHOUGH Hew Locke left the shores of Guyana quite some time before becoming a practicing artist, he does have quite a few vivid childhood memories about the art scene here between the late 1960s and mid 1970s. Even in his youth he was very aware of the tight knit sense of community between the artists and writers. Locke was born the eldest son to two esteemed artists (Donald Locke and Leila Chaplin) and grew up among the pioneers of several art movements at the time. In fact his childhood home was often the informal center for discussions about art and art-related topics that piqued the interest of some of Guyana’s most outstanding visual artists. He remembers both of his parents making art at his childhood home just as distinctly as he remembers his father and Frank Bowling engaging in heated art debates in the same home. He remembers one evening especially when his father, John Agard, Marc Matthews, Ron Savory, Kamal Matthews and Wordsworth McAndrew were having discussions together. As a child he recalls visiting several exhibitions at the National Park location of the National Collection, and even going to Plaisance with his father to see Dudley Charles in his studio, where they viewed Charles’ “Old House” painting. Locke recalls Stanley Greaves working at the back of the Queen’s College art room on his seminal paintings “Peanut Seller” and “Old Time String Band, 1977.” He also recalls the Greaves being commissioned by the Guyana Bank for Trade & Industry (GBTI) on Water Street to paint and affix several large-scale paintings that would eventually be the mural on the interior dome of the building (all between 1973 and 1974). He spoke of painting trips that his mother and Judy Drayton (another prolific painter of the time) would take to various creeks across Guyana, one such being Red Water Creek. Whenever his mother was sketching buildings

around Georgetown, he recalled, she would often do so sitting in her car so she wouldn’t be bothered or have to answer questions from passers by. Locke also remembers his mother working on the mosaic for the floor of the swimming pool at Castellani House, for the then Prime Minister LFS Burnham. He would spend many nights over several months sleeping on site, keeping an eye on the temperatures of the kiln located next to the pool, all while revising for his exams.   Drawing upon his memory of that project Locke remarked, “Absurdly, the [then Prime Minister] wanted it to be made of entirely local materials including clay and glazes, even though these were not always really suitable, and caused endless stress and trouble and lots of wastage.”   Hew Locke was born in Edinburgh, UK in 1959 and lived in Georgetown, Guyana from 1966 to 1980. In 2000 he won the Paul Hamlyn Award and the East International Award. He has exhibited his work worldwide and is represented in many collections including the Government Art Collection; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Tate Gallery; the Arts Council of England; the National Trust; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Arnold Lehman collection; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; the RSID Museum, Rhode Island; the New Art Gallery Walsall; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Imperial War Museum; the British Museum; and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. He lives and works in London and is married to the curator Indra Khanna.

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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016 Sean Thomas

Although every Guyanese would have, at some point, used any combination of the one, five and ten dollar coins, very few persons could actually name the artists responsible for each design. The artwork on the face of the coins was designed in 1994 by three students from the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. Sean Thomas designed the artwork on the one dollar coin; Selwyn Cambridge the five dollar coin; and Ignatius Adams the ten dollar coin. The three coins were issued by the Bank of Guyana and put into circulation on May 26, 1996.

Selwyn Cambridge


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Art educators of the pre-independence era

By Dominique Hunter

DURING the pre-independence period there were several persons who would have laid the foundation for the development of art

and education in Guyana. They dedicated their lives to the service of others so that all could share the experience of individual and collective excellence. Four such persons (E.R. Burrowes, Marjorie Broodhagen, Edna Ca-

E.R. Burrowes (b. 1903 d. 1966)

Edward Rupert Burrowes was born in Barbados but arrived in Guyana as a young child. He would spend the rest of his life here and would later become known as the “Father of Art” in Guyana. In 1930 Burrowes participated in a group exhibition along with his contemporaries, including Guy Sharples, Hubert Moshett, Vivian Antrobus, Reggie Phang and Sam Cummings. The subsequent formation of the British Guiana Arts and Crafts Society (BGACS) in 1931 is thought to be a direct link to that exhibition. A few years after that in 1945, Burrowes, along with Hubert Moshett founded the Guiana Art Group. Burrowes also founded the Working Peoples’ Free Art Class (later changed to the Working People’s Art Class) in 1948 with the intention of giving ordinary working people an opportunity to develop their artistic talents. The following year he received a British Council scholarship to attend the Brighton College of Art where he specialized in block printing. After the completion of the programme he exhibited his work in the Royal Society of British Artists. The college offered him a scholarship for an additional year but Burrowes opted instead to return to his homeland. When he returned in 1950, he was appointed Art teacher at the Government Teachers’ Training College. In 1954 Burrowes was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire for ser-

dogan and Agnes Jones) recognised the need for strengthening both the art and education sectors. Further, they envisioned and, to a large extent, realised the potential that this combination could have for breaking through

barriers. Altogether they have changed the lives of countless Guyanese and through their own herculean efforts, reasserted the nation’s position within the regional art, education and culture discourse. These are their stories.

Marjorie Broodhagen (b. December 12, 1912 d. May 23, 2000) Marjorie Broodhagen was born on Carmichael Street, Georgetown but grew up in Vreed-en-hoop on the West Coast of Demerara. She was one of Guyana’s most outstanding women artists who trained in Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Her formal education began at the Sacred Heart RC School and continued at the St. Joseph’s Mercy Convent School where she learnt drawing and painting, and passed with distinction at the Junior and Senior Cambridge Examinations. Broodhagen was awarded a scholarship by the Sisters of Mercy to study Art at Columbia University Teachers’ College in the United States of America. She later graduated from the institution with a Diploma in Teaching, as well as a Diploma in Fine Art. She eventually returned to teach at the convent after completing those programmes and later moved over to the Bishops’ High School until her retirement in 1970. However, she was recalled two years into her retirement. Broodhagen then taught at the St. Stanislaus College until 1982 when she vices to art in British Guiana. Two years later in 1956 he spent some time teaching Art and Art History at Queen’s College. Dr. Denis Williams founded Guyana’s first art school in 1975 and named the institution after Burrowes, as a way of honouring his invaluable contributions to the development of art in Guyana.

Marjorie Broodhagen

retired for the second time. At some point she also taught for one year at the Carnegie Trade School. Broodhagen was trained in painting, drawing, textiles, calligraphy, advertising and ceramics. After mastering the technique of Chinese Continued on page XXI ►


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Art educators of the... Edna Cadogan (b. November 26, 1925 d. March 28, 2016) Edna Gwendoline Cado- years of service in Guygan’s early years of educa- ana, Cadogan worked as tion were spent at the St. both educator and adminisAngela’s Ursuline Con- trator. While employed at vent. She went on to fur- the Government Training ther her studies at the Gov- College, she held several ernment Training College offices including lecturer; of British Guiana where senior lecturer in-charge of she came under the train- the Art department; Deputy ing of art veteran Edward Principal; and finally PrinRupert Burrowes; the Institute of Education of the University of London (1957) where she pursued a one-year Associate Degree programme in Education with an emphasis on Art; and finally the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico (1968) where she received her Masters in Education. Edna Cadogan During her

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cipal, after the institution moved from their Battery Road, Kingston location and was renamed the Cyril Potter College of Education. She also held the post of Assistant Registrar at the University of Guyana. In 2003, Cadogan was presented an award for her 75 years of active service in the field of Education. In 2010, the Guyana Women Artists’ Association (GWAA) recognized her stellar contributions to the group with a Long Service Award, in the form of a wooden sculpture carved by local artist Winslow Craig. Cadogan has contributed to a number of exhibitions hosted by the Guiana Art Group, the Guyana Women Artists’ Association and has held exhibitions at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico between the years 1964 and 1965.

