St George’s Cathedral

This impressive edifice has likely been branded upon the memories of ninety per cent of all Guyanese (if not all), it stands centrally in the commercial district of Georgetown, encircled by roads and dwarfing most of its neighbours in size and in stature.  It is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Georgetown alongside other buildings along what is called the Heritage Trail, which stretches from Parliament Building (which incidentally is where Anglicanism first began making an impact here, in the late 1700s the ground floor of a building on that site was used to hold services) all the way up Avenue of the Republic into Main Street and High Street, ending at the Umana Yana.

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The current St George’s Cathedral is the second church to sit on that spot, the first not lasting very long due to structural faults and subsequent cracking, although there were plans for a replacement stone structure, a wooden building was settled upon using mainly local timber.

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What makes a cathedral?  Although most people tend to associate the term with grand structures in the Latin cross style, complete with naves and transepts, a cathedral is simply the church within a diocese that houses the seat of the Bishop, in this case the Anglican Bishop of Guyana.  Guyana has two notable cathedrals, the second being Brickdam Cathedral or as it is officially known, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (a Roman Catholic church).

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The current building was opened in 1892, and is among the tallest wooden structures in the world, as well as often being called the tallest wooden church in the world.  Over the decades there have always had to be major renovative and restorative works to the building.  While it is an Anglican Cathedral, it is also a source of pride to all Guyanese, and as such we should all try to help in keeping it beautiful and maintaining it.

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I remember during my high-school years, there was a massive drive to raise fund for its restoration, a specific memory centre around some pens that they sold, the pens were shaped like a large nail, I remember using that pen in school, and while my own faith is Roman Catholic and the school I attended was a former Catholic school, heading up my page with that pen meant something, especially when I wrote the letters “A.M.D.G” at the top of the page as I still did at the time; it was a remnant of the old school habits, St. Stanislaus College having been run by the Jesuit priests required the students to head the page with that, it stands for “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” – For the greater glory of God.

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St. George’s Cathedral is again currently in the middle of massive restoration project, this post contains some photos I took of it a few weeks ago.  The northern face has been completed and is impressive in its finish, currently the western face / south western corner is being tackled.  I understand that there is currently a short-fall of funds, and they are asking for any assistance to continue and complete the entire building, to restore its beauty, and preserve part of our national heritage.

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All images copyright protected © Michael C. Lam (www.TheMichaelLamCollection.com)

All images taken with Canon EOS 6D |  Canon 24-105mm

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Presbytery

Not much of a blog post really, just a few photos of the old Presbytery building of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Georgetown, Guyana.

I think they began tearing it down this year (or it may have been last year, I don’t recall exactly), just the small portion to the back remains now.





Click on the images to see them in the Gallery.


Lazy Afternoon at Liliendaal

Just a photo 🙂


Liliendaal, Georgetown, Guyana, South America.


Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery.


1888

I took this photo 5 years ago. (November 03, 2011, 5:06pm)

It’s one of those photos you take at the time, then just put aside; at the time it was just part of several images I took while walking along the northern and then the western side of City Hall, none of which were ever processed or shown to anyone.

I found a few dates about the building to be interesting; proposals for the construction of a Town Hall were endorsed in 1886, a design was chosen in 1887, and works completed in 1889, yet in the wrought iron fretwork design above this northern doorway is the year “1888”.


1888 – 11-6453  |  City Hall, Georgetown, Guyana  |  2011


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Awry

Some photos have a way of leaving you feeling unsettled, or just not quite right…


Awry 15-9930  |  Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, Guyana  |  2015


Click on the image to see it along with others in the Black and White Gallery.


Goodbye Unity

Robb Street begins in Robbstown, down on the “waterfront” by the John Fernandes’ wharf area, both the ward and the street got their names from the man who designed the area in terms of the building lots and landscape, it ends at the famous Bourda Cricket Ground (Georgetown Cricket Club), on what is now Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, renamed to honour the achievements of one of Guyana’s great cricketers of the 1990s into the first decade and a half of the new millennia.  The original name of Shiv Chanderpaul Drive was New Garden Street, because Robb Street was to originally end at the new Botanical Gardens, but that was pushed back a further block (an area that is home to the Georgetown Cricket Club, Georgetown Football Club, Ministry of Agriculture, and Office of the President.)

At the end of Robb Street, on the northern corner, is the Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church (if you’re a Portuguese language speaker, you may want to check out their Portuguese language mass that caters to our growing latin/spanish/Brazillian population), in the southern corner is (or, in a few days/weeks, was) Unity House, a three story wooden house.

I don’t know enough of it’s history, but it once housed the chapel in which Holy Mass was celebrated while the church across the road was being built (on the middle floor), and for many years it was the headquarters of the United Force, a political party which has held parliamentary seats in Guyana up until two elections ago.   Prior to the last elections, also, there was some in-fighting among the executives, primarily as to who would lead the party, but that’s just politics.  As I write this the building is being torn down, let’s hope the party can last a bit longer 🙂

I was processing a photo that I had taken near the gate, but that would not enlighten anyone as to the structure of the building, so I went on to process a wider photo for elucidation 🙂


 

Closed – 15-9996  |  2015  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Unity House – 15-9986  |  2015  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Click on the images to see them in their respective Galleries.


Vanishing Vanity

There once was a time when we created not just for function but for appeal, when we designed things to make our lives easy, as well as for those things to be easy on the eyes.  There is a sense of loss, its physical, but also emotional, when the older buildings are removed and replaced with structures that closely resemble steel slabs  or concrete cuboids.

I don’t do it often enough now, but I once had a fascination with capturing old buildings around Georgetown… but they seem to be vanishing faster than ever now; I hear it’s the sign of progress.

Like everything else in life, if we don’t fight to keep it, then we will lose it, but most of us seem to have grown up in a time when that “fight” is not in us,  where we accept the decisions of others, because we believe that our voice, our opinion does not make a difference in the grand scheme of things.


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  Regent Street, Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana.


Click on the image to see it in the gallery, along with other images from around Georgetown, Guyana.