January 23, 2018

Archives for December 2017

Guyanese depart for Windies World Cup title defence

Bhaskar Yadram, Raymond Perez, Ashmead Nedd, Ronaldo Alimohamed and Joshua Persaud departed Guyana on Wednesday morning for Barbados where they will join the rest of the Windies under-19s for the journey to New Zealand where they play the 2018 ICC Youth 50-over World Cup.
They are expected to leave Barbados today (Thursday) to have a camp in the host country as they beef up preparations for their title defence.

(L-R) Raymond Perez, Ashmead Nedd, Ronaldo Alimohamed and Bashkar Yadram at the Eugene F Correia International Airport on Wednesday morning (Johsua Persaud took the photo)

Yadram and Persaud both would have been on tour with the squad since they began their preparations earlier this year. The dashing Yadram is one of the most senior figures in the squad given his First-Class exposure and is expected to be the engine room of the top-order.
Given captain Emanuel Stewart is a wicketkeeper, the talented Persaud may not have the glove job but has the ability to deliver with his eye-catching stroke-play.
The late entrants to the squad, which would have come on the heels of their splendid performances in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) under-19 tournaments this year are also expected to play key roles.
Based on the recipe for success at the 2016 edition, where head coach Graeme West made full use of all-rounders Keemo Paul and Shemar Springer, the cunning medium-pace and power hitting of Alimohamed could be the side’s ‘x-factor’ in conditions where seam bowling should be dominant.
Likewise, Nedd’s previous knowledge of the conditions, since he played in January 2015 for Trinidad and Tobago’s Tony Hartford U-17 Academy, will be useful. Albeit just aged 16, the left-arm spinner is an immense revelation for a cricketer his age.
His best known attributes are being able to starve batsmen for runs at the business end of an innings and at a same time is still a genuine wicket-taking option.
The hopeful stardom at the top comes in form of shot-filled Perez. Simply but yet attractive is usually the modus operandi for the opening batsman when at the crease and though he previously told this publication he is not under any pressure to live up to expectations, much will still be expected.
He was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the regional under-19 tournament held in St Kitts in 2017 where he complied 348 runs from six innings finishing unbeaten on three occasions finishing with a staggering average of 116 runs per innings.
The defending champions are installed in Group of A and will play their first match against hosts, New Zealand on January 13 followed by a clash with South Africa four days later then their final group match is against Kenya on January 20.
Full Squad: Emmanuel Stewart – Captain (Windward Islands- Grenada), Kirstan Kallicharan – Vice Captain (Trinidad & Tobago), Ronaldo Alimohamed- (Guyana), Alick Athanaze- (Windward Islands- Dominica), Cephas Cooper- (Trinidad & Tobago), Jarion Hoyte- (Barbados), Kimani Melius- (Windward Islands- St. Lucia), Ashmead Nedd- (Guyana), Kian Pemberton- (Leeward Islands- St. Kitts & Nevis), Raymond Perez- (Guyana), Joshua Persaud- (Guyana), Jeavor Royal- (Jamaica), Keagan Simmons- (Trinidad & Tobago), Bhaskar Yadram- (Guyana) and Nyeem Young- (Barbados).
Management Team: Graeme West- (Head Coach), Dwain Gill- (Team Operations Manager), Corey Collymore- (Assistant Coach), Khevyn Williams- (Physiotherapist), Zephyrinus Nicholas- (Strength & Conditioning Coach) and Dinesh Mahabir- (Analyst). (Akeem Greene)

Golf champion Joaan Deo talks about balancing sport & academics

By John Ramsingh

From the tender age of 10 years old, Joaan Deo began golfing at the country’s only golf course at Lusignan and the sporting discipline has enabled her to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery in 2017 making her one of the most successful sportswomen in Guyana.

