Tag Archives: By Nigel Westmaas

HISTORY: Patrick Dargan – Guyana’s original non-White politician

By Nigel Westmaas – December 11, 2022 – Stabroek News  Patrick Dargan

Patrick Dargan is accredited as Guyana’s first ‘formal’ non-white politician to occupy one of the highest rungs of government under the British colonial order, namely the Combined Court.

Described as “the most dominant and fearless politician in his era” and celebrated as “Tribune of the People” and “national hero,” Dargan epitomised the era and the struggle to break the barriers of institutional racism amid a colonial order defined by the aristocracy of sugar. Described variously as a ‘Creole of mixed blood’, ‘mixed’ or black lawyer,

Dargan became prominent, according to Walter Rodney (1981), after the political gains of the 1891 constitution, which gave “public spirited colonists their opportunity”  and  opened the possibilities for future black and brown (and mixed race) political aspirants.     

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Guyana: History: Introducing a Multiracial Appeal of 1938: The ‘Negro-Indian Combine’ – By Nigel Westmaas

By October 24, 2021.-– By Nigel Westmaas

Ruhoman was widely known for his interventions in the press. Politically conservative (he was an open critic of communism), he was a major contributor and respondent to social and political issues. His brother, Peter Ruhoman, was the author of the influential book, The Centenary History of the East Indians of British Guiana.        Continue reading

PROFILE: AA Thorne: Guyanese politician, trade unionist, journalist and educator – By Nigel Westmaas 

AA Thorne
AA Thorne

Described as the “lean man with the jerky gait”, Alfred Athiel Thorne straddled the political and social life of Guyana for more than 60 years, in a career spanning from the late 19th to mid-20th century. Yet little is known in modern times about this titanic figure in the political and social life in colonial Guyana and his significant roles in supporting and struggling on behalf of the working class and other causes.

Contrast this with the reception accorded his contemporary, Hubert Critchlow, whose career and contributions are fairly well documented and recognized. This is surprising as Thorne arguably had an equally impactful career as his sometime rival Critchlow.        Continue reading

Guyana’s Golden Jubilee: Celebration or Commemoration? – By Nigel Westmaas

Celebration or Commemoration?: History, Public Education and Guyana’s Golden Jubilee

In the Diaspora logoBy  Nigel Westmaas – February 29, 2016 – Stabroek News

The Guyana Chronicle headline screamed “Patriotism Returns” after the flag raising ceremony at the new Jubilee Stadium on D’urban Park on Republic Day, February 23. It was a great moment to see the Golden Arrowhead unfurl with grace in the wind. And after Republic comes the Golden Jubilee. Excitement is in the air. A huge budget has been allocated for May and the hordes, both local and overseas, are set to descend on Georgetown.

But to suggest “patriotism” has returned in that fleeting moment is a gross exaggeration. Guyana is a country a long way from national healing and a sense of collective memory. Other words have been thrown around widely and energetically for the 50th anniversary, none more so than “celebrate.” What about “commemoration” in place of “celebrate”?   Continue reading



 By Nigel Westmaas

'Freddy' Kissoon

‘Freddy’ Kissoon

He mounts his charge, armour of steel and honour and his lance ready, the contemporary Don Quixote, except he slays not windmills, but real dragons clawing at the heart of a nation. Enter the combatant, with passion and fire of old time crusaders, against sins of omission and commission on themes of human decency, justice, and cleanliness in public affairs.

No Guyanese newspaper columnist in recent times has personified and combined the impulses of social activism, and figure of controversy than Freddy Kissoon. He has contributed more than any other individual in the media in consistently and flambouyantly exposing corruption, Guyana’s foibles and the nature of contemporary Guyanese society. Continue reading

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