West Dem church urged to help arrest social decay

West Dem church urged to help arrest social decay

President David Granger, Member of Parliament, Mr John Adams, Regional Executive Officer; Mr Denis Jaikaran and Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Jennifer Ferreira-McDougal on Sunday attended the 175th Anniversary service of the Ebenezer Congregational Church at Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara.

September 17 2018


PRESIDENT David Granger on Sunday urged the Ebenezer Congregational Church, one of Guyana’s oldest churches and a member of the Congregational Union here to cooperate and collaborate to arrest social decay.

The head of state, who was at the time speaking at the 175th anniversary service of the Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara church, said through cooperation and collaboration, the church can become a beacon of hope. “The church should cooperate and collaborate with the Neighbourhood Democratic Council, other churches and other religious and civil society {organisations} to arrest social decay. The church should return to its role as a social leader. It is a credible organisation in this community. It should utilise this public trust to solve social problems – such as domestic violence, drug abuse, poverty, teenage pregnancy and school absenteeism – which may exist on the West Coast,” President Granger stated.

He noted too that congregationalism and service to communities are inseparable and the bonds between church and communities should therefore be reinforced. “The church calls on us to do good through service to others, including those within our communities. The Ebenezer Congregational Church is married to the proud tradition of community service.

The Ebenezer Congregational Church should uphold this proud legacy. The church, through its service to this and neighbouring communities, should seek to become a catalyst for good, as [it] was 175 years ago. This would be a fitting and forward-looking way in which to celebrate the 175th anniversary of its establishment,” the head of state said.

Congregationalism, he stated, came to this country 210 years ago as part of the work of the London Missionary Society, to minister almost exclusively to Africans. It became a beacon of hope in desperate and despondent times as Congregationalists supported Africans in their struggles, both during and after enslavement.

“Freed Africans, after Emancipation, initiated the Great Village Movement. Cotton, coffee and sugar plantations were purchased and free human settlements were erected in their place. Congregationalism became a bedrock upon which this movement was erected. It inspired the freed Africans to establish churches in many of these free villages.

The descendants of the founders of these villages, in turn, looked to the church to continue God’s work – churches to worship God, homes to keep their families together, schools to provide education to their children and farms to develop strong economies.

Communities should be maintained as vital centres of spiritual life, blessed with the moral legitimacy and the material resources necessary for promoting the common good. Ebenezer Congregational Church, in the Congregational tradition of service, should become a beacon of hope for its communities once again,” he told the congregation.

President Granger said too that Congregationalism developed deep roots in African villages and it is no accident of history that most Congregational churches – the ‘A to Z’ – are still located in African villages and are more than 150 years old. “Albion Chapel, in Fyrish, is 180 years old; Arundel Congregational Church will celebrate its 174th anniversary this year; Freedom Congregational Church in Stewartville, is 176 years old; Ebenezer Congregational Church, here in Den Amstel, is 175 years old; Smith Memorial Congregational Church will celebrate its 175th anniversary this year; Ebenezer Congregational Church in Ann’s Grove, is 156 years old; Mission Chapel Congregational Church, almost 200 years old, is the oldest Church in Guyana; and Zoar Congregational Church celebrated its 165th anniversary this year. Congregational churches distinguished themselves by their service to their communities,” the President stated. Churches, he stated, became community centres and classrooms. They were part of the social architecture of their communities, supporting the four pillars – faith, family, farm and the school. Congregationalism mentored local leaders, demonstrating the ability of locals to manage their own affairs, he added.

Guyana, the President said, owes a debt of gratitude to the Congregational Church as it pioneered education before and after Emancipation, supported community development and provided assistance to those in need. As such, President Granger said that the church should deepen its involvement and integration in the community. It should work in, for and with the community to provide opportunities, especially for the young people, he declared.

Meanwhile, leader of Ebenezer Congregational Church, Reverend Valeska Austin, said the church must take time to reflect on its stewardship as it works towards “Restoring its Congregational Heritage.” “The fact that we are striving to this tells us that something is not right. Something has been fractured and we are setting out to restore it to what it once was. It is a good time for refocus, to introspect. We must know what is our heritage.

