Sep 6, 2019

Conrad Gorinsky R.I.P

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As a young woman lay dying after being bitten by a venomous sea snake in Papua New Guinea, Conrad Gorinsky bemused his fellow explorers by smearing her swollen leg with mashed mango.
A world authority on the medicinal properties of tropical plants, whose reputation was later tarnished by allegations of “biopiracy”, Gorinsky was familiar with the ancient treatment for snake bites used by the indigenous people. The girl made a full recovery.
A veteran of many such expeditions, Gorinsky would distract his fellow explorers from eerie noises in the jungle as he told stories around a campfire about growing up with the Wapishana tribe in the rainforest of British Guiana (now Guyana), South America. He learnt to fish by watching them chew the leaf of the barbasco bush, roll it into a ball and throw it in the river. After the fish had nibbled the ball, their nervous systems would be attacked and they would jump obligingly on to the riverbank.
Infusions from the bark of the greenheart tree would treat fevers. The grated nut of the tree was chewed by the women if they needed a contraceptive. Years later, as an academic at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, Gorinsky set about isolating the chemical compounds of these jungle remedies.
In the 1980s he patented cunaniol (from the barbasco bush) as a stimulant to the nervous system that could unblock arteries and temporarily stop the human heart without damaging it. He also patented the compound from the greenheart tree, which he called rupununine, as an antipyretic to treat diseases such as malaria and cancer. The patents were registered in the US and Britain. Gorinsky talked to pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists with a view to marketing them.
A proto-environmentalist who was a quarter Amerindian, Gorinsky had a vision of creating a “pharmacopoeia” of jungle compounds. “The forests are like a big library and the people of the forest are librarians,” he liked to say. However, his vision of saving the Amazon turned into a nightmare when Wapishana tribespeople accused him of stealing the secrets of the jungle.
Gorinsky had become internationally respected in the Seventies as a co-founder of the charity Survival International, which campaigns for the land rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon. A fellow of Green College, Oxford (now Green Templeton College), Gorinsky had talked about creating a university of ethnobiology in Brazil at which the shamans of the Amazon would be “barefoot professors”. He was convinced that there were thousands of undiscovered cures still to be found.
Some thought his ideas overblown, others took him seriously. He was once invited to the House of Commons science select committee to explain his “debt for nature” plan to sell jungle medicines as a way of paying off the millions that South American nations owed western banks. For all his good intentions, his enterprise ended in disaster. He claimed that he wanted to protect the intellectual property rights of the tribespeople who had developed the cures over generations. However, in 1990 members of the Wapishana tribe demanded that he revoke the patents. Some tribespeople claimed that he would be avenged by the spirits whose wrath Gorinsky had incurred by stealing their secrets. Gorinsky, who was working in Venezuela at the time, found himself condemned as a “colonial scientist” and deported.
He recalled: “I wanted to help them [indigenous tribes] sell their knowledge to the outside world without being exploited by governments and western multinationals. To do that I needed to establish legal title to their genetic heritage. If someone else established patents, I wouldn’t be able to research those genes . . . The idea was to share the proceeds with the tribes.”
