Tuesday, March 8, 2016

GDF was military arn of PNC

I was an enlisted soldier. I was in the GDF. I did Recruit Training,  at Tacama, March 30 - June 30, 1974. I also did Trained Soldiers Course, 1976. Thus, I  served in Training Corps and D' Company, Pirai Battalion, March 30,  1974 – November 15, 1977. I was labeled Little Manish Puppy. 
My mother, Muriel Sancho was head teacher at # 68 Government Primary School, September 1966 – July 1972. Burnham retired Muriel Sancho, some  six years short of her career goal of fiftieth  (50) years service as a primary school teacher. 
While a youngster in primary school, I concluded I wanted to emulate Ramon Sattaur. I'm pretty sure, I'm not aware of an earlier non-Caucasian Guyanese commissioned officer. I'm sure. Ramon Sattaur is the first of the underprivileged working class peoples of Guyana to attend and graduate from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
 I didn't realize how politicized the GDF really was until I received my first monthly salary in April 1974. Lt. Compton Ross, (Manish Puppy) was the officer handing out the salaries. Fifteen dollars was deducted for PNC dues. Another fifteen dollars deducted for credit union. Sometime, later, I learnt a number of soldiers had direct access to Margaret Ackman, Forbes Burnham and other PNC hierarchy. I wasn't going to run to Oswald Sancho, my uncle, former Chief of Burnham's security detail;  Joseph Oscar Fitzclarence  Haynes; Fred Wills, Winifred  Gaskin, and Rudy Kendall to pull Burnham's coattails. I could not live with politicians owning me. Ramesh Narine lived at Springlands. He was a teacher at Skeldon Line Path  Government Secondary School (SLPGSS). Harry Bissoon should be able to enlighten interested people on Ramesh Narine.  I  recall middle aged and elderly East Indians demanding I forget the foolishness of a military career and follow the footsteps of my mother as career schoolteacher. Talk sense to this young knucklehead. In retrospect I wish I had listened. College Professor would have been most appealing. Oh well my narrow mindedness couldn't think beyond primary school teaching.
I'm sure East Indians believed Narine was murdered. I also remember attending a funeral of a GDF soldier at #67 village. I believe he was a commissioned officer and a Muslim. His departure also was rumored to be murder. I  don't recall his name. I'm sure this transpired 1969-1972. Numerous Africans from the Corentyne were soldiers and commissioned officers. Joe Henry, son of Gershom Henry comes quickly to my mind.  Also, many of them, although birthed elsewhere have parents from the Corentyne.  Are you aware of the thoughts as expressed?

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