We must know what the church did back then, what it did to impact the communities and the lives of its members. In 1843, the church had a mission. There were houses and schools where people were taught to read and write, where they were taught morals and values and how to build strong families and communities and as we reflect, we must ask ourselves what we have today,” she said.

Reverend Austin committed to taking up the mandate as set out by the President to ensure that communities are rebuilt and a strong legacy forged. The special celebration was also attended by Member of Parliament, Mr John Adams, Regional Executive Officer of Essequibo Islands- West Demerara (Region Three), Mr Denis Jaikaran, Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Jennifer Ferreira-McDougal, members of the Guyana Congregational Union (GCU) and Justice Oslyn Small, among others. (Ministry of the Presidency)

Original Post


The History of Den Amstel & Fellowship

by Jacqueline Allen-West

[As one browses through the little book entitled Over the Years, there is a quotation on the cover, “Being a record of men and women who helped to build worthy place for their sons and daughters.” Published under the authority of the Den Amstel and Fellowship Village Council, British Guiana, 1947

Historical Feature: It was the hundredth year since the existence of the village “Fellowship”. The centenary committee conceived of the idea that there must be a record compiled to tell the story of men and women who built the community from the earliest times. According to historical revelations, Den Amstel was a coffee plantation owned by a Dutch planter named John Craig. Plantation Den Amstel was named after the two sons of Mr. Craig; his sons’ names were Denny and Amstel.

In the late 18th century ex-slaves pooled their resources together and purchased the plantation, having learnt that it was up for sale. During this time much emphasis was placed on Fellowship. It was considered advisable to include Den Amstel community in the record, as the two communities existed as one environment. The destiny of one was that of the other. These two communities are separated by a sideline trench. Anyone who approached and entered the communities would view them as one village because of their geographic location and situation.

Den Amstel and Fellowship is situated in the County of Demerara. It is about seven miles from Vreed-en-Hoop, which is on the left bank of the Demerara River. It sandwiches two villages, Plantation Blankenburg on the east and Plantation Hague on the west. Its border on the north is Atlantic Ocean and on the south, the Boerasirie Conservancy. It was not recorded how Fellowship got its name, however, strong indications are that it has its origin with the new proprietors of the plantation.

When one considers what ideas interlocked in the minds of the people who made this historic event memorable, one must admit it was in their ancestors best interest that development continued at the expense of their descendants. A record of this nature should not only prove interesting to those who had direct connection, but should attract all those who have followed progress in local administration.

To the people of Den Amstel and Fellowship, a glorious heritage was passed on. A people so privileged that they are envied by their other local neighbourhoods on the West Coast of Demerara. As they were the first village to hold a village council meeting and form a legislative council. In 1838 after the abolition of slavery on the 1st of August, the freed Negroes were paid small wages. They saved part of those wages from time to time and when the owners wanted to abandon the plantation because of the many floods that destroyed the crops and made the plantation less prosperous, 125 of the ex-slaves offered to buy with their savings. The ex-slaves became proprietors in 1854. Each proprietor had his portion of land to maintain, but this was not successful. The reason was because the people failed to keep their surroundings in a healthy condition, such as weeding the yard and keeping drainage gutters around their premises clean.

In 1846 Fellowship was bought for $6,000 by 83 proprietors. They included such names as the Jacksons, ancestors of Sir Donald Jackson. The ex-slaves had to pool their earnings to purchase the village. This portion of land stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to Grown lands near the Boerasirie Conservancy. The Crown lands at the back of Fellowship were bought in 1897 by four proprietors. On 3rd August 1857, thirty-five out of 125 proprietors made representation to the Central Government Board.

Just to mention some of the original proprietors of Fellowship whose names are worth mentioning and they are as follows: The Jacksons, Russells, Veiras, Jordans, Cummings, Hicksons, Archer, Black, Henry, Jacob, Hendricks, Green, Lewis, Waterton, Daniels, Waddell, Bart, Thorne and Pollard.

