Queen Victoria’s Colonialist Government built the Victoria Law Courts during her reign

Dear Editor,

The recent set of anti Queen Victoria letters are not necessarily a majority view. Did emancipation not take place during her reign?

When my father visited India as a tourist he was struck by the number of statues of U.K. generals/politicians etc. all over India. This prompted him to enquire from the Tour guide, why was it that these statues remained. The Tour Guide explained that the rule by England for one hundred years was a part of India’s history and could not be erased.

I have never voted for the P.P.P, I have friends who are firm supporters, but a person’s politics is his/her point of view. We all have a right to our views, right or wrong.

When Dr. Jagan returned to power in 1992, he brought back the statue of Queen Victoria from the back of the Botanical Gardens and many respected his action.

We have no sense of history among our masses. At one meeting I attended while on the Ethnic Relations Commission, a woman of African descent spoke out in a manner which gave the impression that only Africans were enslaved by the Europeans and brought to America. After the meeting I spoke privately with her and gave her some history of slavery which existed long before America was discovered.

Please do not believe I in any way belittle or make light of the horror of the American Slave Trade. There were the African traders who caught the prisoners and held them in captivity at the ports. The European ships came to Africa with traders who purchased the slaves from the African traders. These ships crammed as many souls as they could below deck, and sailed to the Americas. The horror of this journey cannot be over emphasized. Those who survived were sold again to their new masters.

In Sunday, 10th Kaieteur News there is a letter that claims Adolf Hitler is not remembered in Germany as there is no statue of him. This may be so but there are museums on his rule. Also his childhood home in Austria is a tourist attraction.

It is suggested by implication that Guyana should not have a statue of Queen Victoria in front of their Law Courts. Which Law Courts does the writer mean? Does the writer mean the “Victoria Law Courts”? The writer continues to give his opinion of who should have his/her life memorialized by erecting a statue in his/her honour. Then claims, “the woman only exploited us”. Queen Victoria’s Colonialist Government built the Victoria Law Courts during her reign and erected a statue to honour her in the compound. Please let her be where she belongs. There is already too much “fake news” around without misleading our population.

We, Guyanese, are one nation of six people. So the culture of one should not destroy that of another. I have been incorrectly identified as Portuguese, I know of no Portuguese ancestry, I descend from Indian, African, Dutch and my dominant race is Irish, from my Irish mother. So if you please, I’m Guyanese. Of course I am an endangered species, so need to be protected.

Yours faithfully

John Willems

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