Anna Catherina

By Dacia Whaul with photos by Arian Browne

There was no one out in the streets when Sunday Stabroek visited Anna Catherina recently. The village is located on the West Coast Demerara, about eight-and-a-half miles from Vreed-en-Hoop, and according to most residents it is a quiet place and above all, harmonious. It is divided into two parts, the housing scheme and the squatting area, popularly known as ‘Sea View.’ The latter as its name might suggest, provides an avenue of entertainment for the farming community, with sandy space, a spot for a fireside meal or bush cook and plenty cool, salty breeze.

Most people in the village, the majority of whom are Indian, earn their living as sugar workers, farmers or fishermen.

The housing scheme residents have access to electricity and landline phones, and have a good road and drainage. The squatting area residents in contrast trek along a loam and mud-filled road, and few have electricity.

20140119WTPS1The community has a functioning nursery school, but the St Paul’s Secondary school building is in a state of disrepair and has been relocated to the Den Amstel Community Centre ground. Anna Catherina does not have its own health centre, and according to Mavis Deonarine, a grocery shop owner, residents are treated either at the Den Amstel Health Centre or the Leonora Cottage Hospital.

The village tailor, who was shy and asked for his name not to be mentioned, declared, “Anna Catherina is a beautiful and very quiet place; the people here are very friendly and wonderful.” He said he is 55-years-old and was born and raised in the village, and that most people in the community own or run their own business. “They try to do they fine, fine thing yuh know,” he said. The businesses are mostly grocery shops which save villagers a long walk to the Leonora market.

The tailor recalled that the village he knew years ago was a bit different to Anna Catherina today: “this place started as a squatting area and in 2010, the government came and regularize it.”  And after being asked about his business, “Well right now business rough,” he replied; “Is only when school opening I get a lot of work, or when people have to make working clothes.” This, however, he explained, is less of the norm than it used to be. While thanking the government for developing the village he asked that the community’s call for a recreational ground and the rebuilding of the secondary school be highlighted.

 Two boys flicking
Two boys flicking

Albert, 44, who said he too was born and raised in Anna Catherina and is a sugar worker by occupation, joined the conversation. He said that though the village is beautiful and friendly, it could still do with some more development. “We got light and water, but we have no ground for the children to play on,” he observed. As for the earlier years, he said, “Back in those days, life was hard for us,” singling out the ’80s as the roughest.

Moving off from the public road and heading into the heart of Anna Catherina, this newspaper encountered Rickey, the owner of Rickey’s Mechanic Shop. Rickey was in the midst of repairing a minibus, when asked to describe his village. “Well it is a very nice and peaceful place,” he responded; “what I like about this village is that everybody live as one and there is no big crime in here.”  He also pointed out the synthetic track that is being constructed in Leonora, that is separated from Anna Catherina by a trench. Rickey said that though the village has no community centre ground, villagers still find entertainment: “Well especially on Sundays, on the sea walls you get football, cricket and all kind of games.”

From the bridge that serves as a border between the housing scheme and the squatting area, the cool Atlantic Ocean breeze was blowing; the smell was a mixture of salt and manure, a sign of an industrious farming community.  Anil Rajcumar, a fisher and resident of Sea View, told this newspaper that the squatting area has a life of its own, although the whole of Anna Catherina lives as one. “Well, sometimes at the back here is easy and sometimes it rough,” he said, with reference to Sea View residents, most of whom fish or

A small business
A small business

work on the Uitvlugt sugar estate.

Malfar Azeez told Sunday Stabroek that though Anna Catherina is as peaceful as all who live there maintain it is, it has had its share of horror. She was referring to the gruesome murder of Jennifer Persaud and her two sons, who were found dead in their home. She said that the now abandoned house greets all as they enter the squatting area and is the cause of much fear on the part of many who pass it on a dark evening. Some people thought twice, she said, before venturing past it alone.  Azeez described the house as once being a hive of activity: “She had a bar there ‒ if yuh use to see the place nice, nice.”

The village tailor
The village tailor

On Sundays Sea View on the northern side of the West Coast public road comes alive with scores of children playing football, cricket and ‘chule,’ which many Guyanese know as ‘Saul Out.’

A fisherman bringing in his catch
A fisherman bringing in his catch
Rickey repairing a bus
Rickey repairing a bus
Mavis Deonarine sitting opposite her house in the scheme
Mavis Deonarine sitting opposite her house in the scheme
Goats sharing a tennis roll in Sea View.
Goats sharing a tennis roll in Sea View.
Cricket
Cricket
A cane juice and snackette stall
A cane juice and snackette stall
A dog on a rooftop in the scheme
A dog on a rooftop in the scheme
The nursery and secondary schools  shares a compound
The nursery and secondary schools shares a compound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

default placeholder

Plug leakages to prevent state resources from bleeding out

Revenues from ExxonMobil’s oil find here could be at least four times Guyana’s national budget at current market prices, and a top US Embassy official here has urged government to move swiftly to implement measures to ensure transparency and accountability.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: