Christmas memories from long ago

Patricia Persaud

Patricia Persaud- Archers Home

“Christmas for me was a happy time. As a family we did a lot of cleaning, putting away of blinds and giving out gifts. Around that time we would remember persons’ birthdays and give them gifts as well. Sundays was one of the best times for me as well because I went to church. I would love for your persons to know that my parents trained me from small to go to church and that they ought to do the same and just be happy. Happiness, church life and my small family is really important to me and should be for a lot of other persons.”

Sybil Williams Alves- Archers Home

Sybil Williams Alves- Archers Home

“I belong to the Brethren Church and as a child I went to church, Sunday school and night church. Back in the day different families we would give treats to the children, cook perpperpot, curry and they would feed us. As I got bigger, I was baptized in the church and everybody branched off. Years past and I joined the Salvation Army and was a member for the past 4 years. I believe that young people should continue the trend of ensuring that their children go to church and do the right thing because their parents would have done that for them.”

Beryl Austin- Archers Home

(Beryl during the taking of the photos was not feeling well and was unable to have her picture taken. She did have this to say.)

“Growing up there was nothing much for me to do because I was the youngest. I had several siblings, who were much older than me and they did all the cleaning. Can you imagine that as the youngest I’m the only one from my family that’s alive? No mother, father or siblings. Back in the day I use to party and so but as I got older, being born into the Roman Catholic Church, I spent more time in the church. One of the most important things for me was mass. I didn’t go to church the day before Christmas but the Sunday after.”

Estella Porter- Archers Home

Estella Porter- Archers Home

“Christmas for me was wonderful because my parents did their best for us. I would often help mommy clean the home and bake. Sometimes we would go into town with my other sisters and brothers to see ‘Father Christmas’. I remember speaking to ‘Father Christmas’ and getting a lovely dolly and bed. That was a happy time for me and I would love it; that happiness and thankfulness.”

Howard A. Thomas

 Howard A. Thomas

“I was a former chairman of Plasiance back in 1983,

I had the opportunity to travel this world going to places like Cuba, Russia and other places. I’ve also had the opportunity to work as a train station marshal when the trains use to operate in Guyana. In my days I enjoyed going fishing around Christmas time. I would usually go out in the pasture with my friends and we would take out nets and catch fish. When the fish would jump up in the water, I would catch them and we would make hassa curry. I would love for the young people to uphold the traditions and stop living their lives without God.”

Carmen Primo

Carmen Primo

“Christmas was a happy time for me. I’m from West Coast Berbice and Christmas night our family went to church service and after we would go out to sing carols. Sometimes there would be persons who would dress in masquerade costumes. Now Christmas is nothing like it was before because you don’t find persons willing to share any more. In my day we shared everything and we had more respect for our elders. I wish persons today would stop waiting until Christmas to be happy and to show respect but be that way always.”

Charles Gilkes

Charles Gilkes

“There is no place like home. I’ve had the privilege of travelling my country and it is beautiful. Absolutely no place like home! Christmas time back in my day for me was the food. There was always a lot of goodies, grapes, ginger ale and sorrel drinks.

My favourite part was the black cake, the pepper-pot and the garlic pork. Apart from the food, in those days we had to wipe down the walls and the floors and so in preparation for the holidays. Some of these young people need to learn about how to prepare some of these meals and teach their families. They have to keep the flag flying and they have the different avenues to do so. Growing up I never believed in Santa or Father Christmas.”

Lawrence Paul- Dharm Shala

Lawrence Paul- Dharm Shala

“Years ago when I was in Essequibo, I had to come to town to be with my family for the Christmas. We would have the big family gathering; most time we would be happy when the family is around. That’s one of the memories I would never forget. Christmas now is different. The word Christmas is around but the celebration is not there, it’s just a word right now.”

Compton John Bollers- Dharm Shala

Compton John Bollers- Dharm Shala

“I used to enjoy myself with the family around Christmas time. I use to spend time with the family, keep Christmas party and enjoy the Christmas like that. A few guys from the police force they use to play in the band by GuyOil gas station and entertain the public as they pass by. I used to hang out with them, they’re good friends of mine. Christmas now is not as nice as before, I enjoyed it better with the family and friends.”

Shirley Bissoon

Shirley Bissoon- Dharm Shala

“Christmas long ago I just used to enjoy spending time with my family, but my family don’t want me now.  These days Christmas is just alright for me, because we get food and we get presents.”

 

 

Kenneth Van Sluytman- Dharm Shala

Kenneth Van Sluytman- Dharm Shala

“These days I don’t really celebrate Christmas, but when I was younger I really enjoyed the nancy stories that were told around that time. I remember someone speaking to me about Santa Claus and how he would deliver presents to children. These days you can’t really tell children those stories because they won’t believe you. Today I feel as though Christmas has lost its authenticity. I grew up in a single parent home and use to work as a seaman. My mother did all that she could for myself and my brother. In December 1988 I was on the ship going to Barbados and became ill while the ship was in Haiti. Because of my illness I was unable to work and wanted to return to Guyana but had to wait until after the ship sailed to Colombia then I left the ship and got a flight home. When I returned home I saw that my mother had fallen ill and had a heart attack and couldn’t walk.  I couldn’t stand to see my mother like that and decided not to return to the ship but to stay and care for my mother. My mother remained with me another 18 years after she fell ill. Ten days before she died, my mother called me to her bedside and asked me to promise her that I would give my life to Christ. She died on February 7, 2008 and on February 26, 2008 I kept my promise to her. I’m still keeping that promise.”

Sidney Simon- Dharm Shala

Sidney Simon- Dharm Shala

“In times past, I didn’t really do much for Christmas because I used to work in the bush. Today Christmas isn’t anything big, just a normal day for me.”

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