Tag Archives: Mahaica Guyana

Sir James Douglas monument unveiled at Mahaica

Sir James Douglas monument unveiled at Mahaica

(See this link for pictures: Sir James Douglas – Mahaica

Friday, August 29 2008

SIR James Douglas, a son of the soil from Belmont, Mahaica who became the first Governor of British Columbia in Canada in the nineteenth century was honoured on Thursday, August 28, 2008 with a monument in his name.

The monument was unveiled by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds in the presence of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony; Minister within the Ministry of Education Dr. Desrey Fox; Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) Bishop Juan Edghill; President of the Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of British Columbia (GCCABC), Clyde Duncan and Mahaica residents.

This historic figure, who many know little about, was born to the mother of a slave and the father of a wealthy planter from Scotland who owned many plantations. He was born in 1803, and departed Guyana in 1812 with his father and brother to attain an education in Scotland and returned to become governor of British Columbia in Canada.

‘I think sometimes we forget that we do have a lot of other invisible Guyanese heroes and this statue is reminding us that there are many more that were born on this soil that we do not know about’ – Minister Desrey Fox.

Duncan who was instrumental in requesting that Sir Douglas be honoured in this way said Vancouver Island was the former name given to the area which then became British Columbia upon order of England’s queen Victoria at the time.

The area gained popularity following the California gold rush which saw scores of miners migrating to the area to gain wealth from the minerals on the land.

Duncan , while giving an overview of Sir Douglas, said the rush resulted in a number of disputes among the various parties and through the endeavour of Douglas, order and stability was returned to the land. It was through this act that Sir Douglas became governor and the land declared British Columbia in 1858.

Duncan said his interest in honouring Sir Douglas stemmed from his need to educate people about historic heroes who came from the Guyanese soil and the many contributions they have made to the world.

Had it not been for the bravery of Sir Douglas, Canada would not have been the second largest country in the world as it is today, Duncan said. In this regard, he disclosed several other intentions of the cultural association in his honour in the areas of education, culture and sports and the establishment of a Sir James Douglas’ Foundation.

He believes that the statue is an important link between Canada and Guyana and persons, in particular Mahaica residents should see it as more than just another statue.

The Prime Minister said the recognition given to Douglas is timely and he extended appreciation to the many Guyanese in British Columbia who contributed to the symbolic statue.

“It is important that we draw lessons from history to help us today and into the future…the life and achievements of Sir James Douglas is a challenge to all Guyanese born who have migrated or planning to migrate elsewhere,” Mr. Hinds said.

He described Sir Douglas as Guyana’s first gift to Canada since he was the first to work towards making Canada the country it is today.

Minister Anthony who worked for several years in Mahaica as a health specialist admitted that he knew nothing of Sir James Douglas but said that he can be considered a ”pioneer from the Diaspora”.

The Culture Minister believes that unveiling the monument is the best example of paying tribute to local heroes, noting that it will be beneficial to Guyanese youths.

He said the unveiling is also a symbol of the bond which exists between Guyana and British Columbia and efforts will be made to establish links between the people of Mahaica and British Columbia.

Minister Fox also disclosed that several factors are being taken into consideration to honour Sir James Douglas and one suggestion is the renaming of the Helena Primary School to Sir James Douglas Primary, as well as the establishment of a library in his name.

“I think sometimes we forget that we do have a lot of other invisible Guyanese heroes and this statue is reminding us that there are many more that were born on this soil that we do not know about,” Minister Fox said.

The monument stands in front of the Helena Nursery School, close to the Mahaica public road where an old water tank used to provide water to steam the train’s engine still exists. (GINA)- Guyana Chronicle.

Also check out the Carifesta X report on this event at link below:

http://www.carifesta.net/x/news?subaction=showfull&id=1220265216&archive= Continue reading

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Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of BC

The Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of B.C. has been in existence since 1989. There are about 3,000 Guyanese in British Columbia, Canada. However, we could only properly account for about 500 or so, as most Guyanese are assimilated into Canadian society at large. Here are some examples of our members, who live and contribute significantly in British Columbia:

Guyanese-born engineer, Trev Sue-A-Quan lived in China, his wife and son are born Chinese and he spends quite a bit of his time within the Chinese community. Trev has written a couple of books on the Chinese migration to British Guiana and Cuba: Cane Reapers and Cane Ripples.

Gerry DeCarmo, one of the stalwarts of our organization, who made his mark in real estate; left his fortunes to quite a few charita-ble organizations in Canada.

Roy Taylor, past President of the association, as an employee of Acrow sold over 100 Bailey Panel Bridges in British Columbia. In fact, there is one across the Demerara River in Guyana.

Dr John Farley, past and first President of the association, has achieved worldwide prominence as a specialist in HIV/AIDS issues. Honoured by the Canadian Liver Foundation and Guyana Awards [Canada], for his contribution to the community.

Dr. Bert Allsopp, past executive member of the Association, is a notable marine biologist who has established the international fisheries aid program at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, UBC, providing notable projects in 37 countries.

Aubrey Bacchus, the longest serving Guyanese-born, person of colour of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia. Recentlyretired after 20 years’ service.

Joe Schuler, retired Air Canada Captain, Heavy Jets, after 35 years of service.

Significant Accomplishments:

The significant accomplishments of the association are our contributions to the various charitable organizations in British Columbia; our contributions to flood relief in Guyana; as well as sending container loads of equipment through the charitable auspices of CN Rail from B.C. to Toronto, then by Laparkan [a Guyanese-owned Shipping company] to Guyana.

Our most significant connection is with a Son of British Guiana and the Father of British Columbia, Sir James Douglas. We have been working to give prominence to his West Indian connections – his mother was from Barbados, his father was from Scotland. He was born in 1803 in Demerara, British Guiana [Guyana], South America; and the work he performed in the service of British Columbia and Canada.

His descendants participate in the Annual Douglas Day Celebrations at the birthplace of British Columbia, Historic Site Fort Langley. The 4th Annual Celebration was celebrated on Saturday, 21 November, 2009 @ 11:00 hours.

There is a duplicate of the statue of Sir James Douglas at the Historic Site, Fort Langley, which was made from the same mould, at his birthplace in Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, British Guiana (now Guyana).

In 2008, our Association assisted with the issue of Special Postage Stamps in Canada and Guyana commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of British Columbia and the first Governor, James Douglas. The Guyana issues were released during Carifesta-X in August 2008.

Our goal is to expand the similarities between the histories of Guyana and British Columbia to include twinning of schools, enterprises, etc., for their mutual benefit

Contact information:

CLYDE DUNCAN, President – P.O.. Box 2869 Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X4. Tel: 604-317-1771 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-317-1771      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax: 604-253-9275 E-Mail: clydeduncan@telus.net. Continue reading

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