Tall with a jaunty gap-toothed grin, Gorinsky could morph from seriousness to silliness in an instant. By his own admission, he was naive and lacking in business acumen. He claimed to have been exploited by his business partners and said that rival pharmaceutical companies and scientists turned the Wapishana tribe against him.
The Convention on Biodiversity, signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, effectively nationalised plant resources and outlawed the patenting of organic compounds by individuals. Gorinsky could have retained his American patents because the US did not recognise the convention, but he allowed them to lapse, claiming to the end that he would never have betrayed the indigenous communities whose heritage he shared.
Conrad Gorinsky was born in Parubaru, near the Kuyuwini river, in British Guiana in 1936. His father, Caesar Gorinsky, had emigrated to Brazil from Poland to prospect for gold. He did not find any, but he did find a wife, Nellie Melville, who was half-Amerindian. The couple settled at a ranch in Good Hope in the north, which Caesar had won at cards. It was 300 miles from the capital, Georgetown, which in those days could be reached only by river: a journey that could take months.
Conrad was educated at a Jesuit school in Georgetown. At the age of 17 he sailed for Britain, attended night school and enrolled at Birkbeck College, University of London to study botany and chemistry. While there he met Beatrice Woolhouse, who was studying crystallography. They married in 1967. She became a lecturer. He is survived by their two sons and a daughter: Julian, who leads a private life; Roland, a solicitor, and Christina, who is an English teacher.
Gorinsky went on to do a PhD at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in London and became a lecturer, building his own ethnobotanical laboratory. He joined many expeditions to tropical rainforests. His knowledge of tribal customs and patois proved invaluable. In return, he gained a passage to collect plants, never removing specimens without the permission of a local chief.
His first expedition, led by Robin Hanbury-Tenison, was to navigate the Orinoco river by hovercraft in 1968. He also made several trips with John Blashford-Snell, a British army officer and explorer. One of their missions was to deliver a grand piano to the Wai-wai tribe in a remote village in Guyana at the behest of a local chief who thought the instrument might persuade young members of the tribe not to leave. Their party, which included a choirmaster and piano tuner, landed at the nearest airstrip, where they were promised that 100 sturdy Wai-wai would be on hand to lug the piano to its final destination ten miles away. Only six were there. They slowly pushed the piano through the jungle on a wooden sledge. Ever resourceful, Gorinsky found a canoe that could take the weight of the piano and took it to the village through rapids. When they arrived, they asked about their supposed 100 helping hands. The chief said: “We did not think you would make it.” The piano is still being played, but Gorinsky often received letters requesting a tuner to be sent deep into the jungle.
A keen cook and gardener, Gorinsky drove a battered Austin 1300; he had spent his life savings on his research. He never gave up when his latest venture collapsed. He would soon embark on a new one, even though he knew that his poor administration skills would usually spell doom. “I’m always building a new Titanic from the wreckage of the last,” was one of his favourite sayings. His family will create a website for his huge database of medicinal plants.
Ethnobiology is now taught at many universities, which is partly down to Gorinsky and his passion for the Amazon. As swathes of the rainforest burn this week, some would argue that such activism was never more needed.
Conrad Gorinsky, chemist, was born on March 7, 1936. He died of pneumonia after being treated for nasal cancer on August 18, 2019, aged 83

Aug 20, 2019

St. Stanislaus College Alumni Association (SSCAAT)

The St. Stanislaus College Alumni Association Toronto Chapter (SSCAAT) is open to all past alumni of our beloved college, St. Stanislaus College in Guyana.  We are calling on past alumni who would like to bring their ideas and enthusiasm to the Executive Committee to join and apply for positions to serve on the Association.  
A bit about the Association's work:
This year, to date in 2019, the Toronto Chapter, has donated just over $20,000 CDN to the College for new technology.  This equips the school and students with access to education through technology.  Items include 3 projectors and screens, 15 desktop computers,11 of which are high end Intel I7 small form factor systems as requested, 11 LCD monitors, and copy paper.  
With a commitment to furthering science, the association has also sponsored two Pueblo Science Volunteers to go to Guyana and share their knowledge with experimental learning tools and science 
Important contributions to students also have been funded by our Toronto Association in the form of scholarships to the University of Guyana awarded to Saints graduates with high academic standing but challenged economic means and funds to current students in attendance.  UG Scholarships funded $4000+ USD, Prize Day Awards $3000+ USD, Teacher Christmas Dinner & Bonus, $2500 USD all in 2018.

We encourage these recipients to one day give back when they are able to, just like we are doing now with our alumni, by encouraging you to join the Association!  Come and be a part of this important organization that is committed to furthering education and making a meaningful impact on the lives of students who attend St. Stanislaus College in Guyana.  Your time will make a difference to someone and you will have fun too.
I encourage you to come out to the Meeting to elect the Executive Committee for the 2019-2020 year this September in Scarborough.  
 Date: Sunday, September 8th
Time: 1  p.m.
Address: 4544 Sheppard Ave East, Scarborough  (Saints Boardroom located in the basement level)
Submit your names to us if you are interested in any position on the Executive Committee and we hope you are!  Kindly see the attached.
Another way to help is to become a member.  As a member of the Association, you can attend meetings, contribute, and have input but don't have to be on the executive committee.  It's a great way to meet your old school mates, give back and have fun.  The cost is $25 CDN. for one year of membership and $100 CDN for five years.      Please contact me if you'd like to become a member!  Funds can also be etransferred to:  (Security Question: school  Answer: ststanislaus)  Note:  all lower case.   
New members, new ideas and enthusiasm is vital to the ongoing success of the association and will benefit our school and the students now and to come.  We remember our own time there and give back to Saint Stanislaus College in Guyana.
“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.” – Author Unknown

Amanda King


Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the membership of the St. Stanislaus College Alumni Association Toronto will be held as follows:

Date:                Sunday, 8th September, 2018

Time:               1:00 p.m.

Location:         Century 21/CAMDEC

                         Saints Boardroom

                         4544 Sheppard Ave East

                         Toronto, Ontario M1S 1V2

There will be refreshments (food and drink) to allow alumni to renew acquaintances.

Members in good standing, as of the date of the meeting, are eligible to vote on all issues raised at the meeting, including the election of the new Executive Committee for the year 2019-2020.  Members not in good standing can become eligible to vote at the meeting on payment of their current membership dues.

The Secretary of the Association will accept properly seconded nominations for positions on the Executive Committee, up to the date of the meeting.

Your presence is requested to participate in conducting the business of the Association, including the election of a strong and vibrant new Executive Committee.  Please bring (and encourage to attend) as many of your old school friends as possible.  Your and their involvement in the Annual General Meeting will ensure the successful continuation of the Association for the benefit of the College in Guyana.

Dated:  at Toronto, Ontario, on the 20th day of August 2019.

Des Jardine

Secretary (2018 - 2019)



(See reverse of this page for Agenda of the Annual General Meeting)

------------------------------------------------------------------                                                         PROXY FORM




If you wish to appoint a person other than the persons designated on this form, please insert the name of your chosen proxy-holder in the space provided.

The undersigned member in good standing of the St. Stanislaus College Alumni Association Toronto hereby appoints Roger Devers, President, or, failing him, Des Jardine, Secretary, or, failing them, Andrew Insanally, Treasurer, or

(print name of person appointed)____________________________________________

as proxy-holder of the undersigned, with the power to attend, vote, and otherwise act for and on behalf of the undersigned with respect to all matters that may come before the AGM of  8th September 2019.

_________________________________                            _________________________________

Signature of Member in Good Standing                                  Day                     Month              Year


8th SEPTEMBER, 2019

Start Time – 1:00 p.m.    End Time - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Century 21 CAMDEC (Saints Boardroom)

4544 Sheppard Ave East

Toronto, Ontario M1S 1V2


Call to Order

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes of Previous Annual General Meeting

Matters arising out of Previous Minutes

President's Report

Treasurer's Report

Reports of Special Committees:

       FINANCE - Financial Status / Audit, Endowment Fund

       FUND RAISING EVENTS - Entertainment / LLL Tasks


       ADMINISTRATION - Correspondence, Hearts & Flowers, Membership

       MARKETING - Newsletter, Publicity, Website (Association and School)

       SCHOOL - Facilities, Information and Communications Technology, Communication


Nominations for and Elections of new Executive Committee

New President's Acceptance Speech

Other/New Business - Appointment of Auditor




(1)  there are two corporations with the same objective of providing assistance to St. Stanislaus College, Guyana, one being St. Stanislaus College Alumni Association Toronto, (SSCAAT), a not for profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the Province of  Ontario, and the other being St. Stanislaus College (Guyana) Alumni Society, {SSC(G)AS}, a not for profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario which has been granted charitable status under the Income Tax Act, and