Influence of the Church: Church influence played a dominant role in the lives of the people within these communities. They then established themselves where the population was the thickest and where bright prospects pertaining to religious and cultural development existed. The development of the political environment grew out of circumstances, which unveiled themselves. As a new people became engrossed with new aspirations, the horizon was necessarily limited. Gradually as education spread, the avenues for expansion and development widened. What appeared distant eventually came within grasp as time rolled on. Pioneers of the gold and diamond industries were given their place even the apparently insignificant looking individual had his/her place within the compass of village life. It was character of individuals that really mattered. Even if there was constant failure academically their strength of character and forbearing determination was properly displayed.

The Missionary Role: Missionaries then are to be given significant mentioning, as they were the first to diffuse edifying influence and scholastic achievement. They trained teachers who were destined to do work among the people. The association between the church and the school is one of long standing. From the teaching profession came the first set of men who went off to study Law and Medicine. Tribute must be paid to those early teachers who proved successful because of the training given to them. They excelled when they entered other professions.

The Teachers: Teachers have played a prominent role it the intellectual development of the district. They took up what was started by the church. When the churches could not carry the burden of providing universal education, it handed over to the State the privilege of financing it. Some of the teachers were as follows: William Elliot Lewis, a Barbadian; Mr. Adolphus Medas, Hubert Archibald Boston, H.S. Jackson and L.B. Russell.

“The growing community is not required to allow itself to be perpetually governed from without, so leading members have to take training in order that the privilege and honour of guiding the village might be given to them. Education then in the political sphere had to be undertaken, and the success of the village chairmen as leaders of the village should be a source of satisfaction.”

The Mantle of Leadership: Persons outstanding in the direction of leadership were Mc Farlene Corry and Joseph Waterton Jackson. The former inaugurated the Village Chairmen’s Conference and the latter was among the founders of the West Demerara Chairmen’s Union.

Den Amstel and Fellowship was declared a village District in 1892. The village chairmen from that time 1945 were as follows: 1892-1894 – Mr. S. C. Thorpe; 1894-1895 - J. Herbert; 1895-1922 - J. Mc Farlene Corry; 1923-1943 J.W. Jackson; 1943-1945 J.T. Roberts and 1945 - W. A. Bart. Mr Mc Farlene Corry was the first local chairman of the Den Amstel/Fellowship Village District.

Mr. Lionel Langevine was the last of the chairmen who served under Den Amstel/Fellowship Village Council. After which the Local Authority changed to Neighbourhood Democratic Council.

The Local Government Board with its quest for dynamism used all the necessary resources to steer the villages in the best interest of the reigning administration. So that when villages reached the stage that proved they were able to accept greater responsibility, an elastic system of government would undoubtedly allow provision for the transfer of that responsibility.

The philosophy existed that “Youths must be trained and the New Order makes preparation for training both the head and the hand of youths.”

Congregational Ministers: During the periods 1817-1926 numerous events took place which serve to inform and educate generally. In 1817, Reverend Richard Elliot started the missionary work at Ebenezer Congregational Church. This led to a Mission house being built at Plantation La Jalousie in 1819. Probably because of his influence and the role he played in the Ebenezer Church, Reverend Elliot in 1823 was arrested and confined in the Dutch Reformed Church. This church known today as St. Andrew’s Church, was occupied by government forces. After being released in 1824 he returned to England, this led to the closure of the mission.

The year 1829 marked the rebirth of the mission by Joseph Ketley, after having been closed which for six years. In April 1920, Michael Lewis, Ketley’s brother-in-law, took charge. When one Reverend Wray left Berbice for England in 1831, Lewis took charge temporarily. Ebenezer Church was then left without a minister.

James Scott arrived on December 31, 1831, and his family joined him in 1832. Mrs Scott died in 1836. In 1838 Reverend Scott returned to England and returned with a second wife in 1839.

The completion work on the church was done by Scott in 1843. A school called Ebenezer Congregational was built in that very year. Many of the villagers attended this school. Reverend Scott returned to England with his wife in 1849. She died in 1852 and again he retired to his place of birth in 1868.

Another minister was appointed to Ebenezer in 1865, but took office in 1867. His first wife died in 1847, and he married for the second time in 1849 to one Jane Buchanan Laing of Den Amstel Village. He was ordained in 1853 and later died in 1888. Reverend James Lampard Green succeeded Mr Foreman and renovated the church and installed a pipe organ. He was the last of the London Missionaries Society.