Agnes Jones (b. October 1, 1921 d. November 30, 2008)

XXI Agnes Rebecca Jones spent the formative years of her childhood at the St Marythe-Virgin Anglican School in Beterverwagting, East Coast, Demerara. After moving back to Georgetown she attended the Freeburg and St Philip’s Anglican Schools and eventually went on to study at the Bishop’s High School. Jones attended the Government Training College in 1941 where she was taught Art by the Barbadian artist Golde White and eventually graduated with a Class 1 Trained Teachers’

Agnes Jones

brushwork she went on to design illuminated addresses for distinguished visitors including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Sir Seretse Khama, Julius Nyerere, Yakubu Gowan and Indira Ghandi. She designed a number of postage stamps including the 18th Summer Olympics in 1964; the Girl Guides Golden Jubilee in 1974; Republic of Guyana stamps showing the head of a Wai Wai Chief; the Government Trust in 1974; and several stamps commemorating the End of the Decade of Wom-

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en. Broodhagen was also commissioned to paint a mural for the Bank of Guyana in 1967, which she titled “National Resources.” Although she was exhibiting her own artwork as early as the 1930s in various groups, she was responsible for spearheading the first set of exhibitions of women’s art in the 1960s. Broodhagen was later elected founding member of the Guyana Women Artists’ Association in 1987 and subsequently served the association for a number of years.


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THE LONGINGS OF A PEOPLE “Significantly, on 26 May 1966, on the attainment of independence, this area became known as the National Park. It was there that the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted and the Union Jack lowered – marking the birth of Guyana.”

By Margaret Burke THE JUBILEE seems to be bringing with it some fulfillment for the longing many people in Guyana have been displaying – longings for things entertaining, educational and informative for both the adults and the children. With some amount of excitement the search seem to be coming to an end – at least to some extent, with the simultaneous creation of parks and the newness of the gardens. Guyana is big, but yet small, since there is a relatively small amount of space available for socializing in the capital city and the extended communities around. While there have been a lot of changes – new buildings with new names and some amount of newness of activities, yet many things seem to just remain the same. Those who have their money go and be entertained; have a spendthrift and a ‘wonderful’ time. Possibly get drunk and behave bad – at times becoming a risk factor to others. JUBILEE STADIUM / DURBAN PARK AND OTHERS PARKS Our children deserve a lot better, as well as

‒ the Year of Jubilee may bring answers

Gardens in the capital city. The Durban Park, as well as the Presidential Park, when completed promises Guyanese much recreation and pleasure. Both are located within reach of the people within the city and its environs; and for those who may want to visit from the farther ranges of the country, these parks will still not require much effort or pose any difficulty to locate. In fact, except for the Promenade Gardens, which is located downtown – close to the north-western end of Georgetown, all the other parks, as well as the Botanical Gardens are within short walking distance from each other. Thus, some might find it very convenient to hop from park to park, then into the adults of this beautiful country. Therefore there is the urgent need to now get what we so much deserve at this point in time – the Durban Park, plus the Presidential Park and the spruced up Botanical and Promenade

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THE LONGINGS OF... the gardens, with much ease. It is said that Durban Park, is being guarded by Cuffy at the 1763 Monument to the front of the park; then stretching one’s imagination as to what goes on just nearby, right over the road, where the presidential secretariat is housed and serious decisions-making takes place. DAILY FAMILY FUN According to the information coming out into the public domain, Durban Park, along with all the national activities that it is being prepared to hold – flag raising ceremonies and other national events; it is also being constructed with the family in mind – the children, as well as the adults. Officials, speaking on plans for the park, stated that it will be opened all day and every day of the week to ensure that people are able to find a safe and inexpensive place of relaxation and enjoyment; to come together as family or friends for the purpose of sharing and giving, and having fun; to have sporting activities – personal or as a group; where schools may be able to take children for funday activities, as well as for learning exercises;

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and where many other individuals or groups may be able to go for good and healthy engagements. THE PRESIDENTIAL PARK The presidential park on the Merriman’s Mall may be completed for the Jubilee celebrations. This park is being designed to bring forth the president’s unity theme – symbolic with the mounting of the bust of the former heads of state, in addition to cultivating flowering, palms and other decorative plants, plus the creation of the scenic beauty of the fountain, facilities for children to play, seating accommodation for the young and not so young to relax, and even the mere situating of the park – while not creating the feeling of isolation, yet not having the feeling of being plunged into the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. BIRTH OF GUYANA NATIONAL PARK One must not be ‘new face’ and unthankful for what we enjoyed before and still enjoy, to some extent today. This would not have been the intention of those in high office, who are working towards the creating of even larger and more upgraded spaces. But the National Park will continue to hold a significant place in Guyana’s national space. The fact is that at one time this was the best we had, in terms of ‘friendly’ open space, with large seating accommodation and other necessary facilities. History tells us that since 1923 the National Turn to page XXIX ►


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THE LONGINGS OF... From page XXVIII

Park was originally occupied by the Demerara Golf Club and was eventually renamed Queen Elizabeth II National Park in 1965. Significantly, on 26 May 1966, on the attainment of independence, this area became known as the National Park. It was there that the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted and the Union Jack lowered – marking the birth of Guyana. Then, for many years the grand republic anniversary celebrations all culminated at this national park. Before this main event, there is usually a flurry of activities coming out of main event. This was after days and possibly weeks of celebration, which included the national calypso competition, children’s costume float parades and many more events. Another national event that is always associated with the national park is the May Day ‘workers’ parade. Here, as many men and some women meet, there are times of clashes of political, labour and other ideological ideas. And, at these events, other than hearing about a pay hike, many workers look forward for what seem to be a big gaff, spiced up with all sorts of flavors to make the people feel good and laugh. It is labour outing for many and they do enjoy it. Additionally, this national park, with its open spaces and greenery, forms a sort of natural accommodation – favoured for the sport enthusiasts, as well as those who want to continue to keep fit; the holding place

for cultural events, especially the main emancipation day activities; group activities; family reunions; other educational and recreational activities. A better place, such as the Jubilee Stadium is a welcomed experience. However, after all is said and done with this beautiful site and the others, which are much smaller, but also necessary, what next? The longings of people can never be truly fulfilled all together, but as times and seasons change, so will be there be the fulfillment and at least some satisfaction for many.

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Guyanese art giants in the diaspora ALTHOUGH there has always been a cycle of departure of talented artists from these shores, quite a number of them have established thriving art practices across the world. They’ve met and conquered their own sets of challenges, leaving the place they call home to readjust to an alien and sometimes-unwelcoming culture. But in

Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson (b.1964) grew up in Georgetown, Guyana. At the age of sixteen, Anderson was the youngest recorded student to apply and successfully gain entry to the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. A difference of opinion between the young student and his teachers would eventually lead to Anderson’s withdrawal from the school in his third year. He chose instead to pursue a more practical approach to art making in Guyana’s neighbouring Venezuela. Anderson spent thirteen years in Venezuela. In addition to exhibiting his works at Guyana’s National Gallery of Art, he has also participated in group exhibitions at the National

spite of it all, they have consistently dominated in their respective fields of work. More often than not, the root of their thematic concerns has, in some way, distinct ties to their homeland. Indeed, they have not forgotten their history. In fact, they have managed to maintain a relatively close-knit network with

other overseas-based Guyanese artists in an attempt to hold on to that “Guyanese spirit,” reinforcing the importance of community. This article focuses on three such “giants” and the remarkable works they’ve done overseas, all while representing their home country.

Museum of Modern Art, Cairo, Egypt; the National Press Club, Washington DC; the Foreign Press Association, London; Galerie du Nid D’Aigle, Belgium; OAS Museum, Washington DC; New Jersey Centre for the Arts; Omaggio alle Biennale di Malta, Italy; Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo; Dominican Republic National Art Gallery and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Maracay Mario Abreu, Venezuela, just to name a few. The majority of his works have been acquired by collectors from Venezuela, Italy and the United States of America including the Tempera Museum (Malta); Wionacourt Museum (Malta); Carol Querci (Italy); the Guyana Embassy (Venezuela); the Biblioteca Nacional de Venezuela (Venezuela); Mon Senor Salaveria (Venezuela); Andre Galletti (Venezuela);

Augusta Marcano (Venezuela); Claudio Perna (Venezuela); Michael Macy (USA); Marvin Wiseburg (USA); Jerry Andreatos (USA); Dino Andreatos (USA); William Hinds (USA); Kenrick Hunte (USA); Fernando Ochoa (Mexico); and Merl Jules (UK), to list a few. Over the years Anderson has received a number of awards for his outstanding paintings including the First Prize for Painting at the International Art Biennial (Malta, 2001); Diploma Di Merito at the International Grolla D’Ocro (Italy, 2000); Fifth Prize for Painting at the International Art Biennial (Malta, 1999); Second Prize for Painting at the International Grolla D’Ocro (Italy 1998); Special Distinction Award at the International Art Biennial (Malta, 1997); and Honourable Mention at the National Exhibition of Visual Arts (Guyana, 1980).

