Harmony between nature and man is the least we can bequeath to successive generations of citizens of Georgetown
I have read with great satisfaction the editorial “Diminishing green spaces”, Stabroek News, July 15, 2022 and let me say that I support every sentence in it. On March 2, 2022, I wrote a letter to His Honor the Mayor with a copy to all Councillors, the City Clerk and the Engineer begging them to end the debauchery in Georgetown, and that the least we can do is to bequeath to successor generations of Guyanese at home and abroad, a city of which we can all be proud. Editor, while I commend the author of this editorial, there appear to be the following serious issues. I hope and pray that we can overcome this in the not too distant future.
First, for the central government to give up this unpleasant and unnecessary position that it must punish a city that has not supported it politically, and it is unlikely to support it. I had my share of this mindset, but I only survived thanks to my courage and my reluctance to surrender. In fact, a prominent Guyanese, Mr. Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento, reviewing the situation in George-town, wrote a letter asking how could the then mayor hold on despite the turbulence and the bricks (my words) that were thrown at him.
Second, I have engaged senior M&CC members on issues related to Merriman’s Mall, so well referenced in the editorial. The big problem is that we have town hall presidents, technical, administrative and political, who have no idea what it means to preserve the charm and beauty of Georgetown. In exchange with them, I even quoted the book “Twenty five years (1898-1923) in British Guiana written by Henri Kirke, MA, BCL, Oxon. – Sheriff of Deme-rara, in which he writes: “From the top of the Lighthouse is a sea of palms, from which rise at intervals towers, spiers and bell towers. For much of the year the Flamboyants hurt the eyes with the beauty of their scarlet blooms, while in September and October the Long-Johns break the horizon with their rich cream-colored plumes, changing the week on weekdays in a real burnt sienna. The brilliance of the flowers is rivaled by the cheerful scarlets, yellows and greens which dress the limbs of the delicate Hindus and the valiant Negresses who stroll the streets.
I have tried by this reference to encourage counselors to make efforts to harmonize nature and man. One Councilor responded by saying the Council needs to find ways to raise funds – end of story. So you sell your soul for a piece of silver. The language I used in response to this madness is not printable. The other dilemma is that citizens generally seem to have lost the energy and spirit to protest, protest and protest. Instead, I regularly receive phone calls from some concerned citizens expressing their horror at the changes on Merriman’s Mall and other areas, and they argue that the ugliness visible when they open their windows lowers the value of their property.
But editor, we must neither give in nor give up and notwithstanding the elevation to high office in several districts of Guyana, we must continue to write, continue to speak in order to dislodge the existing edifice of backwardness and ugliness, which has defeated, not only our City but other parts of our beloved country, where environmental degradation has become a curse to our people, where dirty profit seems to be the commander in chief. Let’s do what we can everywhere in Georgetown and Guyana, stay clean, green and beautiful and editor, don’t give up. Put pressure on the Officials and the decision-makers so that they explain themselves on this demonizing degradation of the Capital of our Country. Let’s start with our children, learn how to tend, beautify and plant a plot of land so that when they grow up, they will enjoy what are truly meant to be champions of the earth. To hell with the Brits, but certainly in secondary school, Fourth Formers each had a little garden, which we were asked to frequent and landscape and which allowed us to harmonize nature and man. I call on all citizens to stand up and speak out.