The first local Pastor who took charge of Ebenezer Congregational Church on March 1, 1896, was Thomas Burchell Glasgow, ATS. He married one month later to Helena B. Lawrence, he was said to be very brilliant and scholarly. T.B. Glasgow died in 1924. In 1929 David W. Hamilton Pollard, B.A. filled the vacancy and left in 1942. The year 1944 Adam T. Johnson took charge of the congregation.

The Naming of the Streets: As one approached from the old public road of Den Amstel, there is Statue Street, which got its name due to a Statue, which was erected at the head of the street in the year 1897. It is engraved V.R., which means Victoria Reigns. This landmark reminds one of the 50th reign of Queen Victoria. Then there is Wellington Street, which is on the other side of the public road, which was named after Nellie Wellington, the first woman to sit on the Legislative Council of Den Amstel/Fellowship. Then there is Young Street named after Emily Young, a registrar of births and deaths. Langevine Street, after a prominent proprietor and member of the Council, Gray Street after Nana Gray also a prominent proprietor.

The Youth Camp: In 1945 the government established a camp site in the village. It consisted of four huts, a kitchen and a dining hall. There, youths participated in club activities including cooking, cultivating kitchen garden and cultural activities.

Ebenezer Congregational Church: The cornerstone was laid on the 25th April 1955, by his Excellency, Sir Alfred Savage, the then Governor of British Guiana. In 1956 this church was built at Den Amstel to replace the one at Blankenburg, which was, then in a state of disrepair. The Reverend Dr. Carlyle Miller was the minister during that time.

The Community Center: This was constructed by both the government and the people in the village, with the government contributing half the money and the villagers contributing money and labour. The roads were built with burnt clay and each side was lined with daisy flowers. Vehicles seldom used the roads, as it was better to travel on foot or cycle.

Transportation: Chuck! Chuck! - Chuck! Chuck pooooop, one can hear these sounds coming from a distance. As this was the sound of the train which travelled from Vreed-en-Hoop to Parika. Stopping at each station at the request of its passengers. This transportation system was managed by the Transport and Harbours Department.

The people of Den Amstel enjoyed this service much to their convenience. Other than pedal cycles, foot, and horse and donkey carts, the train was the main means of transport. At the end of June 1974, the railway service came to an end. Many live to regret this termination. The Guyana Transport Service Limited came into effect on July 1st, 1974 and is presently at a halt.

In summation what comes to the fore is that churches played a vital role in the lives of the people in the Den Amstel/Fellowship community. The cornerstone was laid down. The Ebenezer Congregational Church was most influential and instrumental in molding the characters in the village. Children who were born in this community are always referred to as Ebenezer boy or girl. For Ebenezer carried many great personalities who in turn shaped lives for generations to come.

Django posted:

"Then there is Young Street named after Emily Young, a registrar of births and deaths."


Me thinks my birth was registered by Emily Young.

Did she spell Django correctly on the certificate? Perhaps she wrote down Jango or Jangoo, eh?

cain posted:

My birth cert had my name as Bikus Dikus....as one who doesn't care to boast, in my teenage years it was changed to Rod....Rod Dikus.

...yuh lucky Brer Goads not around. He'd be all over you. I'm certain all de forum auntie man will now anyway.

21. British Guiana (1928-1966)


Pre-Crisis Phase (March 28, 1928-October 8, 1953):  The British Parliament adopted the British Guiana Act on March 28, 1928, providing for a 30-member Legislative Council and a 12-member Executive Council.  On July 18, 1928, the British monarch formally introduced a new constitution for the Crown Colony of British Guiana.  Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on November 7, 1928.  Legislative elections were held in 1930.  Sir Edward Brandis Denham was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on June 9, 1930.  Legislative elections were held in 1935.  Sir Geoffry Alexander Stafford Northcote was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on March 26, 1935.  The Man Power Citizen’s Association (MPCA), representing the political interests of East Indian sugar cane workers and African bauxite workers, was established under the leadership of Ayube Mohamed Edun in 1937.

