Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Is there a West Indian culture...
 Guiana today
 The language we speak - I
 The children of Guiana
 A West Indian student at an American...
 Palace of the stillborn
 Sea music for undine
 The reality of trespass
 Open letter to West Indian...
 The university meets the peopl...
 His finest hour
 Back Cover

Title: Kyk-over-Al
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080046/00003
 Material Information
Title: Kyk-over-Al
Uniform Title: Bim
Alternate Title: Kyk over Al
Physical Description: v. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Guiana Writers' Association
Kykoveral (Guyana)
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Georgetown Guyana
Publication Date: -2000
Frequency: two no. a year
Subject: Guyanese literature -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Caribbean literature (English) -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: review   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Guyana
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1945?
Dates or Sequential Designation: -49/50 (June 2000).
Numbering Peculiarities: Publication suspended, 19 -1983.
Issuing Body: Issued by: British Guiana Writers' Association, 1945-19 ; Kykoveral, 1985-
General Note: Vol. for Apr. 1986 called also golden edition that includes anthology of selections from nos. 1-28 (1945-1961).
General Note: Description based on: No. 30 (Dec. 1984); title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080046
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 12755014
lccn - 86649830
issn - 1012-5094

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
        Advertising 3
        Advertising 4
        Advertising 5
        Advertising 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Is there a West Indian culture ?
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Guiana today
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    The language we speak - I
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The children of Guiana
        Page 15
    A West Indian student at an American university
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Palace of the stillborn
        Page 19
    Sea music for undine
        Page 20
    The reality of trespass
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Open letter to West Indian writers
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    The university meets the people
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    His finest hour
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

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For that Special Gift for


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Corner Robb & High Streets,
Georgetown, British Guiana.




our numerous Customers and Friends.




Picture News Magazine for British Guiana and the West Indies,

giving background to current colonial developments.

For.. PEOPLE w\\o want to know---
by.. PEOPLE whose business it is to know,
about PEOPLE and the things they do,

in this colonial world of ours.


( 12 Copies per annum )
B.W.I., U.K. and EMPIRE


Editorial Office:
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Edited by


One Shilling Net.
Published by the B.G. Writers' Association in conjunction with the D.F.P. Advertising

Service and the B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs.

Vol. 2, No. 9 ..

. December, 1949.


Comment.. ...

Symbols (poem) .. .. .. Cleveland W. Hamilton

Is there a West Indian Culture ? .. .. .. J. Arthur Waites

Guiana Today .. .. .. Dennis Williams

Guiana (poem) .. .. .. .. .. Horace L. Mitchell

The Language We Speak I .. .. .. Richard Allsopp

The Children of Guiana .. .. .. Celeste Dolphin

West Indian Student at an American University .. Ian R. Carew

Palace of the Stillborn (poem) .. .. Wilson Harris

Sea Music for Undine (poem') .. .. .. A. J. Seymour

The Reality of Trespass .. .. Wilson Harris

Open Letter to W.I. Writer .. .. .. .. A. J. Seymour

The Universiby Meets the People .. .. .. Rebecca V. Colman

Intellectual Life in British Guiana ..

Reviews -
Poetry of Walter MacA. Lawrence
Dennis Williams' Paintings
A Note on Colour Prejudice

His Finest Hour .

Index to Kyk-Over-Al Vol. I


.. .. 2


.. .. 5


.. 15

.. .. 16


.... 20

S 21

.. 23

.. 28

S .. 29

. 31

. J.A.V. Bourne

S 33

. 36

Contributions and letters should be sent to the Editor "Kyk-Over-Al", 120, Fourth
Street, Georgetown, British Guiana. Business communications should be addressed to J. E
Humphrey, Esq., Manager, D.F.P. Advertising Service, 4A, Hope Street, Georgetown
British Guiana. P.O. Box 267.

1: ::

Coiuniei t.