Mash to the beat, oil on canvas, by Carl Anderson

Mysterious Girl, oil on canvas by Carl Anderson

Dudley Charles

Kiddada and Shela, acrylic on canvas by Dudley Charles

Timehri 1970, acrylic on canvas by Dudley Charles

Dudley Charles (b.1945) grew up in Plaisance on the East Coast of Demerara, Guyana. Between the years 1965 and 1967 he attended Queen’s College art class, Guyana. He was later employed as the Display Curator at the then Arts Council in the Department of Culture. Charles has represented Guyana at a number of regional exhibitions including CARIFESTA (Georgetown, Guyana, 1972); CARIFESTA (Kingston, Jamaica, 1976); FESTAC 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts Culture (Lagos, Nigeria, 1977); Exhibition (Havana, Cuba, 1977); and the Festival of the Guianas (Suriname, 1985 and French Guiana, 1986). Further afield he has shown work in the Watermark/Cargo Gallery, New York (1990); Nagoya, Japan (1991); New Orleans Museum of Art (1995); Center for Fine Art, Miami (1995); Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC (1997); Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut (1997); Westnorth Studio, Baltimore, MD (2003); Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC (2004); and the October Gallery, Philadelphia (2004). His works are also housed in a number of collections worldwide including the then Arts Council of Guyana; University of Guyana; Guyana National Collection, Castellani House; Roots and Culture Art Gallery, Guyana; Inter Development Bank, Guyana; Republic Bank Guyana; Carlos Hudres Perez, Former President of Venezuela; Casa de las Americas, Cuba; Brian Stephenson Contemporary Arts Gallery, London; Stanley A. Moore LLM, London; Dingaan Stephenson LLM, London; and the Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee, Turn to page XXXII ► USA.


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Guyanese art giants... Charles was the recipient of several awards including an award from the Guyana Cultural Association New York in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Guyana’s cultural heritage (2005); a certificate of achievement in an art competition hosted by Winsor and Newton (New Jersey, 1995); and the National Award at the Guyana Visual Art Exhibition (1986, 1987 and 1988). Recalling his early art practice Charles remarked, “At first I wanted to be like the great painters. But then I realized that I’m not any one of these artists, and my surroundings don’t look like theirs. So right away I started to look at our “jumbie” stories, our myths and legends. I spoke with my grandparents about the Georgetown buildings and the architecture. And I imagined each building had a spirit or “bacoo” living there. Then I started to think, ‘How can I make this story come alive?’ That is how I started with the “Old House” series of about 20 to 30 pieces. Quite a few of them are in the National Collection and the rest are all over the world.”

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From page XXXI

Carl Hazlewood Carl E. Hazlewood is a Guyana-born visual artist, writer and independent curator whose creative output ranges from painting to photography and multimedia. He received his Masters from the Hunter College of the City University of New York and his Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honors) from the Pratt Institute in New York. He was also the recipient of two scholarships: one from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the other from the Brooklyn Museum Art School. Hazlewood is the co-founder of Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey. In addition to teaching at the New Jersey City University and a few other institutions, he has worked as the Associate Editor for Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, (Duke University) and written for other periodicals including the Flash Art International, ART PAPERS Magazine,

White Angel Rising Tied (variation 1), archival papers, acrylic, pushpins, map pins, wool by Carl Hazlewood

Pretty Angel, 2012 by Carl Hazlewood

and the NY Arts Magazine. Since 1984 he has organized numerous curatorial projects for Aljira including Modern Life, which he co-curated with Okwui Enwezor. In recognition of his outstanding works Hazlewood has received the Art Omi International Artists’ Residency award (New York, 2016); the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Fellowship (New York); the MacDowell Fellow (New Hampshire, 2015); the TransCanada Fellow (the MacDowell Colony); the Mrs Giles Whiting Foundation Award (the MacDowell Colony); the BRIC 2015 Visual Artists’ Residency (New York); the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant Nominee (2010); the Guyana Cultural Association of New York Award for Contribution to the Arts (2010); the Wheeler Foundation Grant (New York, 1997); Exhibition Grants at Artists Space (New York); the Edward Arthur Mellinger EduTurn to page XXXV ►


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Guyanese art giants...

From left: Dudley Charles, Carl Anderson and Carl Hazlewood

From page XXXII

cational Foundation Scholarship (Chicago, Illinois); the Max Beckmann International Award for Advanced Study (Brooklyn Museum, New York); the Anco-Wood Foundation Award (Pratt Institute, New York); the Rosalie Petrash Schmidt Memorial Award (Pratt Institute, New York); and the Human Rights Year Award, National History and Arts Council (Guyana), to list a few. Hazlewood’s artworks can be found in a number of collections in the US and South America including Guyana’s National Collection; Museu Brasileiro da Escultura (São Paulo, Brazil); the State Legislative Buildings (Albany, New York); the Schomburg Center Collections (New York); Borough of Manhattan Community College (New York); the Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (New Jersey); the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans (Louisiana); the Wilson Industries (Houston, Texas); and the Texas Medical Center (Houston, Texas) In an excerpt from his 2010 lecture “Nuanced Fragments from the Global Village,” presented to the Ninth Annual Symposium of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York Hazlewood remarked, “I was away from

Guyana before I was old enough or healthy enough to have the common experiences I hear about every time there is a gathering of Guyanese: parties, dancing, drinking. I’ve never climbed a coconut tree or picked a mango off a branch, or went swimming in a ‘punt trench.’ My childhood experiences were circumscribed and mainly focused on intellectual and artistic pursuits: books; whatever presentations the BBC broadcasted, like Lorna Doone or Shakespeare plays; all the international news of far away countries fighting for independence; and tales of Nationalism, bloody wars, and survival. Now I struggle to recall the difference between the fruits jamoon and psydium. I think they are both purple and round and sweet. But I remember cockabelly, the tiny fish flashing silver in the gutter that ran outside our fence. I remember Hindi popular music on Radio Demerara’s Indian Music Program. It’s odd how much one can still care about the old homeland no matter how many years fly by. Like the vague image of a long ago lover, the personal Guyana I struggle to hang onto falls apart in the glare of reality, a consequence of passing time, frustrated desire, and failing memory.”


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The Jubilee Celebrations and the Jagan-Burnham spontaneous embrace THE most important event in this month’s consumer calendar in the Golden Jubilee of National Independence commemoration and celebrations, is also an event of importance to the whole nation. This event allows us, as a nation, to pause and take stock of our successes and failures and our achievements and missed opportunities over the past years. It allows us to look with a fresh mind and new perspectives and optimism upon the coming years. The heart of the Jubilee commemoration and celebrations is on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May and especially in the evening when the flag-raising ceremony will take place and our leaders would be speaking to the Nation. This is a time of joy and togetherness and when with quiet and deep spontaneity we express our fundamental national oneness, transcending the various superficial differences we talk so much about.