Joaan did not win the Guyana Open but won the prize for the Best Net

One may say that Joaan was born to play golf since she was born into a golfing family. Her father, Chatterpaul, who is the current captain of the Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) patiently taught her the finer details of the beautiful game that saw her rising to the top in the male dominated sport.
On the maternal side of her family is her uncle Papo Haniff who is the best golfer produced by the Lusignan Golf Club and nine-time Guyana Open Champion. Uncle Papo was also very instrumental in Joaan’s success on the fairways to date.
Along the way, Joaan has carted off the prestigious Guyana Open on two occasions (2014 and 2016), the Grand Coastal Open since 2009, the Scotiabank Open, Courts two-day Classic, MACORP Open, The Vish Trading Open, The Guy-Canam 2016 when she was paired with Jaipaul Suknanan; then there was that special occasion when she was paired with her dad to conquer the Sanjay’s Jewellery tourney.
In 2017, the pint-sized golfer played in three tournaments winning the Maersk and the Silica Sand Port Open while missing out at the Guyana Open. Her appearances on the fairways were limited in 2017 since Joaan was focused on completing her Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Guyana.
After graduating in November, Joaan said “Despite Dental Surgery having the disadvantage of being extremely complex, the joy of creating a beautiful and healthy smile has for me, far outweighed such a strain. Of course, the professional respect, the job security and the financial independence, which come with being a doctor, all complemented my choice,” when asked why such a profession.

Joaan is now a certified Dentist following graduation in November

In a society which is dominated by fast paced games including cricket and football, golf sometimes has a different stigma of being boring but the former Marian Academy student was quick to dismiss such claim. “Golf, as portrayed by the media, would appear to be a boring sport. But it is not until a neophyte has ventured to the tee box that he or she will be able to experience the excitement of this sport. I think the mistake which most persons make about golf is that they base their views of it based on appearance, and I would say this to them – don’t judge a book by its cover. You need to come to the course, grab a club and hit a ball. That’s all it takes. Golf is a lifetime sport which requires discipline and practice, and the rules are drafted in such a way that no one is left behind.”
Now that Joaan has successfully balanced academics and sport by putting in the long hours on the fairways to be a champion golfer and the even longer hours boxing the books to complete her degree, she is very adamant that it is not impossible. “The proverb, all work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl) fits perfectly with the need to complement one’s life of sport with academics. Athletes are already disciplined in sport so it is not that difficult to excel in academics. I consider myself an athlete, but that does not mean I will limit myself to merely that; we must always try to balance the equation. It is my strong opinion that athletes need that balance in their lives,” the athlete added.
As it pertains to 2018, Joaan will be working hard to bring down her handicap to single digit as she seeks to compete on the international scene. The sky is the limit.

‘Lightening’ Allicock too fast for Gibson

The return of the Boxing Day fist fight action to the National Gymnasium proved to be wholesome entertainment for all that attended the sizzling collaboration between the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) and Briso Promotions themed ‘Sons of Champions’. The talk of the town prior to the event was can Clairmont ‘Vibesman’ Gibson stop the ‘Lightening’ Keevin Allicock but the latter once again proved to be unstoppable for the Guyana Defence Force fighter in the bantamweight bout.

Allicock gladly accepts the winning prize from promoter Seon Bristol on Tuesday night at the National Gymnasium

The pocket rocket Alliock, a Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist ensured there is no doubt as to who is the better in their rematch, winning across the scorecards on his way to the unanimous decision.
More so, Desmond Amsterdam who was on the hunt for policeman Dennis Thomas was instead served Alloko Best and had his gloves off in no time with a second round stoppage.
Julius Kesney was also in a class of his own and put on a boxing clinic against Junior Hyman to pull out a victory inside the distance (round two).
Meanwhile, in three very competitive fights which could have arguably gone either way, Isiah Moore defeated Omar Pollard while Sherman Morrison and Deshon Elcock got the judges nod over Christopher Moore and Emanuel Pompey.
Other winners on the 11-fight card included Shaquancy Wright (over Deron Williams), Travis Inverary (versus Richard Howard), Mickel Worrell (versus Justin Winfield) and Aubrey Headley who fought John Mars.