The West Indian legislatures will be soon discussing Closer Union proposals and I am
reminded of Shelley's remark when I consider that whatever the politicians may decide,
artists and writers are already emphasizing the intellectual and artistic unity of Guiana,
Honduras and the West Indies and helping to build a Caribbean nationhood.
It is with these problems of making a nation that this issue of Kyk is mainly con-
cerned and we have here an unconscious anthology consisting of the thoughts of an
interested sociologist, a slightly irritated artist, a student whose eyes were opened
at an American University, a poet seeking his values in American aggressiveness and
reminders of our diverse racial strands and the non-English elements in our B.G. speech.
An editor should point out, however, that these articles are perhaps precipitates of some
of the influences at work in B.G., in the past six months, assisting the community's
intellectual development.
There is the influence of the W.I. University. Dr. Waites didn't move around much
perhaps but ability and sincerity are evident in this published extract from his paper on
"Some Difficulties of Socio-Psychological Research in the W.I." All those who attended
Mrs. Colman's training classes will agree on the value of sessions that threw together so
many people of various social strata and diverse intellectual curiosities, and many others
were impressed with the quality and skill of Mrs. Colman's Town Hall lecture on Western
Europe today.
Another important element in this intellectual fertilising was the address at the Union's
August Convention delivered by General Sir Ronald Adam. It was not so much the pres-
tige of the Chairman of the British Council or the learning and diplomacy of an UNESCO
official and British cultural ambassador; it was the innate sincerity and easy friendliness of
the man with his audience that made the greater impression. Guianese were proud too
of Robert Adams's screen success, enjoyed his lectures and acclaimed the quality of his
acting but in the larger attitude towards vehicle, I agree with R. B. O. Hart that British
Guiana has advanced beyond the unreserved acceptance of the situations of Men of Two
Worlds and Emperor Jones.
Like the University and Norman Cameron with his plays, the Union of Cultural Clubs
and the Library are engaged on long-term projects designed to stimulate interest, stir
thought, create critical values and dispense information and during the year the Library
has sponsored lectures and broadcasts on modern poets and aspects of life in England in
the 18th Century, while the Union has organized its Convention discussions and Shakes-
peare week lectures and other activities.
A community's enrichment comes from all sides, and I'm happy to record the receipt
of two magazines, Adam and De Stoep, which may represent the beginning of a real cul-
tural liaison between British Guiana and the non-English speaking peoples in, and on the
shores of the Caribbean. Adam is an international review printed in London in English
and French, which projects modern Dutch literature and which was received from Albert
Helman in Paramaribo. Helman is the pen-name of a Dutch writer born in Surinam who
has published several novels and who now occupies an important official position in that
country. Incidentally, it is remarkable to see the similarity between B.G.'s interior and the
account Albert Helman provides of Surinam's interior in his article "South-South-West" in
the July 1949 issue of Adam.
De Stoep, printed almost entirely in Dutch (to the disappointment of English readers)
was received from Dr. Hartog, Director of the Cultural Centre in Curacao, a branch of the
official organization set up (British Council-wise) to encourage cultural co-operation
between the Netherlands, Indonesia, Surinam and the Dutch Antilles.
But after one has named these influences, there is still a debt to be acknowledged to the
persons and groups that have been contributing everywhere in B.G. in an unspectacular
way to tolerance and kindliness, the pedestal on which stands a people's way of life and
about which Sara Veecock so wisely reminded us at the August Convention. They are
the builders of the great pyramid which Kykoveral is attempting to portray.

-A. J. S

Public Building, Georgeto n.



The moon's loaned gold's in wrought with sapphire light
And woven with the fleece of seraphs' skirts,
The crystal necklace of the vigil night,
Hewn bright upon an angel anvil, flirts
With cloth of blue. The blood of Christ is shown
In bars of sterile flame
Where sank awhile to rest the gory day star
Which has known
Earth's centuries of weeping woe and shame
For Crucifixion's deed ............

But yonder floats a wisp of sacerdotal white
Flecked with strong threads of frowning green -
This green's God's ire
At the black curse of homicidal sin -
The white's the chast'ning purge
Of Pentecostal fire!

Is There a West Indian Culture ?


Is there a West Indian culture? Perhaps I shall be criticised for asking this question. West
Indians may feel that there is some air of "superior" attack upon the one process that must one
day bind them together as a nation; whilst so many researchers may be disturbed because they
have described it before the question was raised. But I am concerned for the students of social
affairs who are in constant danger of believing that "West Indian culture" is in the same category
as those described by Malinowsky, Benedict, Mead and others as Samoan, or Maori, or Papuan or
Kwakiuil. Possibly the only West Indians who can be legitimately regarded as such are the Amer-
indians of British Guiana, an indigenous people mostly living in the jungles and swamps of that
vast country. Of the "culture" usually associated with our text-books of social science there is
little evidence. What, then, is this thing constantly referred d to as "West Indian culture?" Is
there something which is unique to the peoples of the British Caribbean that can be .gitimately
compared with what we regard as a "pattern of culture" or what Ruth Benedict has described as
that which is created through "unconscious canons of choice"?
Simey in his "Welfare and Planning in the West Indies" has been cautious on this theme:

"So far as language and the arts generally are concerned, all the evidence that
there is goes to show that the Negro and other peoples in the Caribbean terri-
tories have inherited a large amount of miscellaneous material from a variety of
cultures, and that they are in process of construcl;in. an individual and typical
culture for themselves out of these materials."
Faced with a situation of this nature, the incoming investigator may well wonder where to
begin in his search for cultural factors in the West Indies. For some, a fascinating study has been
that of logging Africanisms, This is leading to similar research among East Indians, Chinese, Portu-
guese and the minority-peoples of the West Indies. Though of some importance for the understanding
of ab origio racial sources of the African peoples, it must be remembered that most contemporary West
Indians have been less influenced by African Tribal mores than many children of English mission-
aries. Also many coloured peoples have little th at is African in either their blood or their training:
what Madariaga calls "yearning towards whiteness" has been so powerfully prevalent in the West
Indies for so long that there must have been, in numerous families, a conscious effort to suppress
African influences. After all, we are dealing with the "now", the psychological stresses the black or
coloured person today find their conflicts in, the "now" social structure rather than the "then". There
is almost as little justification in spot-lighting the African ancestry of many present-day coloured
peoples in the West Indies as reminding the British Royal Familiy of their Germanic origins.
Many researchers follow Simey's advice and concentrate on "the general study of the selection
oi 'screening' of culture-traits, so as to explain th e survival of some or the decay of other's". Others
like Dr. Eric Williams have been concerned with slavery. economic and racial problems, in the West
It will be observed that the general line of approach of these investigations is that of listing the
cultural factors observed in the ever growing body of West Indian 'culture'. This I believe is an
incomplete approach. It is like listing the symptoms of a physical illness without taking into ac-
count the causes for them specific to the individualinvalid: for this reason alone it becomes so difficult
to compare the West Indian culture-traits with those obtained elsewhere. I believe that we must
first study not the blossoming culture-factors of the West Indies but that which accounts for their
The important sociological feature of the modern West Indian set-up is the disintegration of the
traditional British culture pattern. It is only by this process of disintegration that the "unconscious
canons of choice" which are specific to the West Indies can and will appear. For up to a recent
date. West Indians have been prevented from the processes of voluntary choosing, which alone create
a recognisable independent 'natural' pattern of culture.
This is not the place to discuss the complex history of British influences in the West Indies. But
it must be clear that until half a century ago the British had a domination of the coloured peoples
of the West Indies that precluded the emergence of cultural norms other than those based upon
British tradition. The West Indies mirrored that "acquisitive society" that was Britain: poverty.
prestige, power was determined here by a colour line. Rewards went to those who patterned their
behaviour on the British codes. West Indians were still a 'subject' people. Today, however, whilst
the hall-mark of quality is still largely British, more and more West Indians are recognizing the
possibilities of independent nationhood. Peter Blackman writes:


"Already many West Indians know by experience that England does not know how they live
and in the nature of things cannot greatly care what is the quality of their lives. The jolt of this
first shock to their carefully nurtured Englishry once past, these men do not hate England. They
simply determine that it shall no longer be possible that the English nation shall have the power to
interfere with their lives." (From "Is There a West Indian Literature" published in "Life & Let-
ters", Nov.. 1948.)
The difficulty is, however, that in their eagerness to develop a West Indian culture they tend to
either overstress such indigenous culture-traits as they have so far produced or attempt to create a
culture pattern. Therefore, we must attempt briefly to describe the nature of this present-day West
Indian culture and also indicate the importance of realising that a created culture is a false and un-
natural culture. It is the task and duty of the social investigator to attempt this project, despite
the many difficulties.
For the purpose of this paper we may recognize the following types of culture-patterns:
(a) A national culture, (b) A group culture, (c) a satellite culture, (d) A colonial culture, and,
finally, what I have coined to meet the descriptive needs of modern West Indian culture indices,
(e) a foetal culture.
A national culture consists of all those historically created designs for living, both explicit and
implicit, which have created for a whole society a recognisably unique pattern of behaviour and
thought. In this way we may differentiate between an English national culture and, say, a French
national culture.
A group culture exhibits marked differentiations in the patterns of cultural norms between
groups or classes within a given nation. I shall try to show later that such a culture is revealed by
East Indians in their relation to the over-all cultural pattern of British Guiana.
A satellite culiure is that described by T. S. Eliot in "Notes Towards the Definition of Culture" as:
"One which preserves its language, but which is so closely associated with, and dependent upon,
another, that not only certain classes of the population, but all of them, have to be bilingual. A
nation of weaker culture may be under the influence of one or another stronger culture at dif-
ferent periods: a true satellite culture is one which, for geographical and other reasons, has a
permanent relation to a stronger one."
A colonial culture I restrict to the recognisable pattern of culture produced by the admixture
of a dominant foreign culture and that of a subjected indigenous or subplanted native culture.
Such a culture would be that of most West Indian islands during the "Domination" period, prior
to the more recent developments of specific West Indian cultural norms.
A foetal culture is one which is in process of development, not yet detached from Colonial
patterns of culture, yet revealing sufficiently unique integration to claim a probable separate dif-
ferentiation of behaviour and thought patterns from those to which it was formerly subjected.
The analogy to the human foetus is evident. In no real physiological sense can the human
foetus be said to be an independent creature; yet daily it continues to develop characteristics
which are unique. At birth the foetus ceases to be a foetus and becomes a child; an individual
always for ever after unique and yet always dependent for its basic structure upon the specific
features of its procreators.
Thus must be the future of West Indian culture. It cannot and it appears that many West
Indians hope it shall never be completely uninfluenced by the British .womb in which it is
growing to fruition. Nor will it ever be free from the cultural norms from which West Indians
were wrenched before they became West Indians. As Eliot states: "The culture which develops
on the new soil must therefore be bafflingly alike and different from the parent cultures.
Perhaps in only one regard does our analogy break down: some child psychologists have stated
that the child's first cry at birth is one of rage and despair at being brought into a new world.
We may assume that the birth of West Indian culture will be accompanied by a cry of mingled
conquest and relief.
The difficulties presented to the foreign social investigator (and indeed to enquiring West
Indians) lie in assessing the relationship of cultural elements culled from national, group, satel-
lite and colonial patterns of culture, and those unique differentiations of the new foetal culture.
At the moment, no existing work makes these differences clear. Elements of group patterns are
regarded as national factors: differences between satellite and colonial factors are overlooked: foe-
tal factors, which may well be but transitory or developmental, are regarded as permanent and
unalterable features. And .there are those who would force a permature birth (or indeed a ruthless
Caesarian birth) of West Indian culture. These in their way are no less dangerous for the future
nobility of West Indian culture than those who urge that they can (and must) mould this precious


foetus to their determined pattern. It will be well to remember that wise French proverb: "Le
temps se venge de ce qui a ete fait sans lui'."
It is indeed tempting to the social investigator in the West Indies to record a mass of items
regarded as unique to this part of the world. Two dangers are inherent in such a process: first, it
may be assumed that a pattern of culture can be identified completely by obtaining the sum of in-
dividual cultural factors, and, second, that such distinct cultural activities may be assessed as features
of a national culture whereas they may only be features of a group or class culture.
So far as I see it, I do not believe that we can yet refer with confidence to a national West
Indian culture. What is evident are cultural factors which are new and unique to certain groups
within the West Indian framework: but there a re as yet lamentably few unique integration
which are to be found in all groups, as must occur before we can designate them as forming a national
culture-pattern. We have seen, for example, that even the name "West Indian" is not as widely
accepted among the peoples of the British Caribbean area as may be supposed. There are calypsos
in Trinidad, a "school" of art in Jamaica, Amerindian pottery in British Guiana and so forth but the
only factors which integrate them at the moment are those associated with geographical and politi-
cal pretermination by British influences. If we are to regard these elements as West Indian merely
on such grounds, then we must go further and regard West Indian culture as a minute segment of
something larger still -- British Colonial and Dominion pattern of culture.
The investigator must clearly differentiate between the cultural trends of racial and class group
ings within the West Indian scene and refrain from regarding them as a national culture. Unfortu-
nately, this has not been done as frequently or as clearly as might have been the case in the works
of some eminent writers on the problems of culture in the West Indies. The commonest error
(discoverable in the writings of both Williams andSimey) is a tendency to neglect the cultural factors
of groups other than those of West Indians of African descent. It is true that persons of this lineage
have numerical and to some extent cultural ascendency over all other racial groups. But the inves-
tigator who begins his work in either British Guiana or Trinidad will quickly realise that the poten-
tial influences on West Indian culture by East Indians are far from being rightly relegated to mere
footnotes. The East Indian is no appendage to African-dominated culture in the West Indies.
East Indians in Biitish Guiana were brought from India to supplant African labour on the plan-
tations. Their labour was used to undersell African labour. Most of them were illiterate and their
social conditions on the sugar estates extremely bad. Their ',\~ges were considerably less than those
paid for equal work to other racial groups in Guiana. Their period of indenture was five years.
after which they were at liberty to pursue such life as they \\ ished or could. Today. however, many
have become prosperous farmers and merchants by their thrift and initiative and their Eastern tech-
nique of "stooping to conquer". In the Guiana of today. East Indians occupy foremost posts in the
professions, the business world and the political life of the country. They are developing commun-
ity and cultural traits distinct from those of the African and mixed peoples. But can these factors
unique to the East Indian groups be called West Indian? Certainly they can in the sense that Afri-
can and Mixed factors are: but the truth is that at the moment they are a racial group, segregated
in so many ways from other analogous groups which go to make up the polyglot society of West
India. So far what we see of development along cultural lines in the West Indies is largely confined
to racial or social groups within the wider framework. And at the moment the groups qua groups
are almost as much separate from each other as they always have been.
Where, then, is the linkage between the various groups of the West Indies in respect of culture?
That there is such a linkage no one can deny; particularly if they are conversant with the books and
articles of West Indians such as Dr. Williams. Prof. Arthur Lewis. A. J. Seymour and many others.
A close analysis will reveal, I believe, that this linkage is to be found among a limited number of
"top-level" West Indians only. There are scholars, ai tists, lawyers, politicians, business men whose
productions link with each other throughout the Caribbean. But is this to be regarded as the "West
Indian" culture? At the moment, I would prefer to state that their efforts cannot in any way be
regarded as national; as indeed they themselves form at the very best but a minute group of the
whole society of the West Indies. That it is from this source that a future national West Indian cul-
ture will be directed no one can doubt. I suggest, hoxwver, that the investigator must consider their
cultural productions and linkage as being the elements of a West Indian Elite.
It is mainly because of a West Indian elite group, taken from most of the racial components that
has led to the rapid disintegration of the British culture in the Caribbean. In the early days of the
"domination period" the norms of the British pattern were highly integrated. As one old planter
told me "You knew where you were, what to do and who was who". The social stratification and
the delegation of functions were rigid. It was clear which post was "white" and which was "native".
The problems of "whom to invite" were at least limited to the white population. In such a distinct
frame ork the culture pattern is integrated. But this, pattern was bound to disinicgratt e as soon na
West Indians themselves were trained for and obtained posts previously restricted to white persons.


