Belvedere Inn, Berbice, Guyana

Teacher, Cyril Bishun also passed away, in Toronto, he was 95 years old. Viewing  5 to 9 pm at Highland Funeral Home , 3280 Sheppard ave. East , Scarborough, Funeral Saturday  2.00pm at Westminister Presbyterian Church , 841 Birchmount Road , at Eglinton in Scarborough.. Teacher ,Bishun was from Vreed-en-hoop, West Coast Demerara.

RIP Ronald !

Did not see or hear about him since in the late 80s.

HE and I were Lion brothers, Ronald from Central Corentyne  and me from Corriverton Lions Club. He was a very nice and humble bussinessman.

His restauraunt was very famous and was one of the late night spots we frequent on our way home from GT 

 

Chief,

I have known Ron Seepersaud since the 1950s  at Old Albion, but we became closer friends in the early 1960s, when he knocked on our Belvedere door at four one morning, asking friends to donate blood for his mother emergency surgery,  at the  old New Amsterdam hospital.  It was during the British time and breakfast afterwards was brandy, with cheese and  crackers. Dem bhai got lightheaded with less blood and too much brandy.

The Belvedere Inn building was once a sugar worker's co-op store, where bulk food  items were sold cheaply. The co-op did not work out well and the building remained vacant for a long time.  I have some earlier photos of the building and also in the 1970s.. In the following years, most of the building material was stolen  and all that remained were the concrete foundation, with an opening day  memorial plaque that is still there today, as part of Belvedere Inn.

I believe Ron had seven sons, some are not alive. No daughter. They managed Belvedere Inn  business at Belvedere and Rose Hall Town, when Ron and his late wife moved to  Canada.

Ron's  FIL  was a school furniture maker, locate near  Albion Multiplex, close to the main entrance bridge.  I know when Ron was courting his wife. He used to stand on the bridge and sing her Jim Reeves love songs while playing  his guitar. One time the FIL threw an old pot at him  and broke his guitar strings. On their wedding day, the FIL gave Ron a new set of guitar strings  and said he was sorry for throwing the old pot, because he did not knew what Ron's intentions were for his daughter. Ron said thank you Pa.

Ron bought the building  lot, what was left of old co-op store  and built Belvedere Inn, first only as a bar,  that was very different than what it is today. It was only a one floor building, then later he added the upper floor restaurant.

Ron was one of my best friends at Belvedere and  he never forgot how we supported his mother in an emergency.  When I visit Guyana, he gets upset if I don't see him and he always plan a party with special  food at his house  with his family  and other friends.  I have many photographs of Ron and his family from the 1960s to 2000, that I will put together for his children.

The last time Ron visited Guyana and  returned with a stroke, I sent him some photos I took of a   hunting trip we had.  I believe it was with a guy name Doobay who had to leave Wismer. Ron and family attended the Williamsburg Lutheran church, where Rose Hall Town Mootoo took photos of our youth group, with Pastor Munroe.  In the early 1960s, his parents lived at Belvedere Public Road, close to Nigg Post Office  and had Sunday school classes, that was attended by  the children in nearby villages.

Ron was a community supporter and a very generous man. The Lions Club you mentioned  was a big part of his life. Their hall is located at Hampshire and my other Belvedere friend Sonny Sukhai was also a long time club member and school furniture maker. They link well with my Berbice Kildonan friend Bob Y.,  another long time Lions Club member,  in Tortola, British Virgin Island, where  I visit often and participated in many Lions Club activities.  Bob will be a welcoming host if you should decide to visit. There are a few hundred Guyanese living there, many from Berbice. .

I will miss my frequent phone calls to Ron. We always catch up with what the boys like Leon McKoon in England and others are doing.  I was once on a two week trip with Leon from Albion to Charity. . He is also a fun guy, but not doing  well heath wise..

Ron was a good friend and I will miss him an awful lot.  

RIP Ron Seepersaud, on this day of your funeral.

seignet posted:

Trying to remember a guy with a camera.

Do you know Baigan? 