(2)  the membership lists of the two corporations are the same; and

(3)  many (if not all)  of the members of one corporation’s Executive are also members of the other corporation’s Executive; and

(4)  the same people who are involved in fund- raising for one corporation are the same people who are involved in fund-raising for the other corporation; and

(5)  there is a potential (if not actual) situation for confusion by both members and outsiders about the difference between the two corporations and the need for two similar corporations;


(1)  the two corporations effect a merger as soon as possible, starting with the election, at the Annual General Meetings of the corporations, of identical compositions of the Executives of the two corporations; and

(2)  SSC(G)AS will be the surviving corporation; and

(3)  SSC(G)AS will assume all the assets and liabilities of SSCAAT; and

(4)  SSC(G)AS will honour all existing contracts and agreements of SSCAAT; and

(5)  SSC(G)AS will continue with all current and underway fund-raising activities of SSCAAT and SSC(G)AS; and

(6)  SSC(G)AS will make the appropriate changes to its Constitution to allow for the dissolution of SSCAAT.

(7)  SSCAAT will take the necessary steps to apply for dissolution of the corporation and the surrender its Charter.



TAKE NOTICE that the Annual General Meeting of St. Stanislaus College (Guyana) Alumni Society will be held on Sunday, the 8th day of September, 2019, at 2:30 P.M. at 4544 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario.


  1. Adoption of the Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on September 16, 2018.
  2. Receiving the President’s Report.
  3. Adoption of the Financial Statement of the Association.
  4. Resolution ratifying actions of Officers and Directors on behalf of the Association.
  5. Election of Office Bearers and Directors.
  6. Appointment of an Auditor.
  7. Any Other Business.

Godfrey Whyte,


St. Stanislaus College (Guyana) Alumni Society.

Dated this 21st day of August, 2019.

Jul 20, 2019

Adrian Francis Castanheiro R.I.P.

Adrian Francis Castanheiro

Adrian Francis Castanheiro, 72, of Ajax, Ontario passed away suddenly and peacefully on Monday, July 15, 2019, at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. 
Born in Georgetown, Guyana to Oscar and Cyriaca Castanheiro. Adrian was a kind and loving man who enjoyed fishing, playing and watching sports, horse racing, dominoes, helping others and being with his friends and family. He is survived by his wife Donna (nee Taylor).
Adrian was extremely devoted to and will be fondly remembered by his three children - Mauriceo (Shana), Cyriaca (Leif) and Nicholas (Yara); his five grandchildren - Rhys, Tristan, Chloe, Kaidyn, and Teagan; his brothers and sisters - Joseph (Anne), Margaret, Gerard (Elsie), Bernard (Yvonne), Andrew (Mitzie) and Rosalind (Mark). He will also be forever remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and other friends. 
All are welcome to gather at the McEachnie Funeral Home, 28 Old Kingston Road, Ajax (905-428-8488) on Tuesday, July 23rd for visitation from 2 pm - 4 pm or 6 pm - 8 pm. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 11 am at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 1001 Ravenscroft Road, Ajax.
In lieu of flowers memorial donation may be made to St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation.

Jun 10, 2019

Kim Kissoon R.I.P.

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May 30, 2019

Doreen Francisco Husbands R.I.P.

Doreen Francisco Husbands  2019 avis de deces  NecroCanada

Family and Friends,

Our mother, Doreen Francisco, died peacefully on Monday, May 27th at Seven Oaks Nursing Home.  We are most grateful to the fifth floor staff of Seven Oaks for their care of Mum over the five years she lived there as well as all of the support we received from the staff, family, and friends in her final days. 

A Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at St. Barnabas Church, 10 Washburn Way, Scarborough, M1B 1H3 at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reception from 12:00-3:00 p.m. at Highland Funeral Home, 3280 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, M1T 3K3.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association.  Other details can be found at Highland Funeral Home's website:

Michael (Central alum) Jennifer Singh (BHS alum) and Gavin (St Stanislaus alum)

May 17, 2019

Stanley Greaves Exhibition of Sculptures May 16 - May 28

The Embassy of Guyana is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of sculptures - The El Dorado Series: Extending the Myth - by renowned Guyanese artist, Mr Stanley Greaves, AA, in commemoration of Guyana’s 53rd Anniversary of Independence.
The exhibition is at the Main Building of the Organization of American States, in the Marcus Garvey Hall of Culture, at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
The exhibition is open to the public and will run until May 28, 2019.
Embassy of Guyana/Permanent Mission to the OAS
May 16, 2019

Stanley Greaves Exhibition of Sculptures May 16 – 28, 2019- Guyana Embassy Washington DC

Apr 17, 2019

Dr. Kenneth Khan R.I.P.

Kenneth Khan's Profile Photo
Dr.. Kenneth Khan (82) passed away peacefully in Barbados on Wednesday, April 17,2019. He is survived by his wife Surudevi, his son Alexander, and two grandchildren. He was the brother of Rudolph Khan (deceased), Leonard Khan, and Zorina Khan. Kenneth will be fondly remembered as a former Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, Past Principal of St. Stanislaus College in Georgetown, Guyana, and Graduate Professor of Mathematics at Harrison College, Barbados.

Date: May 3
Location : Downes & Wilson Funeral Home (Eagle Hall Main Rd, Bridgetown, Barbados)
Time: 4 PM - 6 PM

Date: May 4
Location: St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral (Bay St, Bridgetown, Barbados, on Jemmont's Lane)

There will be an hour of viewing from 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Service will be presided over by a Roman Catholic priest and commences at 9:30 AM

4 Hymns have been chosen and Eulogies will take place at that time, ending around 10:45 AM
Then the funeral procession will proceed to Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens for cremation.


Died: 17 th April, 2019

As we journey along this earthly life, there will always be a variety of experiences as the pendulum swings between

             JOY and SORROW; to reunion and parting;
darkness and light; achievements and obstacles; regret and satisfaction.

Enjoyable events may accentuate a desire to live; yet contrasting scenes and emotions may reconcile us to embracing death, that inevitable end. 

Henry Hart Milman an English Poet and Historian writer wrote: 
“It matters not at what hour the righteous falls asleep – Death cannot come untimely to him who is fit to die. The less of the cold world, the more of heaven, the briefer life, the earlier immortality.”

On April 17, 2019, my elder brother Ken graciously bowed out of his earthy life on the beautiful Island of Barbados where the kindness and generosity of the people of Barbados made him and his wife feel at home. 
Thank you Barbados !

Ken Khan was the second child of Haroon and Khatoon Khan, two wonderful Parents.  We were a united Christian family, bonded in LOVE.

Our Dad was an educator and served as Head Master in several primary schools.  As would be expected he placed great emphasis on education and regarded it as a vehicle or platform for elevating people in general and his family in  particular, out of the bonds of colonial yolk with its inherent barriers to upward mobility and the goals of self-realization and self-fulfillment.

Ken was age (82) eighty-two years.

In 1948 at age 12, Ken entered the Saint Stanislaus College which was one of the two prestigious Colleges in British Guiana.
Ken had won a Demerara County Scholarship to go to Queen’s college.  But our Dad chose Saint Stanislaus.
Our Father wanted the Catholic influence.  At Saints S C Ken made lifelong friends especially Carlyle Moore, Oswald de Haan and Godfrey Persaud.  In 1955, Ken was awarded a Guyana Government scholarship in Natural Science to study at UWI, Mona but declined as he was already en route to the United Kingdom to join the Jesuit Order.  Ken was so intellectually and spiritually inspired by the Jesuits, that he eventually entered the Jesuit Novitiate in the United Kingdom 1958 -1961.
Ken studied at Heathrow College, Lincs. towards the Licentiate in Philosophy 1961-1964.
In the years to 1961-1964 he studied at Campion Hall, the Jesuit House of Studies in Oxford; also there, was Father Compton Meerbaux, another Guyanese who became a lifelong friend.
In March 1968 – Ken Khan was ordained as a Jesuit Priest and went on to complete a four-year course of studies.
In 1970 -1971 Ken returned to Guyana where he had a brief interlude at Saints SC teaching mathematics.