Robert Lynd's list of "of courses", in respect of social invitations alone, begin to blur when, as in
British Guiana, the Colonial Treasurer is a coloured West Indian and the First Puisne Judge an East
It is true that, for a large number of the West Indians who came to form the new elite, they
were often content (apparently) to "fit in" with the local Colonial British culture pattern and to create
a middle-class appendage to the existing social stratification. But as the British culture pattern
never appears to grant full equality of status to the Colonial coloured person as does for example,
the French, it is clear that by the pressures of partial exclusion from the white "in-group", the West
Indians of the elite group should develop some independent identity of form and function.
As Eliot writes:
"However moderately and unobstrusively the doctrine of elites is put, it implies a radical trans-
formation of society. Superficially. it appears to aim at no more than what we must all desire that
all positions in society should be occupied by those who are best fitted to exercise the functions of
the positions....... But the doctrine of elites implies a good deal more than the rectification of such
justice. It posits an atomic view of society."
It seems clear that the West Indian types of eli tes the intellectual, political, artistic, moral and
religious shall in the future be partially responsible for the development of a recognisable unique
pattern of culture that is West Indian. But it is a danger for the investigator to regard their present
efforts as forming a national configuration. Whilst as a group they certainly are responsible now for
a limited but admirable body of cultural activities, it must be remembered that they are but a
"group"; one of many groups that are to be found in the West Indies. It may be well to recall that
the East Indian racial group in British Guiana is in the process of developing a unique pattern of
culture quite as voluminous and novel as that of the elites. Whilst one springs from an inter-racial
intelligensia, the other originates from an overall racial group with numerical domination of an entire
country. The most serious aspect of culture springing from West Indian elites is that they meet as
individuals or, at the best, representatives of their racial groups: they are little more than members
of a "culture committee". If people persist in regarding the cultural activities of certain elite-groups
as a new West Indian culture pattern, then we shall be led to an ancient but erroneous belief, that
culture is the property of a segment of a society. If such were to arise, West Indians may merely dis-
place the burden of British culture for a no less irksome burden of the culture of one of their own
minority groups.
The gravest danger to the modern investigator in the West Indies is that he shall be made the
tool of those who desire to shape the West Indian culture of the future to their fancies. My objection
is not to the feeling of goodwill behind such hopes but the danger that always ensues from an attempt
to direct the nature of a people's development culturally. We have seen the result of "guided" cul-
ture in Nazi Germany: we witness it today in Russia: we must not see it tomorrow in the West
Indies. The sources of this direction of culture are both British and West Indian. It is clear that
money from the British Government for social investigation is expended for a purpose. It is not
idle to suggest that such a purpose may be the ascertaining sociological and psychological facts in
order that pressures may be brought to bear upon the direction and nature of West Indian cultural
developments. Within the West Indies one can see similar attempts being made by regional and
racial and elite groups. Thus we may discover that the social investigator is to Colonial adminis-
tration what the spy is to military tactics.
The considerations of the social investigator in this regard are not political but scientific. A cul-
ture of a people rises spontaneously from the people. A culture resultant-of direction is at the very
best a bastard creation variable only by the source of the direction, internal or external. It is
true of course that every culture must be confined within pressure boundaries, even if they are only
geographical. But the danger observable in the West Indies is that of a planned culture, the end
result of which no one can foresee. This has been stated with greater clarity by Eliot in his
book :
"For if any definite conclusions emerge from this study. one of them is surely this, that culture
is the one thing that we cannot deliberately aim at. It is the product of a variety of more or less
harmonious activities, each pursued for its own sake....a class division of society planned by an
absolute authority would be artificial and intolerable; a decentralisation under central direction
would be a contradiction: an ecclesiastical unity cannot be imposed in the hope that it will bring
about unity of faith, and a religious diversity for its own sake would be absurd.
Of Society we can only say : 'We shall try to improve it in this respect or the other, where
excess or defect is evident; we must try at the same time to embrace so much in our view, that
we may avoid, in putting one thing right, putting something else wrong.'
Even this is to express an aspiration greater than we can achieve for it is as much or more,
because of what we do piecemeal without understanding or foreseeing the consequences, that the
culture of one age differs from that of its predecessors."