Unlimited Christmas cheer

Satiricus was on a high, and he hadn’t even imbibed anything at the Back Street Bar which he’d just entered! It was the season to be jolly, and he was in a “Ho! Ho! Ho!” mood as he meandered his way to where his buddies had already stationed themselves.
“Can you believe our good luck this year?” he asked excitedly as he took his seat and simultaneously signalled the waitress for a beer.
“Wha’ good luck?” asked Bungi in a surly tone. “All me cane-cuttah fr’en dem get fyaah!”
“Is a good t’ing me bin a ‘Merica an’ketch me han’,” said Cappo. “Or me wo’lda get fyaah too.”
“You all looking at the glass half empty,” advised Satiricus. “And you miss the good things happening!”
“OK, Sato, spill it!” said Hari with a sigh. “Looks like you’re bursting to tell us this ‘good news’.”
“Didn’t you read Rum Jhaat cancelled the order for bars to be closed by 2 am?” said Satiricus, as he finished his beer and called for another. “We can drink till dayclean for the next two weeks!!”
“Sato, leh me aks yuh somet’ing,” said Cappo carefully as he looked at Satiricus. ”Yuh mean fuh tell me wid all wha’ guh-laang, all Rum Jhaat can do a gi’e abee mo time fuh drink?”
“Is the same thing I said,” said Satiricus with a smile. “You-all only looking at the glass half empty.”
“Me na drink fram glass!” said Bungi curtly. “Wha’ yuh mean?”
“Rum Jhaat know you and your sugar-estate friends are depressed at the closing of the estates,” said Satiricus. “And he knows you’all need more time to drown your sorrows. He gave you that time!!”
“Suh lemme get dis right,” said Cappo. “Rum Jhaat na do nuttin fuh dem suga workas jab, but dem must t’ank he fuh time fuh drink mo?”
“Yes!” said Satiricus. “You finally got it!”
“Suh Rum Jhaat guh gi’e de suga workah money fuh buy de rum fuh drink?” asked Bungi.
Satiricus fell silent.

‘Give Another Chance Foundation’

Give Another Chance Foundation (GACF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation registered in Guyana, with more than eight years of giving back to the society.
Its staff spans a range of disciplines from the social sciences, public policy, technology, and the creative arts. This interdisciplinary team collaborates to bring cross-disciplinary insights to a future that combine complex challenges and require unconventional perspectives.

Spreading Christmas cheer

The Board of Directors is committed to the financial, operational, and intellectual vitality of the organisation. From the earliest days, the Board has collaborated with management to evolve the organisation’s mission, resources, and administrative practices to meet the demands of a changing world.
Give Another Chance Foundation works in rural and outskirt urban communities of Guyana. These areas are known for high levels of poverty and low levels of educational achievement.
The Foundation works on self-reliant projects where its education programmes focus not just on access, but on attainment – ensuring vulnerable children have the right infrastructure, resources, teaching and parental support in order to have a quality education, and go on to lead productive, happy lives. This is complemented by the Foundation’s livelihood programmes that work to create secure incomes. The organisation also helps to improve agricultural practices and market awareness for farming communities.
GACF’s goals are to improve children’s lives by creating a social movement that delivers effective health, education, nutritional programmes; to give children an opportunity to realise their own personal achievement whether academically, artistically or within the realms of sports; and to promote peace, justice, understanding and friendly relations between the people of Guyana and people of the nations.
The organisation is committed to providing basic education from pre-school to university, and healthcare to underprivileged children in rural and urban communities. It believes that whether you are addressing healthcare, poverty, population control, unemployment or human rights, there is no better place to start than in the corridors of education.

The community of Baramita, North West District, received a basketball court, a collaboration between GACF and Mr. Thakur of the Atlantic Mining Company

Give Another Chance Foundation works with girls and boys in rural communities of Guyana to ensure they are able to learn the skills and gain the knowledge that will help them break out of poverty and secure their future with an After School Teaching programme.
Laying the foundations for learning, the organisation focuses on delivering quality early learning programmes. It ensures children get the best education at primary level, focusing on math, literacy, sciences, health, agriculture, critical thinking and more.
Notably, the Foundation works with men and women in rural communities to ensure they are able to earn a living, support their children’s education and have enough food to feed their families.
The Foundation helps communities find long-term solutions to poverty through innovative education and livelihood projects, which empower an individual to earn a livelihood. Its goal is to increase awareness on a range of issues – from healthcare to appropriate social behaviour to understanding one’s rights, and in the process help persons become better citizens.
Visit Give Another Chance Foundation on Facebook to see all the good work it has been doing throughout the years. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Sophia man stabbed to death, fiancé injured