1971 - 1972 Ken returned to the United Kingdom to complete the final year of formation and then took his final vows as a Jesuit Priest in 1972 at the age of thirty-six (36). Ken then returned to Guyana and was appointed Head Master of Saint Stanislaus College. In 1975 he initiated many un-conventional programmes including an industrial workshop and Farm School at Sophia. This farm was not only a living laboratory used by students but provided practical training for Agricultural Science students at St. Stanislaus College. “Ken was driven by his belief that SSC as a Christian Society should aim at imparting both intellectual and technical skills and at forming citizens of Guyana who are imbued with a reference of God, a love of their religion and a spirit of service to their country”. (Quote from Ken’s personal views on the future of Education at SSC, dated April 25 th, 2011). Ken remained committed to teaching and felt that ‘teaching is much more than a job-indeed more than a profession. It is a way of life, it enables men and women to look on their work of teaching as sharing in the service of others”. (quote).
Ken Khan served with commitment and dedication from 1972 – 1980 as Head Master of the Saint Stanislaus College in Guyana the land of his birth. When Guyana gained its Independence in 1966 and later, became Republic in 1970, the social, cultural, political, economic programmes and policies affected the lives of many sections of people in Guyana in all walks of life.
Father Kenneth Khan was no exception.

In 1975 the Guyana Government introduced co-education and proceeded to takeover full control of the schools in 1976, making it increasingly difficult for him as Head Master to run a school with no political affiliation to the ruling Political Party.

After serving conscientiously as an educator and as Head Master of the Saint Stanislaus College until 1980, Ken Khan was unceremoniously removed by the Guyana Government. He received a two-line letter transferring him to Central High School as one of the Teachers. No reason was given. It was a time when fear, insecurity and elements of instability, uncertainty and radicalism permeated Guyana’s landscape. It was this humiliation and the persecution of the Jesuits that caused Ken to resign from the Jesuit Missionary.

In 1980, Ken left Guyana hastily from fear of his life for Barbados as the dark political clouds still hung over the church and its
members. He was accepted in Barbados and taught Mathematics at Harrison College, where he started a Scout movement. When
his health was in decline and he could not drive, Pat Derrell, another close friend, would take him to a Catholic Church for
service. Ken made many friends in Barbados that became his second home. He taught at Harrison College until
2001, the statutory retirement age at the time. He was offered citizenship by the Barbados Government and proceeded
to Cave Hill Campus to study for a PhD which he completed in 2003.

As I can recall Ken lived a humble life as a priest and would spend a lot of his time with the poor and homeless, offering comforting words and support to the afflicted, driven by his Christian values. Even after leaving Guyana, Ken remained concerned about the future of education in Guyana and of SSC. He was a great communicator and always carried a small note book of names, telephone numbers whenever he travelled and would always find the time to call friends and family members who lived in England, Ireland, cities of the U.S. and Canada. He kept in touch with his cousins and relatives of the large Khan’s clan and always, with members of the SSC alumni wherever they were located. Ken will be missed.

Dr. Kenneth Khan leaves to mourn his dear wife Surujdevi,  son Alexander and his wife Ramona and two children; his siblings –
 sister Zorina and myself. Ken was also a favorite uncle to my five children and our first three - Raymond, Sean and Sharon
 attended SSC during Ken’s tenure; Ken was also close to his nieces Anne, Sandra and Susan. In addition, Ken was the nephew
to Muntaz Khan (NY), fondly referred to as Uncle Polo, our last surviving elder.

 We wish to express our sincere thanks for condolences from past students and members of the St. Stanislaus College Alumni and from many friends and family members.
We are reminded that ‘all the world is a stage and we have our entrance and exit’.
For me and my sister, his relatives, colleagues and friends, he will be remembered fondly.  He has left his footprints on the Sands of Time.

He will be remembered as a humble, kind considerate, generous and good humored Christian who made meaningful the Commandment of LOVING others.



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