Protest Against

Guiana Today.


Each day we die a little death beneath the sun. By noon the positive is scorched into a
pointless neutral and a whole population gasps, its heat turning dully on a still sharp point. This
is the first thing. The most important. We are s till dominated by the sun-strangers in a land we
call our own.

There is no Guianese people. Only an accumulation of persons end products of a various
history. Images in mud of the distant alien. Here patterns kill us, and the spiritual bullying of
foreigners forever consent to the act. Incoherence. apishness, sentimentality, uncreativeness. And
always the blighting frustration of a land which has got us down. Think for instance on our emo-
tional life caught up within a mesh of influences. There is some pattern here. We mob the
returning prize fighter in an ecstacy of appreciation, and mourn the death of our only composer.
We no longer return from "away" with unfamiliar accents (not generally, anyway) but are expected
in a vague way to be better fellows for it, polished. cultured. "He would do well abroad", and so
on! Always the sanction and blessing of the "civilized" countries, which is our hall-mark, for
want of native values a tacit admission, of course, that there is no good here. The emotional
cohesion is only superficial, resting inevitably on alien standards. A collective local response to
anything at all is simply unimaginable.

The truth is, we are a lot of persons and a lot of races, with a super village mentality. To
begin with, we are in no way at all adapted to this land in which we live the first thing the
savage does. Our dress is ludicrous, as are most of our other habits. We allow the sun to wilt
our inspiration daily instead of enjoying it as the Mexicans do (same hours or work &c.). We eat
unintelligently for our climate, and build our houses even more so. In all the innumerable trivia
of our own social and domestic life we chain ourselves to our irritating string of invalid habits
which are unfriendly to the human in these latitudes and which consequently rob us of the impluse
toward that cumulative finesse which is the art of living among all civilized peoples. There is no
vision here.

Rather, we cling to a dream of a very negative quality. The person in Guiana looks outward.
Naturally. But the aggressive European pattern is always strange, aloof and unfriendly. There
is no substantial link. Here we are up against history, race and culture. We can never change
our spots, never build Georgian townhalls or Renaissance churches, or create the frescoes of Piero
della Francesca; so we create a myth an edifice which is nearly secure enough to make us
forget our troubled yesterdays in the accomplishment of those peoples most like us. Our real
heroes are the American Negro, the Indian in India, the Chinese in China, and for those of indis-
tinct and diverse origin the European in the world. Our heroes function of course in a purely
decorative way, showpieces of our different and differing races, brilliant enough to cast the sharp
reflections in which we bask. Actually their existence is quite removed from ours and touch us in
no other than in a very remote and universal sense. Nevertheless the dream persists and with it the
inevitable flow of "colored" magazines, etc.. 'the nightly oriental music and periodic rites, the
"national" dress, the special holidays, special pages in the news, special graveyards "that the
pattern may subsist, that the wheels may turn, and still be forever still." Our insularity is para-