I don't remember anyone name Beigan. Not too many freelancers were taking photos in the 1960s at Albion.  Even in the early 1970s, when I return for a visit with better cameras from Japan. I also noticed only studio did weddings in  areas surrounding Albion. I photographed a few at Nigg and Belvedere, including those from the 1960s.

Just thinking....Was Nigg named after the word NIGG**, similar to  part of most sugar estates ?  NIGG** yard.

Do you know the late Grub Jaimangal and John Gopaul  ?

Tola posted:
seignet posted:

Trying to remember a guy with a camera.

Do you know Baigan? 

I don't remember anyone name Beigan. Not too many freelancers were taking photos in the 1960s at Albion.  Even in the early 1970s, when I return for a visit with better cameras from Japan. I also noticed only studio did weddings in  areas surrounding Albion. I photographed a few at Nigg and Belvedere, including those from the 1960s.

Just thinking....Was Nigg named after the word NIGG**, similar to  part of most sugar estates ?  NIGG** yard.

Do you know the late Grub Jaimangal and John Gopaul  ?

John Gopaul the same as Dharmalall Gopaul, a school teacher in Guyana? A skinny guy who rode a motor cycle to work?

skeldon_man posted:
Tola posted:
seignet posted:

Trying to remember a guy with a camera.

Do you know Baigan? 

I don't remember anyone name Beigan. Not too many freelancers were taking photos in the 1960s at Albion.  Even in the early 1970s, when I return for a visit with better cameras from Japan. I also noticed only studio did weddings in  areas surrounding Albion. I photographed a few at Nigg and Belvedere, including those from the 1960s.

Just thinking....Was Nigg named after the word NIGG**, similar to  part of most sugar estates ?  NIGG** yard.

Do you know the late Grub Jaimangal and John Gopaul  ?

John Gopaul the same as Dharmalall Gopaul, a school teacher in Guyana? A skinny guy who rode a motor cycle to work?

Holy shoot Skelly, thanks for reminding of John's  real name Dharmalall,  I knew that name well and forgot it. We used to tease  him as a kid, 'Mama ma want bobo'. Another time he had a cast on his arm, so we call him, 'John bruk han'. He used to get mad and chase us around. Because he was light skinned, when he get mad his face would turn red.

John also passed on from a disabling stroke in Minnesota, about two years ago.

I last saw him a few years ago after attending an Urbana conference in St. Louis and took the bus with some participants to Minnesota, where I stayed with  John, his wife Peggy, three sons and met other  Guyanese.

He was first married to a woman who had to leave Wismer and she also rode John's motorcycle. She crashed it once and was called  007, because the JB movies were showing at that time at Yollanda cinema.

John and myself grew up together at Old Albion in the logies, before we moved to Belvedere in 1959. His  grandma was an indenture labourer and worked in the weeding gang at Albion estate. Grass cutta.   His mother was a seamstress, who taught young women to sew.  Their logie was separated with a wall from ours and I would sometimes pass my school work book thru the cracks in the wall  to finish our home work.

I played a lot with John as children, we went through the school system together and remained good friends until his death. We talked on the phone almost weekly before his passing.

John's mother [Betty] lived near Jane and Finch in Toronto and also passed on.  His uncle Walter Rambeharry was the assistant personnel manager at Albion estate and a  good friend of my late  oldest brother Manna [Sydney], who passed on in Ocala.

John mother was a single parent. He once told me that his father was a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, whom he met twice.

Before his death he asked  me if I knew how my comic books went missing from our house. Because his family was very close to ours, he would go to our house and tell my father that I said to lend him my comic books, which he never return. He was a trusting guy to my parents and had free access to my room. Sometimes I would return from work at  Albion office and he would be fast asleep in my bed.  

I spent a week with John in Apple Valley, MN.. His mother was visiting from Toronto and she taught  John and myself how  to make special roti, that I photographed. We talked a lot with his mother about the logie  days, especially when we were both children and how manish we were. She said they would have to tie our leg with a rope  to a post near the house, so we don't crawl in the nearby concrete drain.

John worked for Wells Fargo in MN  and one day as he was standing in their kitchen,  he experienced  the stroke and was in bed until he passed on.

