Aug 31, 2013

The Button Affair


Of Interest

Aug 28, 2013

Dave Martins - OH CANADA


I’m writing this in Toronto a few hours after a concert at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts,  designed to help raise funds for the Burn Care Unit at our Georgetown Public Hospital.  Entitled “Caribbean North”, the event, now in its third year, was organized mainly by Harry and Pam Harakh, two Guyanese living in Toronto, who have been generating funds and training for the Burn Unit at the GPH for several years.
                The show, with a $50 admission, featured a roster of Caribbean talent, including MC Bill Newman from Guyana (he also sings calypso as “The Crooner”); the very talented pop vocalist George St. Kitts, a Mahaica boy; the comedy of Ken Corsbie; the Shak Shak band led by Bajan Roger Gibbs, and a limbo dance troupe.  In my section, I closed the show doing some of the well known Tradewinds songs, accompanied by guitarist Raymond “Chinny” Lee-Own (former Guyana cycle racing champ), Brian Huntley from St. Lucia on bass, and Phillip Crighton of St. Vincent on drums.
                The Richmond Hill Centre provided good acoustics and good audio in a comfortable and well-appointed theatre, and it would seem the show, virtually sold out, has once again succeeded in its cause of helping raise funds for the Georgetown Hospital.  I donated my services, as I believe some other performers did, and it was a great night.
                Although I now reside in Guyana, the occasion led me to reflect on how good Canada has been to Guyanese over time.  It has been a long exercise, going back over 60 years, and as I travel back and forth to Canada (I have two grown children and many close relatives there) I am constantly aware of how much Canada has given to the hordes of immigrants who have come to its shores, and of my particular awareness of its generosity to Guyana.
                In my case, Canada afforded me musical training and particularly the opportunity to play music professionally, six nights a week, in an environment that taught me the rudiments of professional entertainment.  It also gave me the opportunity to produce the early recordings of my songs (including "Honeymooning Couple") that eventually led to the popularity of Tradewinds, and, in a few years, to owning the popular Tradewinds home base, “We Place”, in downtown Toronto that cemented the band's place among Caribbean people, and, indeed, Caribbean culture.

An idea, which has not yet jelled for me, is to write what would be more or less a “thanks Canada” kind of salute,  and while we wait for that kind of personal response,  it would be a signal idea for the Caribbean people, and the Guyanese community, in particular, in their new home to embrace the suggestion for an annual event predicated along those lines.
                Many of us left  Guyana with the clothes on our backs and all our possessions in a suitcase (my family and I were such) and ended up improving the material condition of our lives (owning car; apartment; house; etc.) and benefitting from the programmes in education, health care, and technical training readily available to us.  Across the professions, Guyanese of all stripes have risen to the top tier of their specialties and become pillars of their communities in their new adopted home.
                Many of us were able to migrate individually, and then more readily pave the way for other family members to follow us (in my case, 9 others). Aside from my immediate family, I reflect now on the persons in my circle – like Chinny; Walter Wailoo; Raymond Henriques; Terry Ferreira; Paul DaSilva; and many others – and the difference in their lives that came with their migration.
                I believe that a “Canada-Caribbean” event, marketed specifically as a “thank you”, would generate significant volunteer support from that vast pool of migrant Caribbean talent in Canada and could become a very successful entertainment draw every  year in such a city as Toronto.  I am confident it would get massive crowd support from all those migrants who now live better lives because of Canada.
                Having said that, however, the decision to organize such a gathering should be predicated on the organizers putting the event in the hands of an experienced show producer who would ensure the show is structured, top to bottom, on very professional lines.  Too many times in these kinds of community-driven entertainment efforts we end up having people, with no producer experience, stubbornly or naively tackling the difficult job of making a successful entertainment presentation.  It is frequently the case that such shows are too long, not properly paced, and not properly balanced, and the overall result is simply not good theatrically, so that the effort ultimately comes to naught.  Those pitfalls have to be avoided.
With those provisos in mind, however, it is a suggestion that I would like to see taken up somewhere in the Canadian diaspora (the most likely choice being Toronto).  It would be a wonderful gesture that I am sure would be warmly received by the Canadians, and it would also be a platform for the Caribbean people to express their gratitude in a tangible and highly visible way. It is a gesture long overdue.