A Sophia resident was stabbed to death by another man during an altercation in C Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown on Christmas Day while his fiancé sustained injuries as well.
Dead is 34-year-old Celwyn Alleyne also called ‘Marcus’ formerly of Lot 936 ‘C’ Field Sophia and of 1342 Cummings Park ‘E’ Field Sophia who was stabbed several times by the suspect, ‘Spoonhead’, a known character in the community.
Alleyne’s girlfriend Nalydiah Henry was also stabbed a few times- one to her neck, head, right shoulder and back.
Based on reports received, on the day in question, the now dead man interfered with a friend of the suspect and although he was warned not to do so, he continued.
The suspect who also goes by the name Kevin, retaliated by whipping out a knife and attacked Alleyne and his girlfriend.
After committing the act, the suspect fled the scene and the injured couple was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where Alleyne was pronounced dead on arrival. His fiancé was treated and sent away.
Meanwhile, the prime suspect has since been arrested and subsequently confessed to the crime.
The dead man leaves to mourn his 9-year-old daughter, mother and siblings.

Origin of Black Cake

In Caribbean culture, to give a whole home-baked black cake as a gift is a sign of great affection and intimacy. But have you ever thought about the origin of black cake?

British Christmas pudding

According to Guyanese historian Sushima Naraine, who resides in Canada, black cake is the Caribbean version of the British dessert plum pudding, but with “some slight Caribbean-esque changes(hence the rum)”.
Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History stated: “Banned by the Puritans in the 1660s for its rich ingredients, the [plum] pudding and its customs came back into popularity during the reign of George I. Known sometimes as the Pudding King, George I requested that plum pudding be served as part of his royal feast when he celebrated his first Christmas in England after arriving from Hanover to take the throne in 1714. By 1740, a recipe for ‘plum porridge’ appeared in Christmas Entertainments. In the Victorian era, Christmas annuals, magazines, and cookbooks celebrated the sanctity of family as much as the sanctity of Jesus’ birth, and the tradition of all family members stirring the pudding was often referenced…Poorer families made the riches version of plum pudding that they could afford…Even workhouse inmates anticipated a plum pudding on Christmas Day.” Andrea Broomfield [Praeger:Westport CT] 2007 (p. 150-151)
“While Christian missionaries made their ways through Caribbean communities, they left an indelible mark in the foods that continue to be a staple of the Caribbean diet. Plum pudding is but one example of the remaining British presence throughout.

Slice of Guyanese black cake

“It’s impossible to have a Christmas without black cake especially because many people gift these cakes to each other. As well, it’s common for everyone in the family to get involved in the actual baking process. Dad might be in charge of soaking the fruits in the rum, while mom takes care of mixing the ingredients. All the children – if they can be trusted with this task – would be involved in mixing the icing. The prep for baking black cakes is time-consuming, but the results are always amazing. As well, because of the concentration of rum these cakes can last for a really long time – my family keeps black cake on the kitchen counter for months afterwards…” Sushima noted.
Interestingly, the cake went by another name – the Empire Christmas pudding. This dessert was a staple of the British Empire and, of course, a special cake made and eaten during the Christmas holidays. It gained popularity during the Victorian era when chefs were able to preserve fruits from summer and use them during the winter.
“The Empire Christmas Pudding”, an artwork by F C Harrison produced for the Empire Marketing Board, is a recipe from 1926-1939 showing various ingredients being sourced from different countries, including sugar and rum from British Guiana.

‘The Empire Christmas Pudding’, artwork by F C Harrison produced for the Empire Marketing Board

English cakes were soaked in liquor to preserve them on sea voyages. But according to Jessica B. Harris, a culinary historian, black cake’s Caribbean character is found in the rum (British cakes usually use brandy) and in the cake’s intensely dark colour.
Black cake reflects the British presence in the Caribbean. The brown sugar, molasses and rum are reminders that it was the quest for sugar, and the slave labour that harvested it, that kept British colonialists in the islands.