I rally enjoyed that week with him and it was the last time I would see him. This is hard Skelly, because most of the guys I grew up with are passing on, or disabled in bed like Mara.   

Yes, he was a teacher  with a motor cycle. At one time someone lent him a racing bike, that I almost crashed. He was smart and passed exams with ease, while we struggled.  He was light skinned and skinny, but he put on some wright later in life.

As teenagers we went to our farm with our donkey cart on weekends. He always wanted to ride the donkey, instead of sitting on the cart.

Skelly, writing about two best friends on the same day, sure brings back some emotional memories.

How did you know John ?  I knew he taught at JB Cropper school at Albion Front, but not aware of other schools, because I cam overseas around that time.          

John passed away? Is this the same guy that lived opposite Ramkumar's shop?

I was born in Albion, to be exact Albion Front. Moved away for 15 years. Visited the logies during those years from time to time.

At 15, I returned to attend Bookers Training Centre and I lived close by John. It was an unfamiliar place with no friends, not too long after John and I started to exchanged comic books. I would go by his house for hours.

If that is the John, sorry to hear of his spassing. 

seignet posted:

John passed away? Is this the same guy that lived opposite Ramkumar's shop?

I was born in Albion, to be exact Albion Front. Moved away for 15 years. Visited the logies during those years from time to time.

At 15, I returned to attend Bookers Training Centre and I lived close by John. It was an unfamiliar place with no friends, not too long after John and I started to exchanged comic books. I would go by his house for hours.

If that is the John, sorry to hear of his spassing. 

Yes Seignet, unfortunately it is the same John Dharmalall Gopaul that lived diagonally from you, across from Ramkuar shop.

At one time John had asked me to photographs a Muslim man across the street from your house. The photo was with him in a hammock and I don't fully understand the relationship, maybe a memorable friendship. Chedda use to live at this house.   

I have some photos taken  with DEO who lived on the same street block as you, on the opposite side of the street, about middle, attending Bookers Sugar Estates training centre at PM. Deo also passed on in Toronto. The photos were taken  at the BSE sign in front of the training centre.  What year did you attend BSE training centre ?

I believe two brothers from Albion Front also attended BSE training centre and later moved to Northern Alberta. I knew them well, but lost contact. The back of their house was facing Albion Multiples [Community Centre] and they had a small pedestrian bridge in front to cross the trench to  their house.

I am in touch with Ramkumar's daughter Chandra  in the US. Her husband Ron parents at one time, owned the rice mill at Rose Hall Town lemonade factory street, where Gafoor Home Supplies is now located.

Ramoo funeral home  is located in the cemetery on the right hand side , as well as a family who built a house there.

On the left is a Muslim cemetery where Albion contractor Nabi, his wife and daughter are buried, also my school mate Guss Nabi , who was shot  in Guyana.

Before his death, I had dinner at the Pegasus with Guss's son and other friends.  He is staying  low, because they were not sure why Guss was killed.  

What years did you live at Belvedere, I cam overseas in 1967 and returned for my first visit in 1970/71. 

I attended BSE in 1960 and was boarding in Belvedere during the 3 years at BSE. Great memories of the place. In Albion there were a few guys from different parts of Guyana. They were boarding at different homes while attending CHS and Nath High School. New Years eve was a great time for us. We spent the night having a few beers, going to the late show at Yollanda and hung out at Albion Bridge until the wee hours of the morning. A few boys from Albion were in company with us, Baigan, Permaul, Rueben, and few others. John hung out with us a lil bit, one of his cousin (called Brother) was close to a guy attending Nath. Great time being together, Guyana was a fabulous place to grow up in. 

Later in the day, New Years day, we will all end up at the home of one of the local boys. 

Yes, I knew Deonarine, a very hard worker. The two other boys I remembered them, their father was an local cricketer.

Chandra, I remembered her. 

The lemonade factory in Rose Hall, never forget. My Sunday School Teacher, Chloe took me on her visit to her parents home for a week. I tagged along with her brothers to the lemonade factory. We washed bottles for as many lemonade drink we could drink. That was in 1954. Was a great week, it was the first time I had soup in a soup bowl-they were uppity people, as with almost all Black people of that era.  China, knives, forks and spoons were part of their living standards.

