THERE SHOULD BE – By Dave Martins.

THERE SHOULD BE – By Dave Martins.

Dave Martins

Dave Martins

I’m a notes guy, and not only for songs. I keep little jotting s about things I notice, or read; conversations I overhear; comical signs on car windows; etc. In my scribblings, I have one section called “There Should Be” where I dump random ideas of social progress, often not of pressing importance at the time, but some of these notes later turn into columns in this space. From that, therefore, this:
There should be:

= Somewhere in Georgetown, in an attractive and very visible location, a substantial permanent recognition honouring Martin Carter, with his name in letters two feet high, and displaying examples of his works. Ideally, it should be on the land where he once lived, replacing the ignored and untended house that sits there, but if that is not available some other central site should be found. I know without asking that the money for such a project would be easy to find, if not in government, then from the ranks of our business community where his reputation is golden. One suspects there may be controversy over what the display should look like, and perhaps even where it should be located, but we should push through all that and make the thing happen.  

= An end to the rampant takeover of parapets in Georgetown and elsewhere by various business enterprises – sometimes with trucks parked or containers being unloaded. In places, the takeover is permanent, with refrigerated containers finding a permanent home on the property, inches from the roadway. The practice is now so widespread – it has even reached parts of Berbice and Essequibo – that there will certainly be turmoil from the folks who were getting away with this practice for years, but there should be an end to it for all our benefit.

= An end to the practice of very young children being transported on motorcycles – often two, with the parent driving, one child on the gas tank, one on the pillion. It is so patently dangerous an undertaking that it is a puzzle why this approach goes on unrestricted. Certainly, there is the matter of the shortage of funds in families that would allow for safer transportation, but we must consider the possible severe injury, or worse, to a young child just beginning to peep at life. No money can be equated with what such a loss would mean to a family. And still on traffic, it’s good to see in recent weeks a uniformed policeman at some major junctions in rush hour; it goes a long way to restraining some of the idiotic behaviours of persons equipped with a driver’s licence.

== Yes, there definitely should be an arm of the government specifically charged with educating Guyanese (or whoever else is interested) about Guyana. I’m not a technocrat, so I don’t know the details, but it should be a vigorous continuous presentation (billboards; statues; radio and TV programmes; documentaries; publications; etc) telling the Guyanese story, in items large and small, over and over. One small example, delivered to me this week by the encyclopaedic Bert Carter, is that our East Demerara Water Conservancy is twice the size of Barbados – yes, twice. I’ve been in the Conservancy and realize it’s huge, but I clearly never knew how much so. It is from hundreds of bits of information such as this, gained over time, that we end up with a feeling of pride in country. Most countries I have been to do this a matter of course. In Europe and North America there is a constant flood of it, not so here. Now, there may be a government unit already positioned, or being proposed for this job; if not, there should be.

== An established service provider should be given the job of cleaning and maintaining the areas of our major international airport frequented by passengers. From time to time, letter writers particularly bemoan the poor state of the toilet facilities at Timehri (compare it to Ogle some time) but the problem remains. The Timehri staff may well be overloaded with more pressing concerns – safety; smuggling; aircraft turnaround; baggage) – in which case the work should pass to an entity that can focus specifically on that job. What we have there now is an embarrassment. I had the experience recently, going into the men’s toilet at Timehri , of finding my way blocked by an obvious visitor to our country who had entered before me. The man was standing there immobilized, virtually gaping, in obvious shock at what lay before him to be used. I was truly ashamed of my country, seeing the kind of impression it had left on a visitor.

= And there should be some second thought given to the proposal that a petting zoo be established in the Promenade Gardens. In other times, in years gone by, that area was virtually the hinge on which Georgetown’s acclaim as the Caribbean’s Garden City swung. The Promenade Gardens was the centre piece of our naturally flowering city. Many citizens bemoaned its decline decades ago, and the eventual restoration of the natural bounty there, supported so admirably by Republic Bank in recent years, was applauded and admired across the board. As the new administration sets about the admirable regeneration of the city now underway, consideration should be given to keeping Promenade as the unique garden it truly is, and, given our emerging emphasis on tourism, that we perhaps make it once again, as it once was, home to an orchid collection with the reputation of being the finest such in the Caribbean. We want to have examples of excellence to impress visitors to our country, and that unique nature explosion in the heart of a bustling city, properly maintained, can be one such. Okay, the orchid collection does not exist there now, but it should be.


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  • rex gladd  On February 23, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Ant to think our minsters of Govt. who travel quite frequently have surely had to use the facilities at airports around the Caribbean and in other parts of the world and can see the stark difference you would think they would bring the ideas home and improve ours

  • Sylvie DaCosta  On February 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I can truly see that Dave Martins has the best interest in his country by wanting to improve and make it a beautiful place for visitors and natives alike. Yes, I have experienced the shame of the bathroom facilities at the airport. When you have to go you have to go, so you just use it and exit as quick as you can. No paper, no liquid soap and most of all, no sense of pride for a child coming home. Improvements are in order! Just think, it makes one really wanting to come back home or just plain go to another destination and enjoy! Good for you Dave! You are an example if a model citizen! Keep them on their toes! God bless!

  • Albert  On February 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Toilets at airports are usually kept clean for obvious reasons. Maintaining standards seem to be a problem with third world countries. Recall visiting England in the 90’s and using the toilet in a major London park. The park office was right next door. One could imagine how clean the toilet was kept. In the colonial days (1950’s) the toilet , on the Waterloo Street side of the small gardens, was kept meticulously clean. Would not dream of using that toilet today.
    Last time home, at one place saw a guy stand outside the toilet at the door,, took out his thing and pee. Had no choice but to do the same thing.

  • Gigi  On February 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Industrial revolutions do that to places. And Guyana did experience their own small scale version when the PPP were in control. The economy grew at a tremendous pace despite all the DIRTY schemings by the PNC/APNU to undermine this PPP crowning achievement. Heck, Guyanese were so darn poor there were no excesses to discard, and most couldn’t afford the contraband prices on those imported convenience/junk foods – much less vehicles and other middle-class status symbols. Enjoy it while it lasts, which won’t be long.

    Thankfully, Guyana never had to live through Britain’s Victorian era when people emptied their chamber pots by flinging the contents right outside their windows. Pity the poor souls who happened to be passing by during that time. Even the rich were not spared since rich and poor both lived among each another. But Guyana WILL endure worse when the PNC/APNU/WPA/AFC cabal gets finished with its second go around at wrecking Guyana.

    Support a two-state separation of Guyana. NOW!!!

  • Deen  On March 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    One of the most impressionable things when travelling is the cleanliness of a country, including its toilet facility. Unfortunately, I must confess the worst restroom I’ve ever seen was at a nightclub in Georgetown many years ago. It was so shocking that it has forever left an indelible impression on me.
    I remember during my primary school days the British Government had sanitary inspectors who ensured the communities were kept clean and there were no health violations. I can only assume standards of cleanliness deteriorated, like everything else, after the British left Guyana.

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