Sir Wilfrid Edward Francis Jackson was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on November 19, 1937.  Four individuals were killed in clashes between government police and striking workers in Leonora on February 16, 1939.  Sir Gordon James Lethem was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on November 7, 1941.  The British Guiana Labour Party (BGLP) was established under the leadership of Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh in June 1946.  Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan established the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on November 6, 1946.  Sir Charles Campbell Woolley was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on April 12, 1947.  Legislative elections were held on November 24, 1947, and the British Guiana Labour Party (BGLP) led by Dr. Jung Bahadur Singh won five out of 14 elected seats in the Legislative Council.  The Man Power Citizen’s Association (MPCA) won one seat in the Legislative Council.  Independents, including Dr. Cheddi Jagan, won the remaining eight elected seats in the Legislative Council.  Five sugar cane workers were killed during clashes with government police at the Enmore plantation on June 16, 1948.  The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was established under the leadership of Dr. Cheddi Jagan on January 1, 1950.  On October 8, 1950, the British government established a three-member commission headed by Sir E. J. Waddington to “review the franchise, the composition of the legislature and of the Executive Council….and to make recommendations.”  The Waddington Commission arrived in British Guiana on December 15, 1950.  On June 29, 1951, the Waddington Commission issued a report recommending a 27-member House of Assembly with 24 members elected to four-year terms and a nine-member State Council with members appointed by the Governor.  On April 7, 1953, the British government issued a constitution for British Guiana, which incorporated most of the recommendations of the Waddington Commission.  Sir Alfred William Lungley Savage was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on April 14, 1953.  Legislative elections were held on April 27 1953, and the PPP won 18 out of 24 seats in the House of Assembly.  The House of Assembly convened on May 18, 1953, and Dr. Cheddi Jagan of the PPP was sworn in as Chief Minister on May 30, 1953.  The Guiana Industrial Workers Union (GIWU) went on strike beginning on August 30, 1953.  On October 8, 1953, the House of Assembly adopted the Labour Relations Act which required employers to recognize labor unions enjoying the support of more than 65 percent of the employees in the industry.

Crisis Phase (October 9, 1953-April 25, 1956):  Governor Savage suspended the constitution, removed Chief Minister Cheddi Jagan from office, and declared a state-of-emergency on October 9, 1953.  British government troops were sent from Jamaica to maintain order.  The British government appointed a three-member Constitutional Commission headed by Sir James Robertson on December 2, 1953, and appointed an interim government on December 27, 1953.  Dr. Cheddi Jagan was arrested by government police in the village of Mahaicony on April 3, 1954, and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour on April 4, 1954.  Dr. Cheddi Jagan was released from prison on September 12, 1954.  The Constitutional Commission issued a report on November 2, 1954, which recommended that British Guinea not be granted full internal self-government as demanded by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).  Forbes Burnham was expelled from the PPP on February 15, 1955.  Sir Patrick Muir Renison was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on October 25, 1955.  On April 25, 1956, the British government introduced a new constitution for British Guiana, which provided for a Legislative Council and an Executive Council.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 26, 1956-February 14, 1962):  Legislative elections were held on August 12, 1957, and the Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s faciton of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) won 9 out of 14 elected seats in the Legislative Council. The Forbes Burnham’s faciton of the PPP won three seats in the Legislative Council.  Forbes Burnham established the People’s National Congress (PNC) on October 5, 1957.  Sir Ralph Francis Alnwick Grey was appointed as Governor of British Guiana on December 22, 1958.  British and Guyanese representatives held negotiations in London under the chairmanship of the Secretary of State for the Colonies Iain Macleod on March 7-31, 1960, and the British government agreed to grant British Guiana full internal self-government under a new constitution.  The United Force (UF) was established by Peter D’Aguiar on October 5, 1960.  Governor Grey dissolved the Legislative Council on June 14, 1961.  The new constitution went into effect on July 17, 1961.  Legislative elections were held on August 21, 1961, and the PPP won 20 out of 35 seats (42.6 percent of the vote) in the House of Assembly.  The PNC won 11 seats (41 percent of the vote) in the House of Assembly, and the UF won four seats in the House of Assembly.  Dr. Cheddi Jagan of the PPP formed a government as prime minister on September 5, 1961.

