Commentary: My Guyana – By: Cora Bollers-Watson

My Guyana – By: Cora Bollers-Watson

Guyana, my Guyana that I grew up in and remember, was a country of mixed nationalities, seven altogether. We were a friendly, fun loving people, where neighbours and even strangers looked out for each other.

Of course, as is customary among the human race, we as children and even adults had our disagreements, but nothing lasted forever, no weapons were used.

We were brought up to speak properly and respect our elders.  We acquired so many aunties and uncles, friends of our parents that one never knew where real family ended, and the adopted ones began.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On July 18, 2019 at 4:33 am

    Wow ! Also my Guyana of 50/60’s

    Kamtan

  • michael hawkins  On July 18, 2019 at 6:31 am

    It was our Independence that brought us to the attenuation of the CIA as the party that won was a left wing party. Very clever the CIA they came in and turned the people against each other. It’s called divide and rule. And it works very well as I found out years later serving in the British Army in Cyprus and East Africa. It’s up to the people to reunite and move forward.

    • Trevor  On July 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      CIA is accused of supporting pro-multi-national companies in Latin America. Hugo Chavez struggled against corporate imperialism, and Venezuela is still paying the price for being stubborn against the white American “go back to where you came from” empire.

  • Yvette Lee-own  On July 18, 2019 at 7:03 am

    So true. On the other I have cousins that still live there and never would leave to come abroad and live. Some are professionals and others just love their life living there, no bars, etc. ; have a great life there. They come abroad when necessary, vacations etc.

    That’s is how a lot of our people think as we live abroad. But still after almost fifty years living abroad, I still yearn to be back home. But this is where my family are, and I will remain here and continue to enjoy my life here, with visits to our home land, dear Guyana🥰❤️😍

    ________________________________

    • Trevor  On July 18, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      Gt is not the same today as it was in the 60s and 70s.

      We suffered 23 years of PPP/C rule and GT was regressing into garbage while the cronies were murdering squatters on the Lamaha embankment to build taller and taller buildings to launder drugs money.

      The PPP allowed Chinese and Indian companies to cut down large areas of trees for lumber and paid Guyanese a pittance of the wages, even withholding paychecks and not paying the labourers for their labour.

  • Herman bacchus  On July 18, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Cora. U r on the money. Echo my thinking 100%

  • Linda  On July 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    You’re spot on Cora….my sentiments exactly. Like you I doubt that the changes we would love to see will happen in my lifetime. But only the Guyanese people can stand up to the politicians and demand positive change.

    • Trevor  On July 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm

      Freddie Kissoon frighten that if he drives late at night a “random” vehicle might jam him head-on or sideswipe at full speed and cause an “accident”.

      Lots of Guyanese businessmen, those who have been here since their great-great-great grandparents, are packing up and leaving. Chinese investors have taken over most of the shopping malls here in GT.

      Oil money will only perpetuate corruption rather than stop it. It’s not like either the oil companies or the GoG will be honest with the oil revenues flowing from production in a few months. President Granger plays by the rules, but his Cabinet or the AFC are not immune from corruption.

      It would be worse if the PPP ends up as government.

      We will all be living in mud houses while the PPP and cronies will erect majestic skyscrapers as if it was Dubai, even if it means sending their jackboots to gun down Lamaha squatters to build parking lot for seven and eight story malls while evading taxes.

  • NDTewarie  On July 24, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Cora, I share your pains everyday when I read the Guyana dailies I agree with everything which you’ve stated and also with Lall’s quote when he refers to his “fervent, immovable belief that, unless there is racial healing and racial reconciliation, this land will continue to be a ramshackle collection of hostile peoples”, however, this atrocity was fostered unto us by the bakrahs who were so greedy for profit that they never gave an iota of thought about the danger they were planting in the minds of Black and Indians. Then this hatred was compounded by our apanjaat politics and later made into a cesspool by our today’s politicians. We can’t blame or look for blame on others, our situation is unique.
    I was born at Nabaclis my navel string is buried there under the old Mammy tree and I left that village when I was 10 years old. At my school we had no racial ill will to any of the races, we lived side by side. I moved to live in a dominantly East Indian village in Berbice. I was a teacher for over 30 years, I saw children, I never looked on them as Indians or blacks. One of my saddest times of regret in my life was during the disturbances when Indian youths pelted and scared away the few blacks from the village. These were people who lived like brothers and sisters among us. One was a great teacher who taught almost every one of the grown-ups and it brought tears to our eyes when they left. Such was the wrath and hurt of racial politics. I don’t know how it would end. Guyana is going through a racial and economical hemorrhage and if the old leader Cheddi Jagan was alive, such havoc would never have taken roots. As a poet once said:

    Jagan never succumbed or relent
    Even with his life almost spent
    He fought his foes with his bare hands
    And never groveled to their demands

    A true patriotic Guyanese one can never find
    With the welfare of all Guyanese on his mind
    Even on his deathbed nearing the end of his light
    Whispering to Janet, “Everything would be all right”

    He’s no ordinary man, he dreamt in his own way
    Like the Rev.Martin Luther King, he hoped one day
    The people of Guyana would rise up peacefully
    Become one people, one nation, with one destiny.

    Concluding I say:

    And when I die abroad or here
            I’m telling them “Let me stay ya”
          To my loved ones let them share
            And bury my shell also in Guyana

    NDTewarie

    MY GUYANA

    The land of many waters is my Guyana
    Sandwiched between Brazil and Venezuela
    Also called the land of six peoples
    Although some behave like weevils
    Including the Blacks and Indians
    And our neglected Amerindians
    We live on the flat coastlands
    From Point Playa to Springlands
    Mesmerized by racial politics
    Still using the race card tricks
    It appears as if we’re bloody cursed
    With some of us stuck in reverse
    Just to stay sober and keep alive
    Whilst some are in forward drive
    Some myopic and so stubborn
    Some hope for newborn morn

    My Guyana is Raleigh, Sir Walter
    The fearless Elizabethan explorer
    He sailed up the Orinoco
    Hoping to find El Dorado
    Around campfires, his saga is told
    How he came looking for our gold
    Dr.Walter Rodney is in My Guyana
    The stalwart historian, and teacher
    He cleansed their eyes of many from boo-boo
    And on Bent Street, he met his tragic Waterloo
    My Guyana is Cheddi Jagan
    Who showed the world he can
    After 28 years in the opposition
    To the infamous Machiavellian
    He found peace and sanity
    And brought back democracy
    Eventually, we got independence
    After a bitter struggle so immense
    With Forbes Burnham the dictator
    Who became misguided later
    But I’m thankful to that Kabaka
    When I couldn’t take the pressure
    I left Guyana and came to the USA
    And then later settled in Canada

    My Guyana is cricket also man!
    With Basil Butcher and Soloman
    The star batsmen from Berbice
    When Guyana was at real peace

    Rohan Kanhai in cricket held the spot
    With his famous falling hook shot
    Who sometimes, unfortunately, ran out of luck
    An overnight’s batsman got bowled for a duck
    This wasn’t for his fans a very good scene
    Much to the chagrin of the whole Corentyne

    My Guyana is Ted Braithwaite as a teacher
    With his novel, To Sir with Love as a writer
    Sydney Poiter’s portrayal of kids bad and loud
    Ted’s English experience made us very proud
    It also includes JWChinapen teacher and artist
    His Albion Wilds at that time ‘twas the best
    And not forgetting the late great dynamic
    Revealing to us of politicians so slick
    He turned the darkness into light

    Martin Carter’s poems were right
    With his Poems of Resistance so powerful
    Uniting a people and making it so crystal
    Who literally planted the struggle and need
    To fight bad politics, racialism, and greed

