Every time I pass and see the conditions of the Cheddi Jagan Children’s Play Park at Anna Regina, I feel sad. This park is worse than a pasture where animals are grazing; the grass is tall, the fence is broken down, the shed where people used to gather every March 6 on the anniversary of Dr Jagan’s passing is shabby looking, with the rusty zinc falling off and animals sleeping in it. It is filthy around the monument area, although the party branch office is just a stone’s throw away, and no one from the party or among the stalwarts seems to be seeing the deplorable condition of this park. It would only take one day to repair and clean this place, yet when the party was in government the members and ministers never saw it fit to upkeep it to a high standard so the public would respect Cheddi’s name.
The Anna Regina Town Council under my stewardship took note of substantial squatting within a 100 yard radius of the council’s office, and decided to make this piece of land a children’s play park in memory of the late executive President of Guyana. At first this place was kept clean and tidy, then suddenly the party lost interest in it; animals began to roam, sleep and mess on the park; and all the swings for the children and sliding boards started to disappear.
The only time this place was cleaned, was for the death anniversary every March 6. When there was wreath-laying before my accident in 2004, I myself laid a wreath for Cheddi every year there, but not since it has been in this deplorable condition.
The only time these so-called leaders remember the founder leader is during election time, when they will pound his name at every meeting and rally to garner votes. This is a man for whom I have the greatest regard, not because of his name, but because of his honesty and simplicity, and the many battles he fought and won for the poor and downtrodden. I worked with him when he was the honorary President of GAWU, and I know his kindness; he shouldn’t be treated this way by those who claimed to love him. I think if they have one ounce of decency they should go and clean his memorial site, repair the fence, build a decent shed, plant flowers around the park and return the children’s play park to its former glory. Most of all they should preserve the monument.
Lots of contractors got rich from his government and it’s only fair that they give back something to help develop this park where the children of the community can go in the afternoon, play with their mothers and fathers, and sit down and enjoy nature. This is a large plot of land where trees could be planted and benches could be placed.
If the party cannot manage this park it should give it up to the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry and the Demerara Bank, which are willing to take control of it and give back something to the township.
I was made to understand from the Town Clerk that the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry had applied for a reserve adjoining the bank to develop a play park for children. Approval was granted by the full council but the former Regional Chairman rescinded the council’s decision in favour of some businessmen to build a mall on the government reserve. When the new government took office these businessmen quickly got a lease and began fencing the reserve. At the moment no one is allowed to walk through this government thoroughfare to the seaside. In the past the Hindu mandir from Cotton Field used this place to burn their holika; now they are denied access because of the dispute, while the bank was denied a golden opportunity to beautify this piece of land by a gullible former Regional Chairman, while the children of this community have been made to suffer.