A. J. SEYMOUR – POET, MAN OF LETTERS
Arthur James Seymour (1914-1989) started his working life as a civil servant but is most remembered as a prolific poet, essayist, anthologist, literary critic, and encourager of other Caribbean writers. He was also editor of the literary journal Kyk-Over-Al.
Born in Georgetown, British Guiana, Seymour was a graduate of Queen’s College, the country’s foremost school for boys. In 1962, he resigned from his civil service position following a disagreement with Premier Cheddi Jagan over his role as head of the Government Information Services
Seymour then assumed the position of Information and Cultural Collaboration Officer of the Caribbean Organisation, based in Puerto Rico. On his return to British Guiana in 1965, he worked with the Demerara Bauxite Company (Demba), as Community Relations Officer, then as Public Relations Officer. In 1972 he served as Literary Co-ordinator for the first Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts (Carifesta), held in Guyana. In 1973, he worked for the Government again, as Deputy Chairman of the Department of Culture and Director of Creative Writing. He retired in 1979.
Meantime, he continued his cultural activities in various unofficial roles, while producing poetry and criticism as well as a series of autobiographical volumes. Seymour also held senior positions in a number of cultural institutions. However, work on Kyk-Over-Al had become dormant.
In 1984, a volume edited by Ian McDonald and titled called AJS at 70 was published to commemorate Seymour's 70th birthday as well as his long and important involvement in West Indian literary affairs. It was after this that work on Kyk-Over-Al was resumed, with McDonald assisting Seymour in the editorial duties.
Kyk-over-al, a pioneering literary journal founded by Seymour in 1945, had always been Seymour’s personal project. In it he sought to publish works from every significant Guyanese writer. It was for many of these writers the earliest outlet for their work. Examples of such writers were Martin Carter and Wilson Harris. According to Seymour "the main emphases in Kyk-over-al were on “poetry and criticism.” The publication included fiction, poetry, and critical essays covering writing in the West Indies. By 1961 he had published 28 issues.
Concurrent with his work on Kyk-over-al, he was compiling anthologies of works of Caribbean writers and delivering lectures on their work. Seymour’s wife, Elma, joined with him in editing at least two anthologies of Guyanese poems and published her own autobiography in 1987. She was also important in the “business” aspect of his work.
Seymour’s poem "The Legend of Kaieteur" was set to music by the Guyanese composer, Philip Pilgrim. This poem together with: "Sun Is a Shapely Fire", "There Runs a Dream" and “Name Poem” have come to be considered classics. Some commentators also include in this list: "Amalivaca", "Over Guyana, Clouds", and "Shaman.".
Seymour died on 25 December 1989, a few weeks before his 76th birthday.
Following his death, a collection of his over 200 of his poems was published in the year 2000 as a tribute his life and work.
[AJ Seymour, Collected Poems 1937 - 1989, I McDonald and J de Weever (eds), New York: Blue Parrot Press, 2000; 303pp]
Clive Hubert Lloyd, the Guyana and West Indies cricketer, born 31 August 1944 in Georgetown, Guyana, is best remembered for his outstanding captaincy of the West Indies cricket team. He was one of the most successful Test captains of all time.
His first test match as a player came in 1966. Of the 110 Test matches that he played in for West Indies, he captained 74. During his captaincy (1974 to 1985) the West Indies played 27 matches without defeat, which included 11 wins in succession (Viv Richards acted as captain for one of the 27). Over this period the West Indies rose to become the dominant Test-playing nation in the world – a status they enjoyed for two decades.
An astute tactician, Lloyd has been highly regarded as one who both united the players from the various territories of the West Indies and instilled in them a high degree of efficiency and discipline while making the best use of their abilities.
Lloyd was a tall, powerful middle-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler. His relatively heavy 6 ft 4 in frame, and seemingly lazy gait belied his agility at play. A hard-hitting left-handed batsman, he scored more than 7500 test-level runs, his average being 47.
Lloyd also played for his home country of Guyana in West Indies domestic cricket, and for the Lancashire team (of which he was made captain in 1981) while he was in England.
After his retirement, Lloyd continued to be involved in West Indies cricket as a manager, coach, commentator and match referee.
Biography of Clive Lloyd
POPULAR TYPES OF FISH EATEN IN GUYANA
Among them are red snapper, grey snapper, grouper, shark, queriman, mullet, snook, tarpon, bashaw, morocut, pacu, croaker, mackerel, patwa, bangamary, houri, yarrow, pirai, lukanani, arapaima, hassar.
METAGEE, METEMGEE, METEM
These are all names given to the same popular Guyanese dish of ground provisions, meat and/or saltfish, seasonings and possibly flour dumplings cooked in coconut milk. The meat used is often salted beef or pork.
THE SAKIWINKI (SAKAWINKI, SACKIWINKI)
Occasionally, one comes across a man in Guyana with his pet monkey securely perched on his shoulder. Most often, it’s the squirrel monkey known as a sakiwinki. The sakiwinki (Saimiri sciureus ), a squirrel monkey of Guyana, is a small monkey with golden-olive fur, and a human-like head with a mask around the eyes and forehead. It has long, slender arms and its hands are always busy doing something. The sakiwinki is social, even affectionate, and is often highly valued by its owner.
