2012 Deck – Week 21

Georgetown is changing, every day; some may say it is for the better, newer buildings, more businesses, a boost to the economy, others look at it as a neglect of the traditional, our history, our heritage and, ultimately, our past.

While others countries, even other Caribbean nations, strive to preserve and maintain the “Heritage” buildings, our politicians can’t seem to grasp the idea of Tourism generated by the longing to see just such buildings, they apparently think that tourists come here just to see the Kaieteur Falls.

Although my photograph for this week is not one of the exalted buildings, I think the point can be made that there are many buildings worthy of being preserved, saved and cherished.

There is a Heritage Building Corridor that runs through the heart of historic Georgetown, it stretches from the head of High Street where the building that houses the Canadian High Commission marks the first notable Historic building, and stretches down through Main street and into Avenue of the Republic where the Parliament buildings and Saint Stanislaus’ College mark the end of the designated corridor.

Among the numerous buildings in the corridor are the Prime Minister’s Ressidence, Red House, City Hall, the Demerara Mutual building, City Hall, Cameron and Shepherd, The Victorian Law (High) Court and St Andrew’s Kirk.  The National Trust of Guyana has earmarked twenty-four sites along the corridor as Heritage sites.  Some are kept in good condition, whilst others are falling steadily into disrepair.

This photograph is of a junction off the corridor, and while it may not be a historically important building, or of architectural value, it shows that many buildings are ageing, and unlike rum, some of which are said to be “aged to perfection”, this one has passed its prime, and is definitely somewhere the other side of perfection 🙂

Terminal

While other parts of the world are attempting to record every bit of information for Historical reference, and digging up (sometimes literally) any old records and references to people and places long dead and almost forgotten, I find that in Guyana, there are few records of places and people from our historical past (at least easily accessible records), whether of the recent past or a few generations back.

With the current alarming rate at which the older buildings, some with lots of history and character, are disappearing, I fear that a lot of the history and folklore that may be attached to those buildings will also disappear.

Much of what I know of Georgetown, was “told” to me by family and friends or teachers or just people who had something to say.

I was born after the trains disappeared from our shores, but I was told that this building was the Terminal (of course, there’s not much of a building left, so all I took was the side of it that has nice palm trees along the trench).  It also served as the Bus Terminal after the train no longer ran.  I vaguely remember the “Big Buses” that once were “the public transportation” of Georgetown, or as we grew up calling them; the Tata Buses.

This building also either houses or housed a foreign mission office, I remember seeing a crest or coat-of-arms on the High Street side some years ago.

 

Lamaha Street, looking down from the High Street end.