GTSL driver George Halley is to be given a monetary award for saving the lives of a busload of schoolchildren crossing the Demerara Harbour Bridge when it collapsed last week.
Corporation officials say they will recognise the “sterling performance” of Halley shortly. This was delayed, an official told Stabroek News yesterday, because of the late filing of the report on the incident.
Halley was the driver of a chartered GTSL bus which took schoolchildren on a tour to the West Demerara as part of the usual Mashramani school activities.
Officials said that Halley saw the bridge as it began to sink, halted the vehicle and set it in reverse, but ran into difficulty with other vehicles behind.
“The drivers did not how what happened and they started to honk horns. It was not until the bridge started swaying that everybody realised what was happening, and beat a hasty retreat,” an official said.
Halley is based at the Rosignol operations of the company.
Dazzell Forced Out of Job At Sanata
By SHARIEF KHAN
Sources said Sanata management was instructed to ask Dazzell to leave the job after he had spoken with this newspaper.
Dazzell had been with the company for just about eight years and for the past three consecutive years had won Sanata’s ‘Manager of the Year’ awards.
He has not been given reasons for the resignation request and General Manager Mr. Ulric Pilgrim’s acceptance letter refers vaguely to “grounds given” company sources said.
Pilgrim told Dazzell it was with “deep regret” the resignation was accepted and in his letter to Dazzell cited the former employee’s outstanding record.
The resignation request the same day Stabroek News carried Dazzell’s interview stunned employees.
Garment manufacturers who had first reported problems they were encountering with Sanata in obtaining cotton fabrics for their industry, were also dismayed at the turn of events.
Dazzell confirmed for Stabroek News that Sanata has resorted to exporting all its cotton fabrics in a bid to garner foreign exchange for raw materials and other inputs. The company has been told by the Bank of Guyana it will get no foreign exchange from the bank if it did not garner its own.
The decision to export all cotton fabrics has thrown the small garment manufacturers into jeopardy with many saying they face closure since they could no longer get cheap locally-processed cotton fabrics.
The group of small manufacturers with whom the Stabroek News story on Sanata originated, say they now want to know if Dazzell was asked to leave the job because of the newspaper’s article.
“If this is so we want to know why,” one manufacturer said. “Were his statements false or factual?”
“Since garment manufacturers are now deprived of the major input for their industry, what now happens to them and their employees?”
GTSL Selling Off Wrecks
(By BERT WILKINSON)
THE Guyana Transport Services Limited (GTSL) is selling off more than 100 of its discarded bus chassis, frames and parts, company officials said yesterday. The buses can be used for “housing accommodation” officials claim.
The sale, most likely by auction, begins next Tuesday at its New Amsterdam depot, and continues on subsequent Tuesdays of this month at Vreed-en-Hoop and Ruimveldt Workshops respectively.
In an advertisement published Sunday, the company said that consideration would be given to buyers “engaged in agriculture, manufacturing and for housing accommodation.”
This initial sale represents only a percentage of crashed and cannibalised buses and others which require a too great quantity of parts to make them economically feasible and road-worthy again.
None of the 15- month-old Sanos buses is up for sale, but those to go under the auctioneer’s hammer include Tatas from India and some Brazilian-made Caios.
The sale, which private operators have long been calling for, comes at a time when government consideration is being given to lease GTSL buses to the private sector in a bid to rid itself of an 18- year-old money losing corporation.
It is also being done against a backdrop of a serious cash flow problem the company is experiencing and in the face of a reality that some of the buses are unlikely to work again if they await hard currency releases from the Central Bank to acquire spares.
Company officials concede they expect private operators to snap them up, acquire spares on their own and eventually work them in the public transport system.
The advertisement did indicate that the sale would be conducted on a one-item to one-person basis to avoid speculation, but GTSL says it is flexible if convinced speculation wouldn’t affect sales.
Since its July 1, 1970 start-up government has imported close to 400 heavy-duty buses. Less than 60 are in working order today. Utility Ministry sources say government is now facing up to the fact that it has never been able to purchase enough spares with shipments of buses nor acquire them after arrival. Apart from that, crashes have taken its toll on the fleet and these wrecks decorate GTSL “graveyards” along the coast.
Government still owes Tata of India for buses, and ministry officials say they are uncertain if the Brazilian Line of Credit for the Mercedes has been wiped off or is being serviced.
GTSL’s management and the representative union are negotiating proposals to cut staff by 60 per cent.
A New Star On The Horizon
By TROY PETERS
STARTING young is ideal and at 11, Joseph Albert Hardy is the newest Chess find.
‘Joey’ was taught the game by his father Joseph (senior) at the tender age of 8 and has since shown admirable promise.
Joey is no new comer to the Chess Hall. He has been playing in tournaments there since 1987.
He was introduced to the Chess Hall by Joel Benjamin, a close friend of his father, who saw his potential and decided to expose him to competition.
The young player won four games in his first tournament and has since been taking part in most of the major tournaments including the recently held national individual championship when he finished on five points.
Benjamin says little Joey is underrated by seniors but if he continues to show dedication to the game he will go a far way.
Joey captured the under-12 title and received a special prize in the Under-18 category at the Guyana Open tournament last year. He also received a prize for being the youngest player at the tournament which attracted players from the Caribbean.
He is ranked 76th out of 161 players in the recently released rating of the Guyana Chess Federation.
The St. Stanislaus College student claims that chess affects his school work because he gets home late from tournaments which are sometimes played in the evenings.
Mathematics and French are his favourite subjects but he also likes English, Geography and History.
The soft spoken player says he enjoys reading especially Chess books which he borrows from the National Library. Apart from chess, he plays football, basketball and cricket.
Joey lives at Goedverwagting on the East Coast of Demerara and claims that everyone at his home plays chess including 10-year-old brother Jermaine and sister June (8).
The young man says he is working very hard to become national champion in the future.