The first Independence commemoration of 50 years ago, which took place at the National Park expressed the same oneness of the Guyanese nationality which young people would have an opportunity of experiencing and sharing on Thursday, 26th May, 1966 was the culmination of a period of very bitter social and political conflict, the likes of which had never before occurred

in Guyanese history and which the Nation will fortunately never again suffer. But despite this ambience of tension and conflict at the time, the two national leaders, Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Mr. Forbes Burnham stood on the same podium and when the flag of Guyana was being raised, spontaneously and without their having any control of themselves, embraced each other. The happen-

ing was so sudden and unexpected that few got photographs of it. It symbolized the deep unity of Guyanese and Guyana, transcending all the differences about which we speak about so much. This Jagan-Burnham spontaneous embrace is one of the most important and memorable symbols of Guyanese unity in the History of Guyana and we have often wondered why our Historians and other intellectuals have never given it the place of importance it deserves. The Jubilee ceremonials will certainly recapture the essence of that moment of half-a-century ago, and all Guyanese, especially young people should savour it. In the run-up to the 26th May, a large number of entertaining and educative functions and activities have been organized country-wide and there have been joyous participation everywhere. These include a series

By Pat Dial

of performances by the best national artistes at the National Stadium and magnificent Fashion Shows at the Conference Centre. At this time, many overseas Guyanese would be visiting their homeland and we should extend to them and to visitors from other countries the traditional hospitality and the hand of good fellowship and friendliness for which Guyanese people are known world-wide. And it is apposite that we always remind ourselves that the Jubilee Celebrations have also resulted in many other positives in Guyanese Society as for example, the drainage of the Capital City has been immensely improved, mountains of garbage have been cleared, the illegal street sellers and their shanty stalls have been relocated so that proper town-planning could be effectuated. Happy Jubilee to all!

The free wind of a free country By JOAN CAMBRIDGE ...wanted to reflect on that time 50 years ago leading up to Guyana’s independence and just after that; so I planned to spend a day at the Walter Rodney Archives just browsing....However, I was shocked at what I found. Our national archives are in a lamentable state. Most of the pages of the Guiana Graphic of that period, (in which my Petticoat Page was featured every Sunday), were like confetti in my hands...was afraid to touch them; beside that, the volumes of newspapers were so tightly bound, that in many cases it was impossible to get the whole story. Additionally some visionless souls had ripped out entire pages of history from those bound volumes or, just peeled off the information they needed....I believe this kind of irresponsible behavior is most likely prompted by the fact that Guyana’s national archives don’t facilitate photocopies of documents. Therefore, to ensure that the documents are not vandalized by researchers, “we just got to watch them”, said an archive staff member. Next day I made my way to the National Library where my hopes were buoyed by the

response of a chirpy Librarian... “Oh yes, we make copies here”; then immediately dashed by the information: “No, our volumes do not go as far back as the sixties.” I knew I was neither inclined, nor equipped with the expertise to photograph those fragile documents in the Walter Rodney Archives (...that’s how you’re required to extract information from the archives...photograph your research findings) so I got me some professional help from Cullen Nelson, Photographer at the Guyana Chronicle, who was extremely cooperative and helpful in helping me collect these wistful memories of a time past fifty. I’m talking about that time when you could leave our back doors open – gone to ketch lill breeze pon d seawall – d-sure that when we came back everything would be still intact... same way we leave it....was a time when children wanted to learn because teachers were eager to teach (or vice versa); when policemen were respected not feared; justice was for all and “manners” had meanings other than “attitude”. Since smart phones (now stealing the minds of our children were not yet conceived), folks communicated with each other; even government officials were accessible, and people didn’t call you tomorrow (or not at all) to say

why they didn’t come yesterday when expecting them...waiting all day... I was a member of the press corps of that time when Queen Elizabeth visited in March before ‘setting us free’ to be independent. I was with them all at that ‘Folklore Sendoff’ when the queen danced, swaying and beating her fingers on the rails OF The Royal Yacht Britannia to the Gemstones steelband’s hypnotic rhythms. I was also among the contingent of local and foreign journalists selected to be presented to the royal couple on board the Britannia. We had spirited arguments in the newsroom about Colonialism and the real meaning of Independence; about the necessity for women to curtsey when men only needed to bow from the neck and for (all of us) having to say “Maam” when presented to the Queen by Lloyd Searwar who was the Government’s Chief Information Officer at the time; about the rule of not shaking the naked hand of royalty...needing to wear gloves when The queen said “Rise Sir Lionel” at his investiture at government house. I was there with a member of the foreign press corps to witness... But the thing I most remember about those times about that time the actual night at the Queen Elizabeth II National Park, now The National Park, was the flag raising ceremony; sitting in the press box, watching the Union

Jack descending and The Golden Arrowhead rising on their respective flagpoles. It seemed to me that the Union Jack hestitated midpole; perhaps the Golden Arrowhead paused there also – I don’t know – did they pause briefly to pay respects? I don’t know...that was all a blur so I’ll not swear that the Golden Arrowhead scurried blithely up that flagpole that may have been Colonel (then Major) Desmond Roberts our Guyana Independence flag raiser giving it wings to fly in the free wind of an Independent Guyana. I was too caught up in that moment on May 25 1966 just after midnight...lustily screaming with my contemporaries in the press box, with the masses inside and out of Queen Elizabeth Park...hoarse, blinded by victorious tears –screaming – FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM! So consumed and blinded I was by my own tears...couldn’t swear about anything; but I do remember in a fleeting moment my eye caught Prime Minister L.F.S. Burnham brushing a tear from his eye. These stories from Petticoat Page and other sources, paint a picture of the times; I even found a piece in the Guiana Chronicle Independence Issue which poses the question, still relevant today, From Here, Where?


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Ceremonial uniforms

By Shirley Thomas

– a sense of pride

RANKS of Guyana’s disciplined services, wherever they appear in ceremonial attire, always create a stir. Moreover, when on ceremonial parades, it is always with a sense of pride and nostalgia that they are greeted by the masses on whom they always exert a magnetic pull. Throughout the fifty years of its existence the Guyana Defence Force has stood tall as a proud model of discipline and impeccability. But even as we applaud the soldiers – smartly dressed in ceremonial attire, have we ever wondered or tried to find out exactly who configured and designed this applauded masterpiece and when and where was it crafted? Somehow, for half a century, the basic truth about the origin and design of the Guyana Defence Force’s ceremonial uniform and flags design, with attendant accoutrements, has remained largely obscured. Today, as the Guyana observes its Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary), and likewise the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Chronicle is pleased to bring you the story of the origin of the army’s ceremonial attire, told by none other than the humble, but ingenious designer, Mr. Thomas Prince.

THE STORY “In 1965, I was employed at the British Guiana Credit Corporation, the forerunner to the now defunct Guyana Mortgage Finance Bank as a draughtsman and Technical Field Officer. I was also a Corporal in the British Guiana Volunteer Force. One day during the month of October, I was doing field work at Garden of Eden that took me away from my office for a period of time. On returning to my office at the Corporation at 41 Boyle Place, Brickdam, the building now enhanced architecturally and housing the Ministry of Communities, (formerly Ministry of Housing), my supervisor, the late Gaston De Cambra told me that I was urgently required at the Volunteer Force’s Head Quarters, Eve Leary. I immediately complied with the instruction and, arriving at the Volunteer Force’s Headquarters, I reported to the staff officer, Major Stewart, who informed me that I must report, as a matter of urgency to the British Army Headquarters in the building that is now the CID Headquarters of the Guyana Police Force. Arriving at the Headquarters, I gave my name to the sentry at the gate who checked a clipboard, communicated my presence by intercom, and instructed me to enter, after having received confirmation as to who I was. At the top of the stairs, I was met by a major who introduced himself as Major Raymond Sattaur. Major Sattaur was a Guyanese, trained at Sandhurst, U.K. and was commissioned to the Jamaica regiment as a communications officer. With the establishment of the Special Services Unit (SSU) in Guyana, he was posted here as Commandante by the colonial office and subsequently became the liaison between the British and Guyana. Major Sattaur then ushered me into the presence of a British Officer, Major Williams, with the words: “Bill, the elusive Corporal Prince has finally arrived.” In the presence of this impeccably dressed officer out of ‘White Hall’, to say the least, I was nonplussed, not being able to fathom the reason for my being there. I was offered a seat, and Major Williams soon put me at ease by saying that he was in Guiana to establish the Guyanese army, and that having made enquiries of the Volunteer Force Headquarters for a competent person to undertake the designing of the uniforms and impedimenta of The Army, my name was given as the one qualified to do so and Major Stewart of the B.G. Volunteer Force was asked to contact me through my office at the Credit Corporation. THE TASK AT HAND In the next few moments, he gave me the details of the impending task I was to perform, by saying that British Guiana was about to gain Independence from Britain, and as such would have its own army. Accordingly, he said, the designs for its uniform and accoutrements and badges of rank had to be done and that was my task. Major Williams said, for him, it was a singular honour and privilege to be so involved, since he would not have seen himself at the start of the British Army, since that was formed

