Berbice Expo was a disappointment

Dear Editor,

The opening ceremony of the ongoing Berbice Expo at Albion was drab. What a turn-off that the programme started 1 hour late (6pm), just after the Minister of Tourism arrived. It seems that these ministers do not have respect for time and they make it a regular habit to be late for events at which they are supposed to play key roles. Minister Irfaan Ali at the commissioning of the Canefield pump station earlier in the week arrived over an hour after the start time, too. And when they arrive, not a word of apology is uttered for their lateness. This is a grossly unbecoming habit of our politicians and indeed is embedded in our culture. Nothing ever starts on time any more in Guyana.

Secondly, the programme began when the place was getting dark. The TV cameras could not focus properly since no light was available and the stage was some distance away from the gathering. Now, how can the media video the proceedings when the cameras can’t even pick up the images. Next, the sound was poor. I could have heard Mr Anamayah loud and clear through the microphone, but Mr Dooku was not speaking loud enough into the microphone. His address was too long and drawn out. Why do people nowadays when giving speeches at public events feel as if they have to go on and on and on, boring the crowd to death? Why can’t people be short and to the point when giving speeches? Mr Dooku should have realized it was getting late; the crowd was getting impatient and move on quickly. Then the people at the mike were competing with the noisy standby generator. You could hardly hear a thing!

Then Mr Mustapha had to give a political campaign address about the successes of the PPP administration. I mean, come on! This is a tourist gathering. Leave the politics out of it. He repeats the same garbage at every public event he attends. We are tired of hearing about the deep water harbour for Berbice, the Corentyne River Bridge, the Black Bush Road, the government’s intervention for residents of Angoy’s Avenue in N/A, the road and lighting project. People are so tired of these repetititious statements at every public gathering.

The Albion ground was in a mess. People’s shoes had mud and the place was smelly after a whole day of rain in Berbice on Friday. Then the fees to enter the Berbice expo somehow doubled this year. Patrons had to pay $200 for children and $400 for adults, as opposed to $100 for kids and $200 for adults last year. Why the high fee? Children should be admitted free. Don’t they realize people have to spend money too in the ground, purchasing stuff?

There were not as many exhibits this year as there were in the previous year, yet the organizers were touting it as the biggest and best show.

Food was very expensive in the ground. Couldn’t the committee exercise some kind of control over the prices patrons have to pay in the ground? People attend Berbice Expo with the idea that they will pay less for items than they would outside, not double the price. Sellers are using this event to rip Berbicians and tourists off. Berbice Expo 2011 deserves a failed rating. Poor preparation, poor opening ceremony, poor cultural items, poor prices, poor exhibits, poor state of the Albion ground, poor lighting.  I am disappointed.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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