Category Archives: History

Guyana: Thousands celebrate Republic Day and Mashramani

Thousands celebrate Republic Day

February 24, 2015 | By | Filed Under News
Spectators line the streets in their numbers to enjoy this year’s Mash activities.

Spectators line the streets in their numbers to enjoy this year’s Mash activities.

Thousands of Guyanese turned out yesterday to celebrate as Guyana observed its 45th Republic anniversary under the theme, “One People, One Culture, One Celebration.”

Though rain initially threatened to dampen the festivities, the traditional Mashramani weather of bright sunshine eventually prevailed and Guyanese faithfully trudged out of their homes to enjoy the day.  Continue reading

Alliances and Compromises in Guyana’s Politics – By Ralph Ramkarran

Alliances and Compromises in Guyana’s Politics

Ralph Ramkarran

   Ralph Ramkarran

By Ralph Ramkarran – February 21, 2015 conversationtree.gy blog

The Cummingsburg Accord is only the latest in the history of alliances in Guyana’s post-war politics. The PPP emerged out of informal class and ethnic alliances in 1950. The PNC-UDP sought to merge African working and middle classes in the 1950s, with some resistance. The ‘moderate’ PNC came together with the ‘right wing’ UF in 1964. The opposition formed the little known VLD (Vanguard for Liberation and Democracy) in the late 1970s and the PCD in 1985, which comprised groups of differing ideological persuasions. The WPA emerged out of an alliance of several left/radical groups.

The PPP sought to engage the PNC by ‘critical support’ in 1976. In 1977 the PPP offered to sacrifice the presidency and take the second spot of prime minister in a new constitutional formula outlined in the National Patriotic Front in the interests of national unity. It was the epitome of political magnanimity in Guyana’s modern political history. The PPP saw working class unity and the strengthening of the left trend initiated by the PNC Government, as the outcome. It was rejected.   Continue reading

NEAT OLD CARS AND THINGS – A blast from the Past – The 1950’s in pictures

NEAT OLD CARS AND THINGS  – The 1950’s in pictures

1956-1960-desoto-adventurer-7

1956-1960 Desoto Adventurer

 A great collection of 1950 photos from Railroad Jack…Remember him?  

 If you remember the 1950’s, you’re gonna’ love photographs! Even if you don’t remember the 1950’s – as you may be too young or not yet born – they are really super photos just to look at.

 Note: If you “mouse-over” each picture a short description will pop up.

 You can still see many of these cars when you visit Cuba… the USA embargo ensured that they kept them running.

Click on link and enjoy.      Continue reading

The Hindus of the Caribbean: An Appreciation – by Murali Balaji

The Hindus of the Caribbean: An Appreciation

Posted: 02/13/2015 2:33 pm EST –  – Director of Education and Curriculum Reform, Hindu American Foundation – HuffingtonPost.com

Nataraja Hinduism symbolOn May 5, 1838, the Whitby, a British ship docked in British Guiana (now known as Guyana) with 249 human cargo after a nearly three-month voyage from the Port of Calcutta in India. Along the way, many of those on board were abused by the ship’s crew, and five died.

The Whitby was the first of many chartered ships that would bring Indians — mostly poor Hindus from rural northern India — to work on the sugar cane plantations in the British West Indies. Over the next 80 years, more than 500,000 Indians would make the trip to the Caribbean as indentured servants, primarily to places such as Guyana and Trinidad. Their story — shaped by the trauma of Transatlantic migration, struggles in a new environment, and eventually the triumph of forging a distinct identity — continues to be an overlooked part of colonial history.  Continue reading

World’s Rarest stamp: 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Going on Exhibit in April

World’s Rarest Stamp Lands at National Postal Museum

1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Going on Exhibit in April

1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Going on Exhibit in April

November 6, 2014 – Newsroom of The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will display the world’s rarest postage stamp. Beginning in April 2015, the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta will be prominently displayed in the museum’s William H. Gross Stamp Gallery for a three-year period. The exhibition of the stamp will be the longest and most publicly accessible showing ever.

No postage stamp is rarer than the sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. Printed in black ink on magenta paper, it bears the image of a three-masted ship and the colony’s motto in Latin: “we give and expect in return.” Noted for its legacy, the stamp was rediscovered by a 12-year-old Scottish boy living in South America in 1873, and from there passed through some of the most important stamp collections ever assembled. It is the only major rarity absent from the Royal Philatelic Collection owned by Queen Elizabeth II.   Continue reading

Guyana Elections 2015 – The silly season is here – commentary

The silly season is here

FEBRUARY 7, 2015 | BY | FILED UNDER EDITORIAL

ballot boxElection time is appropriately called the silly season. It is the time when normal people lose all sense of reason; when partisan politics supersedes even friendship; when the entire country braces itself for violence as people attack each other for no other reason than they look different.

Even the diplomatic community keeps talking about peaceful elections. It is as if Guyanese are animals whenever elections come around and attack each other with an abandon that can sometimes leave one to wonder if human life has any value.   Continue reading

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database – info on 35,000 slave voyages

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has
information on more than 35,000 slave voyages

slave-ship-interior-P

This detailed drawing of the interior of a slave ship shows how the “cargo” was arranged to maximize capacity

These voyages forcibly embarked over 12 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.