Explore Waikin Ranch

A working ranch with cattle and other livestock including multiple fenced pastures, vegetable fields, fruits trees, adequate water and beautiful vistas with refreshing breeze, Waikin Ranch offers relaxation and adventure.
Waikin has boundaries from the main Rupununi trail to the Ireng River on the Brazil border to the west and Pirara River. The ranch covers almost 33,000 acres of mostly rolling savannah plains dotted with bush islands, ponds, lakes and creeks. This is the ambitious investment of businessman Victor Pires.
The windy rolling savannah plains at the ranch are particularly spectacular. There are also vistas of the Ite palm trees with a backdrop of the blue Kanuku Mountains. This area has natural springs being a source for the wetland’s ecology. Starting from the open savannah, in March 2011 work began and soon after the planting of trees and vegetables crops, which are richly bearing fruits.
Waikin continues to develop with the intention to make the land more viable: rearing of livestock, growing of timber and other trees along with fruits and vegetables. There has been much success already seen in the incredible increase in the amount of birds and natural life around the ranch.
Visitors can enjoy the richness and simplicity of ranch life. Picking fruits and vegetables and have them prepared for the next meal; take a walk to explore the surrounding ponds, or maybe try horse-back riding. You can consider taking a driving tour to the nearby lakes and rivers, or go canoeing. However you wish to spend your time, you can explore or just lay back in a hammock.
For more information, visit Waikin Ranch on Facebook or call 699-1266. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

An evening on Waikin Ranch

Rounding up cattle on the ranch

Learn how to become a vaquero or just enjoy a refreshing horseback ride through the savannah

Ite Palms and Deer Creek close-by to the ranch

Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables, like this gigantic avocado, grown and harvested at Waikin

Front view of the shed covering the campers as seen upon entering the compound

Why spunks…

…towards the US?

Well…well…well! Guyana voted against the US (and Trump) on that country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In case you’d imbibed too much in the Christmas party, dear reader, and missed the dust-up at the UN…here’s the scoop. Trump, being Trump, decided to jettison decades of US policy not to go along with Israel’s insistence that Jerusalem was the capital of the state of Israel, which they’d created after driving out half of the Palestinian population.
Jerusalem, however, remained with a Palestinian majority, and in recent proposals to bring peace to the Middle East, the UN-sponsored “two-state solution” (divvying up the state of Israel into Palestinian and Jewish parts) was acceptable to 165 countries, except the US and Israel. The Palestinians would make East Jerusalem into their capital.
While the US is only one country, it’s the lone superpower standing, so all of this was turned on its head by Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem!
The matter was brought to the 15-member Security Council, where even close ally Britain joined the 14-1 vote against the US decision. The latter, of course, used its veto to prevent a resolution being moved against it. Trump wasn’t moved – his stock rose in the domestic gallery he was playing to – he was sticking it to the UN, full of “furriners”! The counter resolution in the General Assembly, which Guyana and the other 127 countries voted for, doesn’t have any legal effect; it’s just sending a message to Trump.
So the question arises: Why did Granger have his Government go along? Principle? Well, the book on Granger’s hero, mentor and model – Burnham — was written by Tyrone Ferguson. The title he gave it was “To survive sensibly or to court heroic death”! The point he made, of course, is that unlike Jagan, Burnham had no desire to “court certain death” by taking on the US so in the beginning. Once ensconced in power, it was a different story!
In the matter at hand, US UN Representative Nikki Haley had warned countries – with individual notes – that the US was “taking names”! Of the 193 member countries, 8 voted with the US, 35 abstained (including TT and Jamaica) and 24 didn’t vote. The last two groups must’ve listened to Trump: “We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.” They wanted to “survive”.
So, what gave Granger spunks? Well, Burnham got spunks after he got power, because the PPP was anathema to the US, and so the US had no choice but to put up with the PNC’s nose-thumbing.
Is the PPP once again beyond the (US) pale?
…against Opposition MPs
Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs, sent out a missive defending the police invasion of the Parliament Chambers to eject Opposition PPP MPs. And what a strange defence it was – reminiscent of AG Basil Williams’s forays in the Courts of Law! He started out with:
“Referring to an incident in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, the 24th edition of Erskine May Parliamentary Practice at page 457 states that the Speaker directed the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove a Member of Parliament who refused to comply with an instruction to withdraw. The Sergeant-at-Arms, “finding that force was necessary, brought in his officers… ” Well, excuse your possibly optically challenged Eyewitness, but didn’t that say the Sergeant at Arms “brought in his officers.” Issacs should check further and he’d find the Sergeant-at-Arms works with the “Office of the Parliamentary Security Director”.
Then he refers to ejections from the South African Parliament. Yes, that happened, but did Issacs not read, “CON-COURT RULES POLICE MAY NOT REMOVE MPS FROM PARLIAMENT”??
But why’s the Clerk suddenly so pro-active? Anything to do with mining concessions?
…on curfew
Who says the Public Security Minister has no power? He just relaxed the 2am curfew for the holidays!! Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Just when they’ll be the most drunks on the roads!!

