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MonDAY, January 27, 2014

Members of the Crabwood Creek Rotary Club and recipients of the wheelchairs



Fernando “Rakesh” Singh

s the popular saying goes “There are many fishes in the sea”, however, it seems that there was just not enough for everyone, as the family of Pooran “Sham” Mathoor strongly believes was the cause of his demise a little over two years ago. The date was Saturday January 7, 2012 when Pooran, 39, of Cromarty Village and his employee Fernando “Rakesh” Singh, 17, of Bush Lot, both villages on the Corentyne Coast left for sea to return the following day. They were supposed to moor at the Eversham Foreshore – the same port that they left at 14:00h the previous day – at approximately 03:00h and head straight to the market with their catch, as is the norm for the fisher folks of the area. However, they never showed, although relatives waited and thought that they were still at sea and would return a little later or with the next tide. However, as the time grew longer, they became more worried, fearing that something happened. After enquiring from other fishing vessels that went out around the same time as Mathoor’s boat, and even some that left afterwards, had returned, the family decided to file a missing persons report on January 9, 2012 at the Whim Police Station a few miles away. While there, a group of policemen came in and related that they just found a body at the Adventure foreshore and had taken it to Ramoo’s Funeral Home. Sabitree Singh, the wife of Mathoor then went to the parlour to

Pooran “Sham” Mathoor

see if the body the police had taken there was that of her husband, and when she arrived, her worst fear was confirmed. Singh was able to identify the badly decomposed and broken body as that of her husband by the clothing he was wearing. A search was launched and the body of 17-year-old Fernando Singh was found the following day washed up at the Tain foreshore. His hands were bound behind his back and a rope was also tied to his feet. The boat was never recovered and is still missing to this day along with the engine and other equipment on board. Mathoor, a father of three, was a sluice operator with the Whim Neighbourhood Democratic Council and a part-time fisherman, while his worker “Rakesh” was a school dropout who was pushed into the field of work early to earn a livelihood for his family after his father abandoned them. The duo was considered very lucky as they would usually bring in a lot of fish, even more than the seasoned fisherfolk of the area. This, according to Mathoor’s wife, is the only motive behind their

murders that she can think of. Who would commit such a heinous act, by going all out to beat, bind and dump the men overboard, leaving them helpless and to drown? The families of the dead seamen are of the opinion that the pair would have been able to identify their attackers; as such, robbery was overlooked as a motive since their lives might have been spared. Several men were arrested but no charges were laid as there was no concrete evidence to link any of the suspects to the murders. While it seems that it is common knowledge among the fisher folk who committed the crime, there is no evidence to substantiate same. As the families recently observed the second death anniversary of their loved ones, they have since lost hope of anyone being charged and brought to court, but are optimistic that fate will have its final say and as Sabitree said “dead men tell no tales but God knows everything and those responsible will surely pay the price even if it takes a while”.

he Crabwood Creek Rotary Club made a presentation of over 50 wheelchairs to persons in need of the equipment throughout Regions Five and Six. This presentation exercise, which is said to have cost the organisation approximately $6.5 million, was conducted at the Rotary club’s office. According to the rotary club’s secretary Carmen Ally, this is the first of many programmes the club has planned for the first quarter of 2014. “We have invited 50 needy persons who are in need of wheelchairs…, however, we have contracts for the recipients to sign in event that the person dies, the chair would be returned in order to be given to someone else in need of a wheelchair” she said. During 2013, the Crabwood Creek Rotary Club was able to complete several projects, some of which included a Christmas party for less fortunate children in the community. “Recently we have had parties for several schools on the Upper Corentyne where over 170 students were fed and presented with gifts and other goodies... we were also

able to treat 45 senior citizen in the area, however, earlier in the year the club selected 11 schools in the region and distributed school uniforms for both boys and girl” Ally stated. Meanwhile, several beneficiaries of wheelchairs disclosed how happy they are for the chairs, which they said would be of great assistance to them. Seventy-fouryear-old Totaram Dukhu of Crabwood Creek who was unable to be as mobile as he would have liked, due to constant pain in his foot, said he is thankful that he would be given a wheelchair from the rotary club.“This is four years now I can’t walk far, I have to take taxi… I been to all the doctors and I got no relief on the foot… if I walk too far, I will fall down… I want to thank God for getting me a wheelchair and I want to thank the rotary club for this opportunity” Dukhu said. Another recipient, 51-year-old Mitramanie Narine who was not able to move around for almost two years said he suffers from arthritis and really appreciates the effort by the rotary club in providing him with a wheelchair. “Every time I

sleep and wake this foot does pain me, I went to the doctor and them seh I get arthritis so meh glad that me get one wheelchair to move about because it’s been a long time I been like this and the doctor tell meh that I have to do an operation and I don’t have the money to do it, so I’m happy for the chair” he added. The funding for the wheelchairs was provided by the Rotary Foundation International, the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise District 5240, and the Rotary Club of Georgetown, among others. Berbice Times understands that the presentation of the wheelchairs is the first of many projects the Crabwood Creek Rotary Club has planned for 2014. As the year progresses, the organisation is planning on starting a school feeding programme for less fortunate children from the Upper Corentyne district, the construction of a bus shed for the Number 59 Village Primary School and the distribution of computers to schools, among other projects for the next half of the fiscal year.

wo road contracts totalling in excess of $3.1 million have been signed between the New Amsterdam Municipality and Errol Angel, and will see long awaited road repair work being carried out. A contract for $1.2 million will see a section of Charles Place being resurfaced while a second contract for $1.9 million will see work being done Contractor Errol Angel signing the to the main access road in document Bermine Housing Scheme. The council will be supplying the materials for the Bermine Scheme project which will see 514 square yards of road work being done with eight drums of bitumen. Additionally, 20 tons of crusher run and 15 tons of stone will be used on the Bermine Scheme road. At the signing of the contract at the New Amsterdam Town Council, Mayor

Claude Henry expressed the concerns of residents and urged the contractor to execute the projects in a timely manner. “We hope that the roads will be completed in the shortest possible time,” he urged. Town Clerk Sharon Alexander explained that the Bermine Scheme project will see the filling of potholes and not the rehabilitation of the road surface. Residents of Bermine Housing Scheme were planning to picket the Town Council over the state of the road which was last rehabilitated five years ago. During 2013, the New Amsterdam Town Council under its road programme only carried out road repair works to one street. Pilot Street was completely resurfaced in 2013.


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