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

with her voice following me, uttering that, like I was mad. On entering the car, I shared the good fortune with Angoy, and decided that it was only fitting that the head dress of the our country’s first people – the Cacique Crown, replace the Imperial Crown of England on the Crest. Then placing it on the seven-pointed star, it fitted perfectly, giving it the balance and harmony that, until then, seemed elusive. THE CREST The centre of the Crest is coloured red, keeping in mind, the sacrifice of our forebears, through blood, sweat and tears , to build this country of ours. My next task was to place a labaria and arapima with items representing our flora and fauna, in the centre of the Crest, but it did not have the desired effect. I finally used to good stead, experience gleaned from visits to the Torani Canal linking the Berbice River and Canje Creek, during the years that my father was Works Superintendent overseeing the construction of that project. There, for the first time, I saw the Canje Pheasant or Hotazain or the Stinking Hanna. This bird is supposed to be the linkage between bird and reptile, for its head is almost reptilian in shape, and is very unique in the sense that is has almost human-like claws on the end of its wings. Those claws enable it to climb when young and without feathers. The claws wither and drop off as the bird matures. It is unique to this part of the world. On placing the Canje Pheasant superimposed on the red background of the Crest it fitted perfectly, in complete harmony with the other features of the Crest.

Mr. Thomas Prince, designer of the GDF ceremonial Uniform and flags

centuries in the past. From the very outset, it became crystal clear that time was of the essence since he made it clear that the designs had to be done in two weeks, in order for them to be presented to the Council of Ministers for approval before being sent to England to be manufactured and returned to British Guiana in time for Independence. That having been said, Major Williams, on learning that I was moving around on my own 650 Triumph motor cycle, requested Major. Sattaur to provide transportation to take me wherever I needed to go on a daily basis, in order to expedite the task at hand. Mjr. Sattaur made available his car and driver, Constable Angoy. Before taking their leave, both Majors specifically urged that I “Get on with the task.” I spent the next four days literally researching the project, visiting the archives, the zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the Promenade Gardens, the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society (R.A.C.S.) and the Guyana Museum in the mornings and the afternoons, and spent well into the night on my drawing board. GETTING STARTED I started off for the Force’s Crest (Cap Badge), with a seven-pointed star, representing the six distinct ethnic groups, with the seventh point representing the mixed people of the nation with a buckler holding all seven groups in unity. I tried to balance it, using several heads at the top, to try and balance the design, but it all seemed out of place, with no harmony. On visiting the museum, for what seemed like the umpteenth time that week, Angoy and I were leaving when one of the attendants questioningly commented, “Mister, I have been seeing you in here nearly every day…” Forlornly, I turned and looked up the top of the lobby from whence the comment had come and there my eyes beheld, at the top of the stairs from whence the comment had come – a Paper Mache statue of an Amerindian Warrior Chief with his bow, arrows and spear. Just then, my eyes caught the Chief’s head dress, and with a snap of my fingers, I said, “Lady if you know what you have just done, thanks. “I then hurried through the door,

THE CEREMONIAL UNIFORM For this garment, I toyed with several colours, until my dear wife, Bridget – my fondest critique reminded me that all the colours I was doodling with, I should keep in focus, the fact that it was going to be the dawning of a New Nation. It then dawned on me that, as a new nation with purity, white was ideal for the tunics. Having overcome that hurdle, the next task was for the patrol pants, and once again I tried several colours – black, blue, brown, maroon and grey. Then being painfully reminded that we were a tropical agricultural country, I used green with a scarlet seam running the whole length of the trousers to balance out the scarlet centre of the Crest. I applied it with the same sense of fortitude, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers, through slavery and indentureship. And for the headdress, I used a scarlet beret complimenting all the other aspects that comprised the uniform. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED – JOB WELL DONE I completed the folio of designs with the full representative colours along with the legend written in old English – six days before the given time-line and reported with same, to Major Sattaur. Almost in awe, he looked at the designs, looked at me then instructed that I follow him. We entered Major Williams’ office. Major Sattaur handed the package with the folio of designs over to him and Major Williams looked at them, looked at me and said to Major Sattaur, “Raymond, we have a bluddy genius here!” Then reading the legend aloud he toyed with the words: “White tunic with a green patrol pants, with a scarlet seam and beret.” At that point, he picked up his intercom and instructed the person at the other end, to get him Mr. Headley, who was at the time, head of the Force’s tailor shop. In a short space of time, Headley arrived with his Morris Minor, and was ushered into Major Williams’ office. After greeting Mr. Headley, Major Williams gave him the folio of designs and told him to take ‘this genius’ (pointing to me) to Bookers. He proposed that I be used as a model to get the appropriate materials and make up the uniform as designed. Majors Williams and Sattaur both shook my hands and congratulated me on a job well done. I left with Mr. Headley for Bookers where he got the relevant materials and my measurements were taken. A SOLDIER IN THE MAKING Thereafter, I resigned my position with the British Guiana Credit Corporation and enlisted in the Guyana Defence Force, along with some members of the Special Services Unit (SSU) who were given the option of remaining in the Police Force Turn to page XL ► or be seconded to the Guyana


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Ceremonial...

Defence Force. All this took place just one week before the GDF was officially created by an Act of Parliament. Prior to leaving the SSU, I was summoned to Major Sattaur’s Office and was informed by him that my designs were unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers and was sent abroad to be manufactured. Further, that at a date to be given, I would be invited to meet the Council of Ministers at Parliament. The invitation never came and Major Sattaur left British Guiana. CREATION OF THE GUYANA DEFENCE FORCE The Defence Act laid in Parliament created the Guyana Defence Force with Lt. Colonel Pope as Chief of Staff, along with supporting British Officers. Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. With recruitment and training

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

From page XXXVIII

ongoing and regimental numbers issued, starting from 1000. I should have been the first enlisted number, but due to the alphabetical sequence, my serial number given was 1058. I was in Quarters on the night in March when Major Bebbington R.A.S.C. (Royal Army Service Corps) who had come to establish the Quarter Masters Store, sent for me on his arrival from the airport. I complied and stood before him. Thereupon, he said to me, that it was only too fitting that I should be the first to be issued with my handiwork. Major Bebbington gave me my complete Ceremonial kit, with scarlet beret, Badge ceremonial, Belt and Collar Badges, Lanyard, buttons, white tunic, and green patrol pants, expressly tailored to my measurements. I never met the Council of Ministers, but what is note worthy, is that the National Coat of Arms, months before

