We need a dictionary of West Indian biographies

The staff and members of the History Department of the University of Guyana used to produce a feature in Stabroek News called History This Week. These vignettes from   Guyana’s past added up to an important contribution in making Guyanese aware of their heritage and their heroes and heroines. I remember, for instance, wonderful features on George William des Voeux, the great magistrate, and marvelous Herbert Moshett, one of the pioneers of Guyanese art.

There is so much wonder in any life – so much interest and excitement and achievement, so much agony and failure too, everything so vivid if only we knew the details. But in Guyana, and in the wider West Indies, we hardly bother to remember. “What the earth swallows is soon forgotten,” Isaac Singer wrote. He could have been a West Indian…..


GDP’S faulty measurement of the good life

A man is murdered, a woman beaten and raped, a child horribly abused, a business robbed, a home terrifyingly invaded.

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My father died twenty years ago at the age of 89. He was a good man and a beloved father.

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What really counts

The writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honour and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.

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I still believe in a West Indian nation

My heart has grown heavy and heavier yet in recent times, as I have contemplated what seems to be the fading of the dream of West Indian unity.

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Try to remember the importance of small causes

A long time ago when I was with GuySuCo there was an occasion when I found myself growing irritated because my secretary was urging me to find time for an interview with an old man, a pensioner from the old sugar times, who had been trying to see me for a couple of days. 

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