Crisis Phase (February 15, 1962-May 26, 1966): Some 20,000 individuals demonstrated against the government of Prime Minister Jagan on February 15, 1962, and ethnic riots broke out in Georgetown beginning on February 16, 1962. Prime Minister Jagan declared a state-of-emergency, and requested the deployment of British government troops on February 16, 1962. Some 2,000 British government troops were deployed in the colony, and the riots were suppressed on February 19, 1962.  Five individuals, including one government policeman, were killed during the riots.  The British government appointed a three-member Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) commission of inquiry headed by Sir Henry Wynn-Parry from Britain on May 11, 1962.  The Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) commission of inquiry held hearings in Georgetown from May 21 to June 28, 1962, and issued a report in October 1962.  Prime Minister Jagan requested the United Nations (UN) to urge the British government to grant immediate independence to British Guiana (Guyana) on July 19, 1962. The government lifted the state-of-emergency on August 19, 1962.  British and Guyanese representatives held negotiations in London from October 23 to November 6, 1962.  On April 18, 1963, labor unions launched a general strike that lasted until July 8, 1963.  The Cuban government provided economic assistance (shipments of oil) in support of the government of Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan in May 1963.  At least eleven individuals were killed, including two individuals killed by government police, as a result of violence during the general strike.  A constitutional conference chaired by Secretary of State for the Colonies Duncan Sandys was held at Lancaster House in London on October 22-31, 1963, but the parties (PPP and PNC) did not agreed on a compromise plan for British Guiana’s electoral system or on a timetable for independence for British Guiana.  On October 31, 1964, Secretary of State for the Colonies Duncan Sandys announced that British Guiana’s electoral system would be proportional representation (PR), which was the system supported by the opposition PNC.  The UN General Assembly approved a resolution on December 12, 1963, which called on the British government to grant independence to Guyana.  President Nkrumah of Ghana appointed a special envoy, Professor W. E. Abraham, to mediate negotiations between the PPP and PNC on February 9-19, 1964.  The Guiana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) organized a sugar cane workers strike beginning on February 17, 1964.  Two individuals were killed in a bus bombing in Tain on March 4, 1964.  One individual, a female sugar cane worker, was killed by an African “strike breaker” in Leonora on March 6, 1964.  Sir Richard Edmonds Luyt was sworn in as the Governor of British Guiana on March 7, 1964.  Governor Edmonds Luyt declared a state-of-emergency on May 22, 1964, and some 450 British government troops were deployed in British Guiana on May 24-26, 1964. Prime Minister Eric Williams of Jamaica attempted to mediate negotiations between the parties in May 1964. Janet Jagan resigned as Minister of Home Affairs on June 1, 1964.  On June 13, 1964, Governor Edmonds Luyt ordered the detention of 32 members of the PPP, including Deputy Prime Minister Brindley Benn.  On June 15, 1964, Prime Minister Jagan requested that the UN secretary-general send a commission of inquiry to British Guiana, but the British government refused to agree to the proposal.  At least 38 African workers were killed in a bomb explosion on a passenger boat on the Demerara River on July 6, 1964.  Five Indian workers were killed in Mackenzie on July 6, 1964.  The headquarters of the PPP in Georgetown was bombed on July 17, 1964, resulting in the death of at least one individual.  The GAWU called for the sugar cane workers strike on July 25, 1964.  Some 189 individuals were killed and some 15,000 individuals were displaced as a result of political violence between March 4 and August 29, 1964.  Parliamentary elections were held on December 7, 1964, and the PPP won 24 out of 53 seats in the House of Assembly. The PNC won 22 seats in the House of Assembly, and the United Force (UF) won seven seats in the House of Assembly.  The Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) sent eleven observers from Canada (2), Ghana (2), India (2), Malta (2), Nigeria (1), and Trinidad & Tobago (2) headed by Tek Chand of India to monitor the parliamentary elections beginning on November 30, 1964.  Forbes Burnham of the PNC formed a coalition government as prime minister on December 23, 1964. The Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) election observation mission issued a report on February 10, 1965.  The British and U.S. governments provided economic assistance (development grants) to the government of Prime Minister Burnham beginning in June 1965.  The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) sent a three-member commission of inquiry (Australia, Austria, Ireland) headed by Seamus Henchy of Ireland to investigate reports of racial discrimination in British Guiana on August 4-20, 1965. The ICJ commission of inquiry issued a report on October 20, 1965.  The British government hosted a conference in London regarding independence for British Guiana on November 2-7, 1965, and the British government agreed to grant independence to British Guiana in May 1966.  British Guiana (Guyana) formally achieved its independence from Britain on May 26, 1966.  More than 200 individuals were killed during the crisis.