Independence, was declared with major components of my designs: The Cacique Crown and the Canje Pheasant that I created for the Guyana Defence Force. THE REGIMENTAL COLOURS DESIGN (KNOWN AS THE COLOURS) This was an open competition for members of the Guyana Defence Force to replace the Queen’s Standard. The colours initiated by Guyana’s first Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Clarence A. L. Price. My design was selected unanimously by the panel of judges for relevancy. The design embraced a rectangular flag with diagonal green and red sections with crossed implements denoting agriculture and our natural resources. It carried a rifle superimposed down the centre of both crossed implements, the agricultural fork and the machette denoting National Defence with golden fringe, along with golden cords and tassels. COMMENDATION I was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by Mrs. Clarence Price, the wife of the Army’s first Chief of Staff. I reciprocated by presenting Mrs. Price with a miniature version of the Colours, I was proud and privileged to be selected as one of the escorts to the Colours on its Inaugural Parade, with Lt. Isaacs as the Ensign Bearer of the Colours, with Colour Sergeants Ronald King and Thomas Prince as the escorts. I dare say, that it was the only time that the Guyana Defence Force, in its history, would have had a ‘King’ and ‘Prince’ escort the Colours. On the night of May 26, 1966, (Independence night), I was one of the men of the First Battalion, the Guyana Defence Force who stood proudly on Parade Square in the National Park, along with the thousands of Guyanese from all walks of life, as cheers erupted into a deafening spontaneous roaring of voices. The Guyana Defence Force took centre stage to that night’s historical and unforgettable agenda. Somewhere in the confines of Parliament Building or the National Archives, the folio of designs should be found, if it was returned to Guyana … or was it retained in England? It is to be noted that in those days, there were no photocopying machines, so that only the one copy of the designs was meticulously done. “To this day, I still feel the nostalgia of that moment, for fifty years ago, and whenever I witness a member of the GDF so dressed, individually or on parade, it is with a sense of pride that I am reminded that I played a part in making it a reality.” Mr. Thomas Prince, who candidly affirms that “Any ex-soldier is a dead one”, concludes his presentation with a call on the authorities of the Guyana Defence Force to ensure that present and future officers know the history of the force’s proud traditions which must be handed down, so that they themselves can add and maintain them.


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The Jubilee Nurses XLIII

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

– Living up to the Nightingale Pledge

The May 9 Batch of 1966. Seated in the first row at number 4 from the left is Coleen Anderson. Loretta Alexander is standing at the back, the third person from the left while their tutor Rudolph George is in the middle

THE political warfare had come to a halt and conditions on the colony had stabilised by 1965. British Guiana, as it was known then, was on the verge of being liberated. It was an important period in her life and Marva Callender had pledged in her heart to play a critical role in the development of her country. She had molded the minds of children at the Houston Methodist School but there was a great void still within her, and so one year after teaching, she resigned. Inspired by her older sister, brother and aunts who were all nurses, Callender applied to the Georgetown Hospital School of Nursing. Under the British rule, applicants were mandated to write the College of Preceptors Examination or the General Certificate Examination (GCE), both of which were London-based. After writing the College of Preceptors Examination, she was among the crème of the crop and was therefore accepted into the school of nursing. On January 3, 1966 – approximately five months before British Guiana gained its independence – Callender was among the first batch of 26 trainees to commence training at the Georgetown Hospital School of Nursing.

In a classroom located in an old building nestled between the Maternity Ward and the Medical Ward at the Georgetown Hospital, the enthusiastic batch of trainees was introduced to their primary tutors: Rudolph George and Stella Boston. Reflecting 50 years after, 70-year-old Callender, now Marva Callender-Hawker, recalled that as students they were in the class room from Mondays to Fridays, during which they were initially taught Anatomy, Physiology, Hygiene, First Aid and Nursing, among other courses. On Saturdays, they were mandated to be in the wards. Nursing back then, she said, was not a “walk in the park”, explaining that at the end of the first six or eight weeks they were required to write an exam, and anyone who had failed would have been excluded from the three-year programme. Luckily for them, no one failed but there were several other key exams. “At the end of three months, we wrote Preliminary One and at the end of six months we wrote Preliminary Two and those exams also determined whether we would have continued or not. We did!” The examinations were set by the General Nursing Council. Determined to graduate, Cal-

lender-Hawker and her batchmates worked as a team doing both lectures and clinical. Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics were among the other subjects taught by George Boston and doctors as the students were promoted to Year Two and subsequently Year Three. “We wore belts. We started off with white dresses and then stripe dresses with white belts and once in Year Three you would wear the green belt. On successful completion of training we wore blue stripe with brown belts.” It was a profession of great pride, the 70-year-old retiree said, as she turned back the pages of history to 1969 when she recited the Nightingale Pledge the day of her graduation. The Nightingale Pledge, named in honour of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was created in 1893 and stands as a statement of ethics and principles of the nursing profession. During her early years as a Registered Nurse, she specialised in Pediatric and Medical Nursing. “I had liked working on the Pediatric Medical Ward; that was very interesting. At that time if we had a child who died without a confirmed diagnosis, the nurse-in-charge and the doctor had to witness that post

mortem,” she recalled. Both teams would have then discussed the case thus leaving all satisfied, including the relatives. In addition to the Suddie Hospital, Callender-Hawker worked at Lenora Cottage Hospital after successfully completing her midwifery training in 1972. “Fortunately for me I was promoted Ward Sister at an early stage”. As a Ward Sister, Callender-Hawker worked at the Ptolemy Reid Centre and then Suddie Hospital for two years. She was subsequently transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC). “I was on the medical block for about 10 years; working with Dr. Enid Denbow, Dr.Ramsundar Doobay, Dr. Roger Luncheon and several Cuban Consultants. Back then we had a close nurse-doctor relationship and as nurses we had to know our patients and advise the doctors because we were there 24/7 with the patients,” she explained. She was promoted to Junior Departmental Sister in 1989. She was secretary for the Guyana Nurses Association for over a decade and participated in several conferences/ meetings locally, regionally and internationally. As such, she was offered a Commonwealth Fellowship in India and on her return was

assigned to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where she later became a Matron. For her, it marked the beginning of the best years of her life. “I loved it over there,” she said with a smile on her face. “I think the health care system in Region Three was running ‘A One’ from the regional hospital right down to the cottage hospitals and the clinics. When I was there, we had Coleen Anderson (she was the Senior Health Visitor), Desiree Amsterdam (the Hospital Administrator), Dr. Jeffrey and Dr. Aaron – one was the Regional Health Officer (HRO) and the other was the Medical Superintendent and we worked as a team.” She added: “West Dem was the first hospital to achieve baby friendly status; we were also the first hospital with nutritional status, and working at West Dem I also had the responsibility for the Leguan, Wakenaam and Lenora Cottage Hospitals.” In 1998, Callender-Hawker was transferred to GPHC where she also worked as a Matron II until her retirement in 2000 at the age of 55. “Working at GPHC as a Matron was the most challenging part of my career because there were two Turn to page XLIV ►


The Jubilee... XLIV

strikes. There was a Public Service strike and the nurses went on strike for better working conditions…but I rallied.” For five months, she travelled abroad following her retirement but returned home and taught the first batch of the New Pathway Medex. She also worked with USAID Initiative Inc. under the Safe Injection Programme and later with a Batch of Peace Corps. In October 2015, Callender-Hawker returned to GPHC where she now serves as a mentor. In 2012, she was presented with the Medal of Service Award, Guyana’s national civilian honour. With more than 50 years in the nursing profession, Callender-Hawker, a wife and mother of two, could not help but to draw a comparison on the calibre of nurses back then and now.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

From page XLIII

Reiterating that Nursing is a caring profession, Callender-Hawker who was very frank in her analysis, said it would appear that many of the nurses of today have a carefree attitude. “Nursing is a caring profession; if you don’t like people don’t come,” was the stern message she offered to persons considering the profession. It is her strong belief that the problem lies within the system, emphasising that persons should be highly qualified before being granted the opportunity to train. “…you don’t water down qualification to suit systems; if you qualify at a certain level you behave in a certain manner. I am told that they don’t do interviews anymore but if you interview some of these people who call themselves

Marva Callender-Hawker (first from right) and three of her colleagues during their second year at the Georgetown Hospital School of Nursing back in 1967

The programme was complex with stringent rules in place, she said. “The lecturers were not just interested in teaching nursing; they were interested in our professional and social development. They taught us to be well rounded individuals, but most of all we were taught that nursing is a caring profession.” Now Callender-Hawker is of the opinion that nursing in Guyana is in a “sad” state. “It has deteriorated. There is a total lack of discipline and respect, and I hate disrespect for functional superiority – You have to respect everybody,” she posited.

nurses, they will tell you that they didn’t really want to do nursing, somebody forced them to do it…,” she said with no uncertainty. Callender-Hawker added, “I know we are short but it is not like how you perceive it to be, because in my day you had two nurses on a ward….we had 50 beds with 60 patients, and you had to do it. Some of the things we did then they don’t do now; they don’t boil urine now, we had to test urine with a Bunsen Burner. You might have a cubicle with 10 diabetics - you have to boil all ten. Now they have sticks or they do the blood sugar.”