    My Guyana is honored to have great boons
    The likes of the lordly Cedric Vernon Nunes
    And the wisdom of the late J R Butchery
    Teacher and counselor with humility
    Philip Moore our famous artist
    His art was on all visitor’s list
    With his art and sculpture so unique
    Making Guyana reached its peak

    What would Guyana be great Scot!
    Without Stalwarts like Derek Walcot
    The Daybydeens, Bhagwandin a fine man
    Indomitable A J Seymour, Clem Seecharan
    Nesbit Changur country-western singer
    Whose Tain the Beginning a bestseller
    Made us laugh and cry some in shock
    That we’re alive through all that havoc
    So when you are being political
    Sowing seeds of distrust so hateful
    Joining the highbrows helping
    To divide us and keep on ruling
    Better know that fellow man we are
    Good people who never think of war
    In small towns and tiny villages
    Enjoying the same sea breezes
    Once were never divided living like chums
    Not by race or politics or bully hoodlums

    My Guyana is for all the six major races
    The Amerindians who made the first traces
    The sons and daughters of the blacks
    Who came after camouflaged attacks
    Of the slaves uprooted from Africa
    To build the plantations of the bakrah
    And the East Indians shipped from India
    These are the people who made Guyana
    These coolies really deserve our cheers
    What it is today built by these pioneers
    And they all have a democratic right
    To govern peacefully in this fight

    In my Guyana, you positively move forward
    Throw off our shackles but keep up our guard
    Stop and think not of the race card game
    And neither the old ever blame game
    About the past, we can’t do anything
    But from it we can learn something
    Take the good dump the negative
    And move forward think positive
    Like when we were British Guiana
    When we fought the bad bakrah
    We thought bad things would cease
    And all the races would live in peace
    When all the religions were respected
    Not where some men were subjected
    When we all used to work together
    Played and laughed with one another
    And sometimes loved each other
    Yes that’s my kind of Guyana

    My Guyana belongs to the farmers
    The cane cutters and pork knockers
    Even the contentious civil servants
    Able Policeman and good soldiers
    Firemen, road gangs, pupils and teachers
    My Guyana isn’t for the choke and robbers
    Who steals from the poor in this broil
    Eking out a living in the hustle and toil
    Wearing fat gold chains on their chests
    And mocking proudly resisting arrests

    My Guyana has no place for ideological asses
    Far removed from the welfare of the masses
    Bureaucratic hypocritical pencil pushers
    And streams of no good paper shufflers
    Partying or being entertained by voodoos
    As the citizens are crying in long queues

    I’m a Guyanese and love me duff and cassava
    I was born at Nabaclis village in Demerara
    Lived in Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice
    I still relish my black-eye rice and peas
    I can still lash down my dholl, rice, and bhajee
    And I’m king for the day with a good metagee
    And still, love my juicy Buxton spice mango
    Firstly worked at Anna Regina in Essequibo
    I seldom complain and or fret
    And damn proud of it you bet

    My Grandfather’s bones are sadly buried
    Very far from where he once got married
    There he died searching for gold
    Seeking a better life for his fold
    In the heartland of the Kurupung region
    Where he made his final gold bastion
    My great, great grandfather, a seer
    Was a prince from rich Kashmir
    I’m a real Brahmin by birth
    But I fly low near the earth
    My friends are from all races and creed
    I judge a man by his words and deed
    And not by his past politics
    But by his actions and antics
    I’m getting there actually but I know
    One day I will live to see our show
    When Guyanese think like me
    Not as a black or a damn coolie
    But as one nation with one destiny
    Living in sweet peace and harmony.

  • Gary  On July 31, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Hi Cora, I couldn’t agree more. Your summarization and analogy of GT is hitting the nail on the head, what a shame.

  • Cora Watson  On August 8, 2019 at 11:29 am

    It was very nice to have my thoughts of Guyana so well received. Thanks to all my Guyanese friends (although unknown ) I’ve only recently found out about Guyanese online and it makes me feel good to know I could now keep in touch with fellow Guyanese and also know whats going on in my country
    Once again THANKS. Cora.

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