Of Interest


This is not my story; I’m only the conduit. It’s a story of individual fortitude, and of people rising to a challenge. It was relayed to me by Andrea Salvador de Caires who runs the Karanambu Trust House in the Rupununi, and it began a few days ago there when the news arrived there one morning of a chilling incident. A resident Amerindian, Davidson Vincent had been fishing around 9 a.m. in a shallow pond near Cajuero, on Karanambu land, when his net caught on what he thought was a piece of wood. When he went into the water to release the net, he came face to face with a huge black Caiman. The Caiman attacked, biting him viciously in the back. Davidson fell back and tried to climb out of the pond, but he slipped on the drying mud. The Caiman attacked him again, this time taking tearing off a piece of his buttocks and trying to drag him into the water. Somehow he managed to pull himself onto the bank. Minutes later, when his wife Adline came to check on Davidson, she found him there severely injured and bleeding, but still alive. Adline ran and walked the 7 miles back to Kwaimatta to sound the alarm. Davidson’s son-in-law, Alan, took off on his motorbike to assist, but arriving at Cajuero, he saw Davidson was too badly injured to be moved on the bike, so he took off again for Karanambu Lodge for help. From there, Andrea dispatched a vehicle to bring in the injured man.

Crucial to this story is that Andrea and the staff at Karanambu Lodge had been giving First Responder training for incidents involving serious injury by Captain Malcolm Chan-a-Sue at the Ogle Aerodrome, and the group had also had follow-up training from Nurse Marian Gravesande. “When the truck came back with Davidson, he was badly injured and losing blood, but thanks to this training,” said Andrea, “we knew what to do.” The Karanambu Trust House was set up for triage, and an emergency call went out to nearby residents. Everyone responded instantly. 

The RAM (Remote Area Medical) plane, used for such emergency airlifts, was in Georgetown for repair, but Paul Clarke the RAM pilot called Dr. Joe Torres, an Amerindian doctor in Lethem, to alert him of the incident. At 2:00 p.m., with the patient now back at Karanambu, Andrea was able to get through by cell phone to Dr. Torres. “When I described Davidson’s condition to Doctor Torres, he agreed with me that the medical condition was far too severe for me to handle alone,” she said. “He immediately called the Ministry of Health and requested Medivac assistance.” In the interim, as the situation developed, Sharon Correia of Trans Guyana arranged for one of their aircraft to fly Dr. Torres into Karanambu from Lethem. Said Andrea: “While we waited for the plane from Lethem to land, I continued to apply pressure to stop the bleeding and maintained constant conversation with Davidson to assess his condition and keep his spirits up. He was just remarkable. The pain was clearly severe, but he remained focused and in control. He kept saying over and over: ‘My wife saved my life. It was my wife, my wife, my wife.’ I was holding him until my arms ached. I have never felt such relief, as I did when I heard the vehicle approaching from the airport after picking up Dr. Torres.”

It was now close to 4:00 p.m. Dr. Torres evaluated the situation and began giving out team instructions. He started emergency treatment to stabilize Davidson, including an IV drip to give him fluids and antibiotics. Blood pressure and pulse had been recorded as well as the details of the injury. At this point, following Dr. Torres’ request for Medivac, a plane from Air Services Limited had been dispatched from Georgetown with another doctor on board. While the plane was en route, Dr. Torres performed “bush surgery”. Said Andrea: “Doctor Torres told us that Davidson had been lucky because although the injury was extremely severe, one inch closer and the Caiman would have severed his spine…one inch the other way, a blood vessel. So as horrific as the injury was, Dr. Torres was able to stitch it for travel, knowing full well that these stitches were temporary because Davidson would require extensive surgery once in Georgetown. During the entire procedure, Dr. Torres was remarkable. He called out instructions and requested time checks so that he knew how much time he had before the Medivac plane landed.”

From here the story moves from the perilous stage as Davidson, accompanied by

his son-in-law Alan, was flown to Georgetown, admitted to the Public Hospital as an emergency case, and, as this column is being written, about a week later, this amazing man has been treated, discharged from hospital and is awaiting word from the doctors for clearance to travel home. I have seen a photograph of him, reclining on his hospital bed, and smiling. Andrea is reporting another piece of good news: villagers from Kwaimatta went in search of the Caiman, were able to find the creature in the pond and killed it. He measured 12 ft. 4 inches in length.

This is a remarkable story of a man’s courage, and of mankind rallying to help mankind, across the board, and of the power of the human spirit to overcome. As I'm writing this, Andrea called to report that Trans Guyana Airways are providing two free tickets for Davidson and his son-in-law back to Karanambu as soon as he is cleared to travel., and Karanambu Trust House has committed to providing “after care” for Davidson in speeding his full recovery. In a time when we are regaled daily with depressing news of excesses and failings in Guyana, it’s heartening to see that the other side exists.