Looking ahead, Calendar-Hawker said there must be a reintroduction of the screening process to ensure that only persons of high standards and qualification be allowed to practice nursing. Colleen Ingrid James-Anderson, another nurse who had enrolled into the Georgetown Hospital School of Nursing in 1966 echoed similar sentiments, saying while it may not be true for all, there is definitely a need for nurses of today to do some introspection. Nursing in Guyana has evolved tremendously, Anderson posited, even as she emphasised the need for nurses and potential nurses to capitalise on the many opportunities the profession brings with it. It was explained that while some subjects like psychology, sociology and mental health remain the same, the nursing programme is now “broad based” and even more modernised. “There is a very good curriculum in place but I am not satisfied with what I am seeing. Take for instance in the practice of midwifery: With the use of technological devices, you can tell the sex of the baby and the position…but yet there may be mismanagement during the delivery of an infant. I know that high risk conditions can happen before, during and after delivery but when you have what you need…you can make the necessary preparations,” Anderson posited. “In our days as students, we had the pinard’s stethoscope, now you have a fetal monitor, you can tell what is going on long before,” she added. It is a rewarding experience to participate in the safe delivery of a child where both mother and infant are alive and well. “We were a devoted set because we loved nursing… and so my advice to you (is) if you are a nurse, value your profession, recognise its importance, take possession of it and let’s move it forward.” Though Callender-Hawker and Anderson started nursing school the same year, they commenced training in different months. At the age of 18, Anderson commenced training with the second set of probationers on May 9, 1966. The programme was similar to the one done by Callender-Hawker. In fact, Anderson’s batch of 22 was taught by both George and Boston. After graduating in 1969, Anderson worked at the Georgetown Public Hospital within the different wards before proceeding to Bartica Hospital and the Leguan Cottage Hospital. She returned to Georgetown Public Hospital where she later became a midwife in 1972. Anderson chose a different career path in nursing. She felt that she would contribute more to nursing in the community. What motivated Anderson to pursue Public Health Nursing was constantly witnessing the state of children as patients of the hospital with conditions such as diphtheria, typhoid and other preventable diseases – coupled with the National Policy on Primary Health Care and the shortage of public health nurses. It was not long before the young Registered Nurse / Midwife took on another challenge to become a Health Visitor/ School Nurse, commonly known as the Public Health nurse, graduating in 1974. “As I reflect on those days as a Health Visitor/School Nurse, I feel a sense of pride because I am happy to have been a part of the school vaccination programme to see that diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough are now vaccine-preventable diseases.” Her illustrious career saw many achievements. Apart from school nursing, she was integrally engaged in community nursing where home visits were promoted to support the primary health care system. For example a follow–up visit to the post-natal mother would identify issues of sanitation, hygiene, diet etc. Thereafter, the mother would be educated to prevent illnesses and pursue good health practices. Because of her commitment to her work, she pursued professional development by acquiring a Certificate in Community Health, University of West Indies, 1985 and a Certificate in Health Services Management, University of Guyana 1989. During her tenure, she became the Senior Health Visitor for Region Three from 1986-1995. Being in-charge of the entire region, key indicators of success were the achievement of immunization targets, early registration of mothers to the antenatal clinics and effective functioning of high risk clinics for referrals. Nurse Anderson continued her ascent to the position of Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, which she occupied for a period of four years. Her expanded role saw the integration of community resource persons into the Maternal and Child Health, training of public health nurses, community health workers, development of the Maternal and Child Health Manual, and promotion of the Safe Motherhood Project. During Turn to page XLV ►


CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Sister Loretta Alexander standing among the first set of Nurse Aids in Guyana, all of whom hailed from Bartica, Region Seven (1989). She is the fifth person from the left

The Jubilee...

From page XLIV

this period, she was also responsible for Maternal and Child Health Nursing in the 10 administrative regions of Guyana. This caused her to travel extensively, supervising and bringing care to the population and especially the hinterland and riverain areas of Guyana. Thereafter, she proceeded to the position of Chief Nursing Officer. At this juncture, she concluded her Public Health career at the Ministry of Health in 2002 after assisting Mrs. Gwendolin Tross, along with senior nurses in the development of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programme at the University of Guyana. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing, Nurse Anderson received an award in the International Year of the Nurse 2010. She also received, along with Callender-Hawker, the Medal of Service Award in2012. Today, the mother of two, who lives at Stewartville on the West Coast of Demerara, is a full time Minister of religion. Loretta Alexander had also joined the nursing school in 1966 and like Callender-Hawker and Anderson she was very successful in the field of nursing. Alexander, who lives in the Nurses Housing Scheme in Sophia, Greater Georgetown, has much to be thankful for. Like Anderson, she had commenced training on May 9, 1966, days away from Guyana’s Independence CelebraTurn to page XLVII ►

XLV


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Art educators of the...

From page XX I

Certificate two years later. In 1955 she

educators (Mrs. Olga Bone, Ms. Mavis Pol-

received a scholarship for an advanced ed-

lard and Hazel Campayne) to address and

ucation course at the University of Durham

work towards raising the standard of edu-

in the United Kingdom. After completing

cation in the country. This group of women,

that programme she went on to pursue a

eventually joined by other volunteer tutors

Diploma in the Psychology of Childhood at

held free remedial classes in English and

the University of Birmingham. Jones later

Mathematics for students in the vicinity of

received her Master of Education degree at

Georgetown.

the University of Leicester.

She attended the Working People’s Art

She taught at the Broad Street Govern-

Class directed by Edward Burrowes be-

ment School and the Government Training

tween 1953 and 1955. She has exhibited her

College before transferring to the then De-

artwork with the Guiana Art Group (1946

partment of Education where she held sev-

and 1951); the Working People’s Art Class

eral offices including Assistant Education

at the Commonwealth Institute in London

Officer; Education Officer for a number of

(1955); the National Exhibition held during

sectors; Senior Education Officer; Super-

Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 1966; and the

visor of the In-service Teachers’ Training

Women Artists’ group led by Marjorie

Programme; Coordinator of the Curriculum

Broodhagen (1967).

Development Programme; and Coordina-

Jones also served as president of the

tor of the Nursery Education Programme.

Guyana Women Artists’ Association and in

Jones lectured in the Faculty of Education,

1993 was appointed member of the manage-

University of Guyana for ten years and also

ment committee of the National Gallery of

served as administrator of the E.R. Burrow-

Art. In 1992 Jones was awarded the Golden

es School of Art.

Arrow of Achievement for her outstanding

Jones later joined a group of female

contributions to Education in Guyana.


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

tion, having been inspired by her mom who developed a tradition of visiting the sick and the elderly on Sunday’s after church. “My two brothers before me were teachers, and she had expected me to be a teacher but I only taught for one month…because my calling was nursing.” After graduating in 1969, she worked her way into being the first Director of the Nursing Services at GPHC but first she served as a staff nurse, a midwife (1972), ward sister (1977), Junior Departmental Sister (1989), Senior Departmental Sister (1991) and Matron of the Georgetown Public Hospital in 1997. In 1998, she was transferred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where she worked until December, 2000 before returning to GPHC. By April 2001, she was promoted to Matron II but that was not the end of her success trail. In 2002, Alexander was appointed Director of Nursing Services for GPHC, a position she held until her retirement in 2005. Reflecting on her five decades of experience as a nurse, Alexander said certain memories will always remain fresh in her mind. “I can’t recall whether it was 1971 or 1972 but a team of us had delivered quadruplets by cesarean section – three boys and one girl born to a nurse and her husband an army officer.” At the time, Alexander was a student midwife who was attached to the Operating Room of the Maternity Ward, GPHC.

