By MARGARET KENDALL
SANATA Textiles celebrated its Eighth Anniversary of operations on February the 15, with the commissioning of its new Cotton/Polyester Line and Emergency power generating Unit.
This project was completed with the co-operation of thirty-seven technicians from the People’s Republic of China.
Deputy Prime Minister, Planning and Development, Haslyn Parris, who is Chairman of the Supervisory Council responsible for Sanata’s operations, in his address said that the emergency power generating Unit has increased production and diversification has become possible.
Sanata will be supplying the local market with its cotton/polyester, while at the same time using 100 per cent cotton fabric for its overseas market.
There was a presentation of gifts to Sanata workers for their performance over the past year and to the Chinese delegation who helped to make this phase of Sanata Textiles a reality.
The ribbon to open the new generating unit was cut by little Michelle Teresa Pringe, and two bottles of whisky were used by Minister Faith Harding and Wu Wen Ying to christen the unit.
A guided tour of Sanata Textiles, showing the extensive work being done was accorded the visiting dignitaries, which also included Viola Burnham, Vice-President Social Development and Education and U.S. ambassador Ms. Theresa Ann Tull.
Roy Geddes Feels –
Panmen Are Under-Utilised
“We Should Be Playing All Year”
By LAWRENCE JASKARAN
THE ROY Geddes Silvertones Steelband will be playing for the Department of Youth and Sports on Mash day, but band leader Roy Geddes said that their Road March tune has not yet been selected as he prefers an on-the-spot decision.
The Silvertones is 25- strong with the youngest member being 12 while the oldest is 45.
The origin of the band dates back to 1964 when it was called the Russian Bear Silvertones, Geddes disclosed. After winning the National History and Arts Council competition without sponsorship in 1967, he said, Demtoco came on the scene and sponsored the band which was renamed Demtoco Silvertones.
Geddes said that after that he took a rest for a number of years after which he started the Roy Geddes Pan School.
“During that time I was trying to get steel band recognised,” he said. Geddes claimed that his school taught not only steelband but also discipline.
A strict disciplinarian himself, Geddes declared that all his students must learn orderliness and punctuality.
“They are encouraged to spend their earnings constructively,” he added.
There were seven girls in the band, he said. One now goes to university and another works at N.B.I.C. Geddes feels that the Pan School had a lot to do with the ambition of these young ladies.
On the question of steelbands in Guyana, Geddes expressed discontent. He said that panmen are only summoned at Mash time. “This should not be,” he declared. “There are other festivities during the Christmas season and all year round when panmen should be called upon to perform.
“Steelband is a Caribbean thing, it should not be seasonal, it should be all year through,” Geddes contends.
He now calls his band the Roy Geddes Silvertones and claims it is not seasonal. “We play at the Pegasus Hotel every weekend,’ he said.
Geddes feels that steelband organisers should plan spot concerts in the rural districts, “so that the people in the outlying areas can hear good pan music.”
A man of goodwill, Geddes said his band plays at charity shows and fairs for free. The band also made an L.P. with the proceeds going to the University of Guyana.
The Small Businessman
With A Little Govt Help..
Monica Thinks Quality Could Be Improved
THE country’s balata industry, which took a dive in the 1970s and early 80s, appears to be doing well again but businessmen in this field say they have serious problems, and need government assistance to iron them out.
Monica Mohamed is one such person in the industry. She makes balata trees, animals and birds among other items and says confidently that the industry is making a contribution to Guyana’s foreign exchange takings.
“A lot of people buy from balata product makers and we sell to Guyana Stores and the traders buy from them. But we would be happy if up-to-date machinery could be brought in by the government to improve the designs people make in this business.”
A small Drysdale Street, Charlestown businesswoman, Mohamed fears that Guyana will eventually lose its healthy market for balata products if low-grade base products keep coming in from the interior.
“We find that it is discoloured. We are not getting pure balata, we find it is mixed with raw blood. Some of the products I see people make with this balata I wouldn’t sell to anybody, especially people from overseas,” says Monica.
Mohamed, who took over the family business from her late husband received financing for her project from the Institute of Small Enterprise Development (ISED). She repays the ISED $504 per month and thinks that she makes a comfortable living from it.
Yet things could be better if buying agencies like the GSL could offer better prices for products. “They pay from about $10.00 and up for balata products while we buy raw balata from the GSL at $7.50 per pound.”
“Because we have to spend a lot of time in front of the fire boiling the balata and then dealing with water to cool it you could get a cold quite easily. All the work is done by hand and we would like the government to bring in machinery for us. This would improve the designs we make.”
Balata product makers also complain that they are unable now to obtain lacquer to finish their pieces, because driers are unavailable in Guyana. “So the products don’t look like before. We would like some big agency to bring it in,” says Monica.