Aug 21, 2013

Samuel Maharero

Battle of Hamakari


Ho Chi Minh,9171,988162,00.html

Joy Chen

Of Interest
Wu Qing

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

Hossam Bahgat

Aug 20, 2013

Clement Rohee


The Fraser Institute - Technology in Education

Back to School (Under 18)

Aug 17, 2013

Dirty Electricity

Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization,67,1953



Of Interest

Schantal Hector


2013 CXC Success at St. Stanislaus College

A group of the most successful Saints students
Congratulations to Saints on its 2013 successes at both the CAPE and CSEC levels.

At CAPE, the outstanding performer was Anil Tulsie who obtained four (4) Grade Ones and one (1) Grade Two.

Latest news is that Anil has been offered a scholarship to China to study Medicine. Congratulations!

At CSEC, there were 100% passes in eleven (11) subjects: Biology, Electrical & Electronic Technology, English A, Food & Nutrition, French, Home Economics Management, Information Technology, Office Administration, P.E & Sports, Physics, and Technical drawing.

Other subject areas in which exemplary performances were realised are Human & Social Biology (97%), Principles of Business (97%), Caribbean History (96%), Geography (96%), Agricultural Science (95%), Social Studies (93%),  Chemistry (92%), Principles of Accounts (90%), Economics (89%), and quite notably Mathematics (84%). Overall pass rate grades were 94%. Of all the entrants, 74% have attained passes in eight (8) or more subjects, with 84% attaining passes in five (5) or more.

As far as individual exploits go, the marquee performer was Chandanie Dyal who obtained eleven (11) passes: 10 ones and 1 two.

Ten other students were able to amass seven or more Grade one passes. These students and their relative performances are:
Annie Shivraj               10 ones and 1 two * Agri (Double Award)
Devina Samaroo            9 ones
Okeme Beaton               8 ones and 4 twos * Agri (Double Award)
Isaac Safi                        8 ones and 3 twos * Agri (Double Award)
Vickram Khemraj         8 ones, 2 twos, and 1 three * Agri (Double Award)
Melissa Wilson               8 ones, 1 two, and 1 three * Agri (Double Award)
Bibi Safeena Hoosein     8 ones and 1 two * Agri (Double Award)
Latchmie Bansraj          8 ones
Jonathon Narine            7 ones, 2 twos, and 1 three
Arvindra Singh              7 ones and 1 two

These listed grades underline just how admirably the cohort of 2013 has performed, individually and collectively. In fact, they serve as empirical proof that Saints is really a major secondary institution of Learning in Guyana.

Front Row L-R Melissa Wilson, Devina Samaroo, Bibi Shafeena Hoosein, Ayeisha Boodie, Annie Shivraj and Latchmie Bansraj.


Back Row L-R Isaac Safi, Vickram Khemraj, Jonathon  Narine , Arvindra Singh , Okeme Beaton, Adrian Williams and Anil Tulsie.

Aug 16, 2013

Scientologists' "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death"

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death


International Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources





Aug 15, 2013

Lewis Hamilton

The French African Connection

Blaise Diagne

Demba Mboup



Of Interest

Munk Debate on Economic Inequality

Should We Tax the Rich More?: The Munk Debate on Economic Inequality

Crony Capitalism

Shark Meat

David Haussler

Mammalian Genomes


Aug 14, 2013

Reading Food Labels

European Traffic Light Rating System


Olive Oil

Peregrine Falcons


The Butler



Commonwealth Youth Awards 2013

Aug 12, 2013

Plum Island

NBAF Plum Island Animal Disease Center Closure and Transitio




Official Featurette


The Saint Stanislaus College Magazines

When we stop to consider that in the midst of WWII, in 1943, the first St. Stanislaus College Association magazine was able to see the light of day, it must be considered a truly remarkable achievement. Not only did it come out every single year until 1980, but the quality of the articles it carried was of such a high standard that reading them today gives a remarkable insight into the recent history of Guyana.

Alumnus John Sparrock had the inspiration to get as many of these magazines together and have them scanned for uploading to the College site. In this effort, he has been ably assisted by several alumni but most particularly by the College Librarian, Ms. Ariola Barrow who was supported by Alumnus Alfred Bhulai. We are now sending out and international appeal for the only year we have not been able to retrieve - 1969. For any who may still be fondly holding on to it, please contact John at

The Boomerang



Jamaica - A Dangerous Place to be Gay

Image for Jamaica is a Dangerous Place for Gays and Lesbians.

Quality of Citizenship

Javed Jaghai

Maurice Tomlinson

Helene Coley-Nicholson




Of Interest

Mark Benschop




Eko Atlantic


Aug 11, 2013

Tin City Voices - Ghetto Life in Guyana


IAAF World Championships 2013

IAAF World Championship 2013


Bolt in Moscow

Fastest Man