In Georgetown, Guyana, my father had the responsibility of raising 11 children. As a carpenter and later clerk of works, he did this with dignity despite his daily challenges.
My dad was a special man to us. He was the first in his family’s life and regardless how difficult things got he always came through for us. We were 11 children born in the same house in Georgetown, Guyana. Yes, we were poor. There were struggles but my father led the charge in doing whatever he could as the sole provider. He was resolute in his determination with clearly defined goals in mind.
My Father Shows Us the Way
It seems that knowing my dad as a young man has always been a thrill to us as kids. We sincerely admired him and hung on to his every word. After all, he and my mother were our first teachers. Of the 11 of us, seven were girls and four boys. The three of the eldest in our team were boys. That is why early in our lives, our father geared his energy towards us – the boys. He played sports and games with us. Brought us on trips and at Easter, we were sure to fly kites on the seawall, an architectural wonder that runs along the East Coast, constructed by the Dutch.
As the girls came along our home became more and more crowded. For the most part we laid mats and slept on the floor in a three-room house. My stay-at-home mom had her hands full. She did most of the housework, shopped, sewed clothes and cooked our meals with the help of my sisters, but at nights it was my father who had us with our school books and demonstrated his disciplinary skill.
My dad was a peaceful man. He was never confrontational, but was fond of relaxing in his rocking chair as he ate peanuts and listened to local and foreign programs. You must realize that in our younger years there was no TV in Guyana, few magazines, but many Guyanese depended on their local libraries for information.
Our family was raised Anglican. My father belonged to St. George’s Cathedral, but my mother was Methodist. Since the boys were the eldest of the lot, we followed in our father’s footsteps and joined the Anglican Church in Georgetown. As part of our religious upbringing, we were not only baptized Anglican, but my brother Jeffrey and I became choir boys.
Published in: Family