I immigrated in September of 1967. Had some good opportunities at Blairmont during 65 to 67. Looking back, I did the right thing in leaving Guyana. Made many efforts to give back to the country, EVERYONE OF THEM fell upon unproductive ground, whether it was uncaring politicians or citizens who rather steal than build. Spent hundreds of thousands of dollar before I realized the untrusting culture in Guyana. Never could have a task completed unless I was present, dem ppl dat always want to collect free money. Even family.

Your post brings  back a lot of emotional memories of me growing up at Belvedere,  during my teenage years. Most of the people moved from the logies  to Belvedere etc in 1959 and I start working at Albion office in 1960.   While you were there I passed your house dozens of times, on my bicycle.  The man who lived across from you was Chedda, Albion office bookkeeper. I am in touch with his son Dev. Past Deo house at the end of the block lived the late Grub Jaimangal . He was a highly educated guy and his father worked in the shovel gang at Albion Estate. Grub played the guitar well and we had many parties at his house when his father was at work. 

I knew Deonarine well since the logie days at Albion. I remember when he first met his wife who lived on the same  street. In Ontario, he was  into horse racing. As you might know he also passed on. .I believe the British exams   and qualification at BSC is highly recognized overseas for job opportunities. Some of the Albion Front BSC grads moved to Fort Mc Murray in Northern Alberta and one is presently in Fort St. John,  Northern  BC.

Similar to John, on weekends I would go to our farm with Deo.  One of our farms was located past Chesnee, turn left, right just before the wooden bridge and left at the next bridge.  The road had a high bank with a lower trench. In our teenage inexperience we tied the donkey to the cart while we went to the farm.  When we returned the donkey had pulled the unmanned cart into the trench  with him also in the trench. There were no adults around, but we were able to get the donkey out and have him pull the cart back on the road embankment. I also knew Deo parents well.

Our house, now vacant,  is the last house on the left before going to Belvedere school.  The area where the school is located was a swamp with crab grass, where  we chased dogs that was killing the sheep. I assisted the surveyor  to map the school land and also worked on the school during the day, while I worked evenings at Albion telephone exchange.

I was born  at a large hospital that was located where Albion office is presently located. Some of the hospital materials was used to build CHS auditorium.  

Where at Albion Front were you born. I knew overseer Ramsammy and niece Doreen who is married to an Albion historical writer in NY. Dentist Fung-a-Fat visited there to look after teeth. One of my first wedding photo shoots in 1962  was when Belvedere school street Coo Koot son Moses  got married to a Permaul house,  across from Yollanda cinema. Coo Koot had  the Madrass church behind our house at Belvedere, near the water pump, that was bombed in the 1960s.

My Albion school teacher David Latchana from Albion Front, used to have the entire class at his house in the evenings for extra lessons.  He never took payment, compared to teachers today, but every now and again, my mother would get me to take him a live chicken, that was a bit embarrassing as a teenager.  After classes, we used to stand at the Albion Front high bridge and watch Yollanda movies through the open windows. We could only see part of the screen, but could hear the audio.    

I am now putting together some photos taken between 1960-1967 for display and presentations in other countries.  I took about 1000 photos before coming overseas.

More later

Being born at Albion Front, you must know Chun Chun  Mr. Nick-Q-Sang grocery and rum shop well. Including Yollanda. My cousin Jaimangal at Guava Bush used to take tickets at the door.  The projector operator was a black guy[Belvedere Richie brother]  and me wonder if Ing is still alive ?

During the past twelve years while in Guyana, we had our foundation name stencilled on the back of dozens of cricket bats we had made at Palmaira,  The stencilling was done by Cold-Rice Harold, across from the police station.  I dislike calling him Cold Rice like others, so one day dem bhais start calling him Mr. Harold and the name stick. Because they say de bhai na cold na mo.  He hat hat now. Like the man who made us the bats, Harold was a very compassionate guy and charged us only for the material.  That was what made our program worked well, a lot of people came on board to help.

