Edward John Constant, the retired British soldier who returned to Guyana to join in the celebration of the country’s 50th independence anniversary was robbed in the vicinity of Stabroek Market on Monday.
Constant who at 19 years old, travelled to Guyana in 1966, had served from March to October that year in the Middlesex Regiment.
In a letter to British High Commissioner Greg Quinn, Constant wrote that he had promised himself, “God willing,” that he would return. “My intentions were to wear my blazer and medal on the parade ground on the 26th May as I did 50 years ago,” he stated.
He was able to fulfill that promise but three days after describing Georgetown as “safer” today than it was in 1966, Constant was robbed of a gold chain along with his late wife’s engagement and wedding rings.
Speaking with Stabroek News last evening he explained that while taking pictures in the Stabroek Market area he felt someone grab him by his T-Shirt and snatch at the jewellery.
“I had gone to the bank and met this massive queue but a gentleman there said that the queue is usually only this long on Mondays and Fridays. He said on Tuesdays and other days it’s loads shorter so I left and walked to the Stabroek Market area. I have been taking pictures every day and putting them on Facebook to show my friends and family Guyana so I took out my I-pad to take a picture and I as I took it I felt someone grab my shirt from behind and as he pulled it I turned around and I punched him in the face,” Constant related. He explained that the perpetrator ran off and he followed but after the man ran into the market he chose not to follow.
“I was running behind him shouting stop! Thief! But when he ran into the market I decided not to run after him anymore. I’m 70 years old I couldn’t keep up,” Constant said, adding that as he walked away he was approached by a public-spirited citizen who identified the thief as someone named ‘Quarter’.
After being directed to the Brickdam police station, he made a report to an officer who accompanied him to the scene of the crime and was able through questioning persons there to ascertain that there were two perpetrators.
“I only noticed one guy but the Police said they could’ve been two. They also said that the shop which was to the right of me had a camera operating so there might be some sort of video of the incident,” Constant said.
While the man is not concerned about the material value of the jewellery he would like them returned for sentimental value.
“My wife Carol passed eight years ago and the gold chain was her last gift to me. I put her rings. My wife’s engagement and wedding rings on the chain. This December, the 17th would’ve been 50 years we were married and I would really like to have at least one of the rings back,” he said.
Despite this experience Constant maintains that he feels safe in Guyana.
“I’ve been here since May 18 and have had no problems until this. People have been looking after me. They seem to have adopted me in this area, I don’t know why,” he said as he stressed that the robbery could’ve happened anywhere.
“It could’ve happened in England, it could’ve happened anywhere. Crime is everywhere.” Constant stressed.