Guyanese re-enact youthful days at anniversary

POSTED: 06/4/13 12:13 PM

run for roses

Kids in the 5 and under age bracket compete in a short sprint and the top three were rewarded for their efforts. This was one of the many events during the family fun day which took place on Sunday. Photo Today/Milton Pieters

St. Maarten – Dave Martins, a Guyanese singer, song writer and composer could not have put it in a better way when he said, ‘Remember your boyhood days’ in one of his classics while playing with the Tradewinds.

Those attributes were displayed in the true sense when Guyanese of all races color and creed residing on the island turned up at the Caribe Lumber Ballpark on Sunday to celebrate the 47th independence anniversary of the Cooperative Republic in style during a family fun day and although it was one week after the exact date, it was by far not too late for the adults to transition back in time.

The epic family fun event which can go down as a day to remember was spearheaded by Gordon Whinfield, Managing Director of Colorite Copy Center with assistance from Milton Pieters, Shawn Philander Ainsworth Tyson, a Jamaican and Anthony Reyes a Trinidadian attracted a cross section of the society.

In an attempt to let the adults who are originally from Guyana reminds on their childhood days and afford their off springs who either came here when they were toddlers or were born here, most of the events on the afternoon’s program was not practiced for years by many and only experienced by a few.

The setting was ideal and the sun came out in its entire splendor but although it took some time for the events to get rolling, when it finally did, there was never a dull moment and that excluded the sounds from the boom boxes.

“Me can’t remember when last I play them games, I glad my grandchildren can see how we use to play in them days,” said one elderly East Indian woman. With a few words of encouragement, she took an opportunity to play hopscotch even though she found it a little hard to bend.

Among the other events on the program was Saul Out (Saul Pass), Rounders, group skipping, male and female tire racing with and without sticks, races for toots, teens and adults, three legged race for couples, one tip two tip, drop it Peter boy, dog and the bone and red light green light just to name a few.

The most gratifying aspect of the family fun day was the fact that for the first time, so many Guyanese were able to converge in one place, interacting and playing games together like they have never done before where ethnicity and gender did not matter.

This new development prompted several to air their views openly and despite the fact that the fun day came in for high praise, some offered suggestions which included have similar events on a more regular basis with the aim of fostering unity among the Guyanese living here.

“It was amazing to see Guyanese of all ages, both young and old gathered at the Caribe Lumber Ballpark to celebrate Guyana’s Independence. Most of the games I played as a child were relived. I was having so much fun that I had to remind myself as a teacher I have to pass on the inheritance to those who have roots in Guyana. The aroma of Guyanese food and chutney music filled the air, ooh what a day it was,” said Luanda Henry.

Ironically, one particular in question, Claudette Alexander, a photographer at the Daily Herald was so transfixed by the way two sticks was used to propel a tire at hair raising speeds. She even offered to assist a little girl in the correct way to do so after looking on for several minutes.

“Yesterday was amazing,” said Denese Weeks. However, the days’ events did not come without a few superficial bruises and irritated muscles. “I am still bruised from the tug-o-war rope, but just to see my fellow Guyanese together was wonderful,” she concluded.

The entire event could only be described as refreshing; it put a smile on the faces of people who were not even Guyanese. The interaction by total strangers from the same country who may have seen each other once or twice was spontaneous.

“It was really good, I had so much fun and I hope there will be more days of fun like that to come, good job boys,” said Karen Jones. Even though Jones decided to have observer status, she may still be aching for the bouts of gut wrenching laughter after witnessing her country men and women re-enacting their youth full days.

“It was like becoming a child again, it brought back years of my life and I never had those feelings in years. As a matter of fact, that is the best feeling I had after living here for eight years.” Jones added.

However, Jones was of the opinion that more Guyanese dishes should have been available and that will certainly be food for thought by the organizers for the next time. Most of the smaller kids had no idea what was taking place, and when she caught on eventually, they did not want to stop and that was a first for them, but certainly not the last. As the organizers, we too were happy to be able to make a difference in the lives of many in one single day.

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