I link closely with CHS grads like John  and the late Ron Shivnarine [London]. Also Rose Hall store owner Alim Shaw son, where my sister was the manager,  before she was killed at Rose Hall Reef. I believe one of Mr. Shaw sons is a doctor associated with the University of British Columbia. His first wife is buried in Vancouver.

I photographed Rudra Nath last day  at the Rose Hall reef school in 1963, before all the teachers and students marched to the PM race course for classes, before ending up at COMPRI HS near the BSC training centre.

A number of years ago, I took two of our kids to Guyana and visited the CROWN lemonade factory.  The bottle caps had CROWN marked on them. Across  the street my father sister Aunty Finey lived. Finey was a common name, my mother Alice was also called Finey.  RH Aunty Finey was a large person, whose daughters Baby and Eunice chaperoned many weddings.

Talking about soup bowls. In Guyana I ate rice with a soup spoon. During my first Christmas in  a white person's house in Vancouver, I had one hell of time trying to figure which fork to use at Christmas dinner, with everyone watching me and I did not know who to ask.  Now when I am in Guyana, I cant eat with a soup spoon. I knew some black people living near the old PM factory who made the best black cake at Christmas time, in a large earth oven.

 

September 1967.. Would it be Sept 24  as with my arrival in Canada ?

I agree with your last sentence regarding reason for leaving Guyana. I felt the same when Guyana became independent with a PNC government.  We worked with two black ladies at Albion Estate. Before independence we were all good friends. During the riots a jeep took them home and picked them up for work, while we rode our bicycles. After independence with Burnham they became better than us and more Afro Guyanese from Fyrish and Rose Hall start working at Albion, including the office.  A bookkeeper was a black guy name  Fisher, who was given free housing, whereas,  Indians higher than him lived in their own house.

I believe the present government will do to the AFC, as Burnham did to the UF. I agree  that the sugar industry  has its challenges, but I feel better arrangements should first be placed for the workers, before closeting sugar factories.

Whether its PPP or PNC, the government don't seem to know how to embrace the efforts of people who want to assist Guyana. It seems as if they are too wrapped around themselves and you have to worship all their little kingdoms to get anything done,  to help the people.

Typical Guyanese eh.  All discussions always lead to politics. Don't have opposing views  while drinking with friends, because before too long, out comes the cutlass and picket fence..

Take care  

Curly_Sue posted:

Wow this is an interesting read.  Childhood memories never dies.  It brings us back to a special place and time in our lives.

Curly, some people long-winded like de Essequibo Riva, but me glad me one exception. 

Me often wonder if PM gun bruk down, when people write long messages.

Wow! You guys old no rass

 

Tola thanks for the information you shared about your friend Ronald. I can feel the sadness in your post.

Ron served well and although  him and I only knew each other through the Lions Club and the occasional visits to his business, he will always be remembered for his service to humanity.

RIP

Chief, It is difficult when close friends pass on, but at the same time it makes us look more closely at our life. Recently, there was a rash of death and severe disability like that of Mara and another close friend in Toronto who is blind and just lost a leg  to diabetes.

Today, there was a news report that every second person in Canada might be affected by cancer and I assume it might be the same in the US. Last Saturday  was the funeral service of 25 year woman who died from cancer.

And some come on GNI to kill each other.  

Tola posted:

Chief, It is difficult when close friends pass on, but at the same time it makes us look more closely at our life. Recently, there was a rash of death and severe disability like that of Mara and another close friend in Toronto who is blind and just lost a leg  to diabetes.

Today, there was a news report that every second person in Canada might be affected by cancer and I assume it might be the same in the US. Last Saturday  was the funeral service of 25 year woman who died from cancer.

And some come on GNI to kill each other.  

Did Mara die?

What about Gilbacka did he passed as well?

Sorry Chief for misunderstanding me Guyanese accent. 

Mara is still disabled with a stroke in bed in  Lions Gate  North Vancouver hospital.

Gilbakka decided to take a break from GNI after the poster who is stalking me  with his negativism, did the same to Gilbakka after they had a no-negativism agreement.

Some posters can make GNI a real shitty place, to even read the garbage.

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