Until April 27, 1953, when the general elections were held, everyone in Guyana would have seen the People’s Progressive Party as a multiracial party. Immediately after that time, when the rivalry between Dr Jagan and Mr Burnham surfaced, people took a different view.
Concerning Ms Rohanie Persaud’s letter (http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2009/09/24/the-only-multi-racial-party/) about the myth of the AFC being the only multiracial party, I would first of all like to thank her for the letter she wrote and the complimentary things she said about me. However, I have to point out that I never claimed the AFC is the only multiracial party Guyana has seen. I know too much about the early history of the PPP and have too much experience with its leaders to make that claim. I was merely pointing out from where I am looking that the AFC is multiracial. I agree with you that all major political parties are people – my point was that all those you saw, were there entirely of their own effort and reflected a genuine multiracial makeup.
I am however convinced that the days when Guyanese are united will be relived under the AFC. I do believe that as time passes, many more facts will come to light and people all over Guyana will have a better understanding of the political history of the country, and the roles played by the leaders in the distant days past.
From this we can understand how some things have changed and some have remained the same.
Editor, permit me to share this experience with Ms Persaud as well. In the same 1953 election my task was to mobilise the 73 households in Delph St. We were running out of time as the 6 o’clock deadline for the end of polling was looming. My father was pushing Neighbour Marie, because of her size and difficulty with walking, on his Big Ben bicycle when they fell. A few of us ran to their assistance and helped put Neighbour Marie on a donkey cart, on which my Poowa (my father’s sister) and a few others were, making their way to the polling station. We also organised a car, which was a difficult thing to do in those days, for Mrs Jones of 73 Delph St, who was handicapped.
I am convinced in my dream of a united Guyana in the little things I have seen since then. For example, one day when I went to pick up my daughter from nursery school I saw her in the playfield plaiting the hair of an African Guyanese girl. When I saw that it evoked warm memories of my own boyhood in a better time past – in terms of the unity of our people. All that is needed now is the right leadership, which this old man sees in the AFC.
For as long as my strength permits, I will continue to share the experiences I have acquired of the struggles and achievements of the party I once knew and served so faithfully. Ms Persaud can also contact me at any time, and my number is 233 3221.