From page XLV

The 68-year-old Registered Nurse has had many successes, but the fact that she taught the first batch of Nurse Aids in the country in the year 1989 always surfaces among the best memories of her medical

Three of Guyana’s Jubilee Nurses – 50 years after joining the Nursing Profession: Loretta Alexander, Colleen Anderson and Marva Callender-Hawker

life. “I was so happy when I was given the opportunity to train nine Nurse Aids in Bartica, Region Seven,” she said. It was explained that at the time the country was affected by brain drain and the Public Health Ministry had thought it best to develop the Nurse Aid Programme. Alexander was sent to Bartica in 1988 to lay the foundation for the programme and had returned to the city in 1990 having introduced the programmme.

Since 2012, she has been acting as a part time lecturer/clinical instructor for the New Pathway Medex Programme. Alexander does not only have years of experience as a Registered Nurse and Midwife but also holds a Certificate in Health Services Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration. Alexander served as President of the Guyana Nurses Association during the period 1990 – 1994.


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Pictures tell their own tales All together now was the rallying call on the National Park tarmac

President Hoyte acknowledges cheers of the Mass Games participants at the National Park tarmac

Gas shortage: Burnham on a bicycle

School children in action


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

Pictures tell their own tales

Performing a daring stunt

Getting it right: Colonel David Granger (left), Commander of the Guyana Defence Force and Chief of staff Norman Mclean make some adjustments to the uniform of President Forbes Burnham

President Burnham with Georgetown Hospital matron Joyce Gain when he arrived at the hospital for surgery on Tuesday, August 6, 1985

President Burnham meets with members of the team preparing to walk 13 days to Mount Ayanganna and back... in honour of Guyana gaining Independence. Lt Assad Ishoof (third from left) led the contingent which included expedition leader Adrian Thompson (left of President Burnham) Dennis ‘Bunny’ Stewart is second from right

President Burnham’s official automobile


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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 2016

FROM 1966 TO 2016

A REALITY CHRONICLE MUCH of what transpired in the daily lives of the common man before Independence is scribed and placed in the context of reasons given for the agitation for Independence by the media and political personalities of the day, that, and what private memories we can garner from older folk, my personal experiences are more legitimate to compose a Chronicle, and they revolve around my artistic career, chosen for me by the muses, along with the changes I observed in the field, and in the communities that I lived in. The essence of maintaining colonialism throughout time and among all people’s envelopes the conditioning of the colonised mind to accept the standards, imagery and iconography in relation to the cultural values of Religion, heroism, the paths to the Olympus of the imagination is steered by the sage of the coloniser. Thus art is the vehicle of both the coloniser and the Freedom fighter. Religious art, the art in the children’s book of heroes and the art of the created hero within the mainstream (adventure/action) novel and movie. All can mould the in whatever fashion the self esteem of the colonised, defining the acceptance and subconscious justification of the lot of the colonised; the Asian prototype of the caste system is a classic rendition of the acceptance –to a point, of a process of colonisation that has erased the previous historical timeline. I bought a collection of books some years ago and there was a booklet named ‘Reorientation of African Beliefs a Prime Necessity’ self published locally by Fred Bowman, price $1.25c, no one so far can tell me who Fred Bowman is, and no date is noted in this booklet, however, to illustrate the effects on the colonised, I wish to quote from the first page of Mr Bowman’s book, Quote: “ Early in 1970, he [The] Reverend Carlton Hayden, a young Afro-American Episcopal priest visited this country, and in a sermon he preached at St Georges Cathedral, said among other things, that a Theology for the Black-man was necessary at this time. And in explaining further, said what he meant was a theology of religion, whereby the Blackman can see [visualise] God and Jesus as a Black Messiah. But he was promptly criticised as being sacrilegious, by many so-called Christians who attended church that day. Most of them were black people whose Spiritual Gauntlet and Cudgel he had thrown down and taken up simultaneously.” Unquote. In 1975 the Burrowes Art school was launched, under the direction of Denis Williams, honing the emerging talents of Dudley Charles, Ivor Thom, Hazel Shurry, Roy Best, Philbert Gajadhar, George Simon and many others, but before that, in 1974 the Government had brought the late world rated Afro-American Artist Tom Feelings to teach the illustrating of stories to eager young and not so young Guyanese students. The policy to encourage the work of local illustrators, cartoonists and short story writers in the newspapers also birthed a new upsurge of talents, when the National Cultural Centre came on stream, launched May 16th, 1976 an explosion of talent took it’s stage, space does not permit the elaboration necessary but a few names must be mentioned, Frank Pilgrim, Grace Chapman, Richard Naraine. The founding of the National Dance School demanded a persona from among the best inspiration available, that person was Madam Lavinia Williams Yarborough. This talented woman helped form the building blocks of the National Dance School, and insert them in place. I witnessed with the excitement of youth, benefiting and being formed, the arts of young Guyana were being shaped and oriented not only for aesthetics, but for new and practical purposes, to build set designs for stage, to produce as Emerson Samuels and Tyrone Doris did School Books, under the administration of Mr. Oswald Kendall at Curriculum Development, produced in colour before computers. It must be noted that one of the artists who pioneered the local comic book was Rudy Seymour, with his Preacher Character, the enemies of the preacher were of course Big Mama and other non Christian folk in our society at the time, because no private sector sponsorship would emerge if he didn’t confirm to the status quo, I had experienced that with a character I had in seeking sponsorship and was told that I was creating a Blackman with powers like Jesus, after days before, this same Sales Manager was eager to launch Malta with my book ‘The Spear of Redemtion’ this was at DIH in the seventies, the fact is most comic book characters are demi-Gods, but, this was local and GT based, possibly for that man too close to home. Guyana, during that reflective period had began to enter the dog eat dog world of movie production. Names like Martha Gonsalves, Alan Thomas, Stella Mangal, Gloria David come to mind. Producers like Hamley Case and Len Beharry were at the helm of that budding industry with respective movies AGGRO, and ANMOL BANDHAN. If you are reading this article you might wonder “what happened?” From my perspective, the cold war politics of the day altered that process, Guyana indeed was trapped into the anti-Apartheid –Anti-Colonising period, we stood our ground where we were, as a front line third world nation, and economically paid the price, we had to, on principle, embrace CUBA, SWAPO and the human cause. The ideology that embodied that national personality [ Read the late Tyrone Ferguson’s book ‘TO SURVIVE SENSIBLY OR TO COURT HEROIC DEATH: 1965-85 for a Chronicle of that era] neutralised the

individuality of the ‘Artist’ it further fossilized the Bureaucracy. That there are still people around, with open minds that helped the Artist/es who remained here, to survive with some dignity, if not with economic prosperity. It however, took us less time to come of age than many nations with more favourable circumstances; Forbes Burnham retreated into the Nom Aligned Movement away from the new Colonisation of communism. The physical circumstances of our environment was also transformed, about a third of Georgetown lived in tenement yards, the ‘Nigger Yards’ of Martin Carter’s revolutionary poem, these places I know, these were not places for intellectual development. Twenty families on a double lot, at times single lot with three toilets and bathrooms, with a stand pipe of contention in the middle of the yard; this was psychological regimentation without acceleration. In the building of the hous-

ing schemes these yards were emptied; Festival City, South Ruimveldt, North Ruimveldt, Roxanne Burnham Gardens were built to help close the era of the “Nigger Yard” down, and to create housing space, where there was none. Guyana’s first fifty years could not have placed us in a position to reflect knowingly without the institutions of the Guyana Youth Corps, The Guyana National Service and the pioneer Co-Op groups that were invested in, to cultivate a new approach to business and sustainable living. The past administrative period 19922014 was a disconnect that can only be described as a great retrogression of the national consciousness. A linking of the memory has to commence, with this age of technology available we must began to build the pillars of the next Fifty Years, through the Chronicles of what has been done, knowing then, what can be done.


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