In the wild, sakiwinkis travel in groups of 15 to 100 and leap great distances from tree to tree. Always full of energy, they chatter, whistle, yap and occasionally squeal.
EDWARD BROOMES, PHILANTHROPIST FROM MABARUMA
One of the early benefactors of the medical scene in Guyana was Dr. Edward Broomes, a Guyanese who emigrated to the United States, became a medical doctor and established a practice there.
Dr. Broomes is remembered for returning regularly to his homeland and donating much-needed hospital supplies to the Georgetown Hospital and other institutions.
Edward Louis Chesterfield Broomes (born Nov. 17, 1913) was the son of Mr and Mrs Charles Broomes of Mabaruma, North West District, Essequibo. After going to Howard University in the United States in 1935, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1939, and becoming a Doctor of Medicine in 1942, he started his own successful practice in East Chicago on February 1, 1945.
Until his death on June 25, 1999, Dr Broomes evinced a keen interest in Guyana’s welfare. He was for many years Guyana’s Consul General for the Midwestern States and not only maintained an interest in medical matters in Guyana, but also in the development of Mabaruma, his birthplace. Broomes Hill and Broomes Guest House are reminders of this.
The Soesdyke-Linden Highway is a 44-mile long 2-lane highway that runs between Soesdyke on the East Bank of the Demerara River and the bauxite mining town of Linden in Guyana. The highway was constructed between 1966 and 1968. The surface of the highway was rehabilitated betwen 1997 and 1999 and the original greenheart superstructures of the bridges were reconstructed with reinforced concrete.
The Soesdyke - Linden Highway was constructed to be one section of a highway connecting the capital city of Georgetown with the town of Lethem on the Brazilian border
Hugh Cholmondeley first came to public notice as a broadcaster. He started his broadcasting career in 1958, as an announcer with the British Guiana Broadcasting Service (B.G.B.S), then a new radio station designed to compete with the pre-existing Radio Demerara. He continued there until 1965.
Hugh left Guyana and briefly lived abroad during 1966, but returned later that year to establish a broadcasting system for the newly independent country. Before independence and for over a year after, both radio stations operating in Guyana, at that time Radio Demerara and B.G.B.S, were owned by the Guyana Broadcasting Company.
At independence, BGBS dropped the “British” from its name and became GBS. When the Guyana Government took over the G.B.S. facilities from the Rediffusion Group on October 1, 1968, it was Hugh Cholmondeley who headed the service.
Hugh assembled a cast of the best broadcasters he could find and steered programming in the direction of increased in-depth documentaries, on-air debate of national issues, investigative broadcast journalism and "live" coverage of national events.
Among the more popular programs on GBS was "Action Line," a live, call-in program which permitted ordinary people to openly raise real (to some, uncomfortable) issues that mattered most to them. The success of this program made it easy to adopt the moniker “Action Radio.”
GBS was now government-owned, but Hugh wanted to avoid government control. To this end, he strove to make GBS profitable mainly through commercial advertising and tried to establish balance in the station's political coverage.
GBS certainly held its own against Radio Demerara, its competitor, and when Hugh left the station in 1973, it was in healthy condition.
Hugh joined UNESCO, opening its Caribbean office in Jamaica in 1980, and in that role continued to promote projects advancing the development of regional communication that were long part of his vision. Among them were the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), the Caribbean News Agency (CANA), and the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies.
In February 1993, Hugh was appointed head of the Division for Humanitarian Relief and Rehabilitation (DHRR) of UNOSOM (United Nations Operation in Somalia).
When he retired from the UN system he was attached to the UNDP.
Caribbean broadcasters recognized his visionary work by inducting him into the Caribbean Broadcasting Hall of Fame. His citation commended him for his visionary work in the Caribbean and beyond.
On his retirement and return to Guyana, he busied himself as a consultant, immersing himself in various aspects of the life of the Caribbean region.
PITT STREET, NEW AMSTERDAM
Pitt Street, also called Market Lane, is the busiest street in New Amsterdam, even more busy than Water Street (also called The Strand) which is the principal and longest street of business in the town. The origin of the name Pitt Street is not known.
The street was developed in the early 1900s. Its earliest businesses were developed mainly by Portuguese and Syrian entrepreneurs, and also a few Chinese and East Indians.
Pitt Street is known for its jewelry stores, dry goods stores, drug stores, record stores, pawnshops, cookshops, boarding houses, restaurants, parlours, vegetable and fruit stores.
Since the early days, the dense foot traffic consisted of shoppers, peddlers buying goods for resale, and persons going to and from the municipal market on the Strand. Vehicular traffic consisted of bicycles, honking cars, dray carts and donkey carts. The carts have given way to more modern vehicle today.
In the old days when Syrian and Portuguese hucksters delivered merchandise to people’s doors, the items were bought almost exclusively from Pitt Street merchants.
The first big Pitt Street fire took place in 1923. Another fire took place on March 7, 2003.