History of Christmas in Guyana

By Peter Halder

Guyana’s Christmas stamps dated 1967

The observation and celebration of Christmas in Guyana dates back to the 17th century. It began, circa 1627, among the Dutch immigrants who had established permanent settlements in Essequibo. The celebration later spread to Berbice in 1627 and then Demerara in 1746.
The counties of Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice, which subsequently became British as a result of European wars, were merged in 1831 and became British Guiana.
In the new British colony, the largest ethnic population were African slaves captured by British and Dutch slave ships and brought to Guyana to work on colonial sugar plantations.
Christmas was a popular season during the slavery era for most of the population except the Amerindians who lived in scattered communities in the hinterland observed and celebrated their own tribal festivals totally unrelated to Christianity.
It was peculiar at that time that while Christmas was about the birth of Christ, for a long while, little religious emphasis was placed on it. The few churches which were in Essequibo, Berbice, and Demerara in the 17th century held no Christmas services on December 25 or on Boxing Day, December 26.
The religious observation and celebration of Christmas may be linked to the coming of the Rev John Wray. In 1810, the London Missionary Society, a Protestant body, sent him to Guyana. He set up a mission for slaves at Plantation Le Ressouvenir, a large cotton estate on the East Coast of Demerara. A church building was constructed and was named Bethel Chapel. It had a congregation of some 600 people.

Children infront of a banner titled ‘Father Christmas at Uncle Vivian (Ace Advertisers Robb and King Sts)’ n.d.

Rev John Wray launched the religious observation of the Christian festival of Christmas at his church. Church sermons featured the birth and life of Jesus Christ. An added feature was baptisms and marriages on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. The popularity of the Christmas services and their added attractions gave the slaves forbearance to their miserable lives, remembering how Jesus Christ was beaten and crucified on the cross. Christmas celebrations quickly spread throughout the country and was popularly known as “the Season of Festivity”. From then to today, Guyanese extend to family, friends and anyone “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Festive Season”.
Christmas and the Christmas season were celebrated not only by the African slaves but by their white masters as well, each in their own way. The occasion expanded from just religious services to family parties and get-togethers on Christmas and Boxing Day. Special lunches and dinners for families and friends translated into feasting and drinking which remains the culture until this day. The whole country became a moving scene of feasting, drinking, dancing and gaiety. Cheerful groups traversed the lanes and paths in villages dressed in gaudy trappings, hair cut and fashioned in a variety of shapes, some decorated with beads, bits of ribbons and tinsel ornaments. They were accompanied by drumbeat and singing. Some wore wigs.
Christmas also became a time for gift giving. It perhaps was initiated by the white gentry who shared out clothing, food items and drinks, including alcohol, to their slaves and at the same time wishing them a “Merry Christmas”. The slaves accepted the gifts for what they were worth but never forgot the whip lashes they received or expected in the future from their masters. But inspired by the idea and the Christian charity of it all, slaves also began to give gifts of whatever they could afford to their immediate families. And so gift giving became consonant with the Christmas Season. (https://peterhalder.wordpress.com) (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)