It offers researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.

Continue reading

The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard – video

The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard

Published on Dec 22, 2014

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-atlanti…

Slavery has occurred in many forms throughout the world, but the Atlantic slave trade — which forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans to the Americas — stands out for both its global scale and its lasting legacy. Anthony Hazard discusses the historical, economic and personal impact of this massive historical injustice.

Lesson by Anthony Hazard, animation by NEIGHBOR.

 

THE TIDES OF DEMERARA: 14 POEMS – By Dmitri Allicock

THE TIDES OF DEMERARA

14 POEMS

Mackenzie market

By Dmitri Allicock

A BEER TO REMEMBER

The Mackenzie Market of yesteryear

Drama and memories held most dear

The Bauxite Company’s horn blowing

A Banks Beer and customers glowing

Song & rhythm of bygone 1960s beat

The Ferry Boat and R.H Carr so sweet   Continue reading

Tribute to Ronald “Bamah” Bamfield – By Lear Matthews

Tribute to Ronald “Bamah” Bamfield – Former Top Tutorial High School Athlete

 By Lear Matthews 

In addition to his other achievements, Ronald Bamfield, who died on January 15th, was an outstanding and superb Guyanese athlete in the 1960’s. Among the notable accomplishments in track and field, he ran the fastest Boys High School 400 meters in the country, in a time of 48.5 seconds.  Quite remarkable for that time.

Cavalcade of Sports was a 1960’s tradition in Guyana, popular among a generation. To highlight that tradition, I pay tribute to the athletes who attended one of the most reputable educational institutions in Guyana.  Known for its excellence in academics and sports, Tutorial High School, Ronald’s Alma Mater was a beacon of hope for a large cadre of working class youth, many of whom were granted the opportunity to display their talents in both academics and Sports.

A memorable moment in track and field at the Cavalcade of Sports demonstrates the athletic prowess of former High School students in Guyana, and provides the context for Ronald’s extraordinary performance as one of most popular High School athletes in the country.

It was an overcast day.  Bourda (GCC) was packed with spectators.  It was time for the men’s 4 by 100 meters sprint relay Invitation Track Race, and Tutorial was represented by one of the best high school teams in the country: Richard Jones (Jonezee), Maurice Emanuel (Manchi) Wilfred Robinson (Raabo), and of course Ronald Bamfield (Bamuh).

 Dem boys fass baad!” shouted a young enthusiast as the athletes warmed up on the sun-singed grass track, some in “street clothes”. Tracksuits were not affordable gear at that time.

No sooner did the first-leg runners assume their ready position, than the Starter raised his pistol.  “On Your Marks”!  A deafening silence resonated across the popular Bourda ground.  “Set”!  One could almost hear a pin drop.  BANG!  As if serving as a queue for both athlete and spectator, a thunderous roar emerged from the crowed, increasing in intensity as the athletes propelled from the starting line.  Apparently some of the runners on the far side of the ground were not aware of the command for the start of the race.  This resulted in the failure of one of the Tutorial athletes to remove his long pants in time to receive the baton.  Anticipating the possible calamity that could befall the favorite team, the crowd’s roar was now intermingled with nervous laughter.  Jonzee came out of the blocks like a rocket, leaning forward slightly, accelerated at incredible speed, opening an early lead.  The spectators went wild as he handed the baton to Manchi. “Clean!” yelled an excited fan, referring to the flawless exchange.  Manchi was magnificent as he dashed around the track between the unevenly painted lanes, widening the gap further, giving an unforgettable exhibition of speed, strength and skill.

The third-leg scene, however, was mellow-dramatic. Robinson was still struggling to take off his long pants as Manchi approached at top speed.  Wishing to avert what would have been certain disaster, Robinson abandoned any further attempt to disrobe, took the baton in one hand while firmly gripping his unzipped trousers at the waist with the other.

Now in a frenzy, spectators were screaming and cajoling. Amazingly, Robinson in perfect stride and displaying astounding athleticism, negotiated the northwestern Bourda bend with surgical precision, extended the lead further, leaving the competition in the dust.  The noise in the stands escalated to a deafening crescendo. With a remarkably smooth hand-off from his unruffled team mate, and his familiar signature high-knee bounce, and perfect form, Bamuh, the consummate anchor, majestically sprinted unchallenged toward the finish line and brought home the win in record time to the delight of ecstatic fans. Just imagine! Ronald Bamfield was a champion. You could always depend on him to seal the deal in grand style as he did on that day.

Sportscaster B.L. Cromby of Radio Demerara described the performance as a classic.  Such moments are forever etched in our memory with a sense pride. Ronald was a team player. He was competitive, and methodical in training and preparation. He was unique in style and countenance.  For him, to be a success in athletics requires commitment, hard work and sacrifice, all of which I am sure were reflected in other areas of his life.

Those glorious days are gone, but not forgotten.  Neither will we ever forget the many talents and contributions of Ronald Bamfield.  So long my brother, you have been a trailblazer. You had a good run, rest well.

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