[Sources: Beigbeder, 1994, 239; Bulletin of the International Commission of Jurists (BICJ), December 1965; Dupoy and Dupoy, 1977, 1343; Hispanic American Report (HAR), April 1960, April 1962, August 1962, September 1962, December 1962, August 1963, September 1963, October 1963; Jessup, 1998, 265-267; Keesing’s Record of World E


Selected Bibliography

Bradley, C. Paul. 1963. “Party Politics in British Guiana,” The Western Political Quarterly, vol. 16 (2), pp. 353-370.

Sires, Ronald V. 1954. “British Guiana: The Suspension of the Constitution,” The Western Political Quarterly, vol. 7 (4), pp. 554-569.

Tomasek, Robert D. 1959. “British Guiana: A Case Study of British Colonial Policy,” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 74 (3), pp. 393-411.

Wallace, Elisabeth. 1964. “British Guiana: Causes of the Present Discontents,” International Journal, vol. 19 (4), pp. 513-544.

Vish M posted:

This Village held many "terrorists" during the 1963 strike

When finished reading the above article,give the narrative you were told,of the many "terrorist" the Village held.

Tell how many East Indians had to be evacuated from the Village,also how many Africans from neighboring East Indian Villages.

Gilbakka posted:

Gunraj and Munroe were the two individuals killed on March 4, 1964 in that bus bombing at Tain. Their names are mentioned in Nesbit Chhangur's touching song A GUYANESE LAMENT, available online.

I was going to ask you if you remember the song. I think it started with these words: "Tain public road was the beginning". Whatever happened to him?

skeldon_man posted:
Gilbakka posted:

Gunraj and Munroe were the two individuals killed on March 4, 1964 in that bus bombing at Tain. Their names are mentioned in Nesbit Chhangur's touching song A GUYANESE LAMENT, available online.

I was going to ask you if you remember the song. I think it started with these words: "Tain public road was the beginning". Whatever happened to him?

" Tain  public road the beginning..."

Last time I checked, he was living in Canada.

I was near the Tain koaka with other sugar workers,  on the day of the bombing. Those were tense times in Guyana.

There is a suspicion that Tain, Port Mourant was chosen for the bombing, because Cheddi Jagan was from Port Mourant.

PM sugar factory was closed by this time and Albion became AN/PM sugar estates [Albion/Port Mourant].

Where I worked at AN/PM  Estate were two African women,  who were driven to and from work, due to the violence. The Indians rode their bicycles.  

The Chhangur family was from Fyrish, Berbice and I believe Nesbit is still in Ottawa. In the late 80s or early 90s he sent me two copies of his new album,  that was played on West Coast radio stations. I might still have a copy.

His sister who was the administrative manager's secretary at Albion Estate and a close family friend, is in Ontario. She was very helpful to my family in Guyana, when I first came to Canada.  

They are a wonderful trusting family, who was very helpful to many in Guyana and Canada.        

Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:

Gunraj and Munroe were the two individuals killed on March 4, 1964 in that bus bombing at Tain. Their names are mentioned in Nesbit Chhangur's touching song A GUYANESE LAMENT, available online.

Thanks for this..vwry sad memories. Also sad is the fact this song still applies today and not just in Guyana.

Baseman posted:

That’s a cool song.  Send it to Caribj!

Yes another of the "black man baad" that you wish to propagate.

Not buying your racist version of the 1960s.  You see I was a little boy then and was taken out of the WCD by parents scared of being killed by PYO hooligans.


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