So our position remains immovable. But our smug edifice is strong only at the top. At the
bottom it rests on the calypso, which is the faint heart of all Guiana. But it rests heavily, and one
common touch would yet fail to make our whole world kin. Undoubtedly there is a Guianese pat-
tern, a part of the whole which is an assured West Indian pattern. That faint residue which
would surely continue to drift around if the Caribbean Sea should tonight drown our posturing and
"fantastic tricks" in a single movement of history. But here in Guiana it is too vague and impalpable
to amount to anything like an influence, far less a way of life and even much less a contribution to


the universal spirit of all men. It is a prostrate frustrated something lying beetle-like on its back,
awaiting the touch of the interested hand. A considerable point is, how good is it for the beetle to
tilted over by any but its own effort.


Someone said a nation gets what it wants. True. It falls in very beautifully with Lamarck's
conception of creative evolution. The tragedy lies always, of course, in wanting the troublesome
things. The will of a nation is certainly a very powerful thing, and I believe that Michelangelo
grew out of Renaissance Italy in precisely the same way as Lamarck's hypothetical giraffe grew a
long neck. I know of no better explanation. When Italy grew full enough of great men she ceased
any longer to produce Leonardo, Dante, Raphael; and the usual horde of imitators and mummifiers
closed the lid on her creativeness.

There is a signal in Guiana today which might well end in paradox. The prophets are beginning
to arise. They will of course suffer the common fate of the breed. But the question is does
Guiana really want these men. Let us face it at once. We are so far an uncreative people by the
only standards we know historic. We have no folk life, and consequently no folk Art. So we
start without entrails. The calypso unifyer of all West Indian peoples is not of this soil. Our
building songs and shanties (at best an expression of only one facet of Guianese life) are now only
very interesting ethnographical pieces. The mood persists in various pale atavisms cumfa
dancing, shaking, etc., but these things are regional and invalid. The things we have all brought
with us still remain potential. There has been no marriage, consequently no issue. Meanwhile our
prophet has characteristically been keeping his nose to the wind, and out of the complex of influences
within and without, is seeking a new orientation -the orientation, from which "Guiana" will emerge
only as legend. Does Guiana really want this man an artist who is not only Guianese but a
prophet of the whole new world, a believer in the concept of Cosmic Man, of which Guiana with its
diverse bloods could be such an apt birth-bed.

I think there can be no Guianese spirit as such. The idea presupposes an emotional unity which
could be the result of only a greater unity race, religion, art. None of these could ever consti-
tute a single ideology in Guiana. so the possibility of a truly Guianese culture seems to me to be a
very remote one. Besides, the picture of the contemporary Guianese is proof perfect. He is a man
riding a 'ticker' bike or a Vauxhall toward an indistinct Nirvana quite unoccupied with any con-
victions of 'high' art. The snobbery of opera houses and museums touches him not at all, is not
really a part of this goal on which his unconscious eye is fixed, while he weaves the pattern which
will be the concern of history not of the self-conscious intellectual in his midst. This, of course.
is as it should be. The civilisations of Europe have sanctified Art, placed it in a different and distant
little world, the Gothic Cathedral mummified in the museum. The European no longer lives art. It
exists on the surface of his life. a beautiful cream, a veneer. He is going toward no Nirvana.

The Guianese, like all the other peoples of our New World has been emancipated from a back-
ground, his history short and unformed. He is a young man with a hope. His incoherent shifting
constitute his common denominator with all the rest of Columbus' world. Here blood is new in a
way that does not go for Eu'ope. Here is clay for the sculpture which will be Tomorrow's Man.
The man with a different and complex yesterday, seeking other values, exploding myths, creating a
way of life human and universal. This mid-twentieth century has already questioned the idea of
air-tight national pidgeonholing of peoples, and nothing now happens anywhere which is not the con-
cern of the whole world.

Take the artist as pilot. Take the European painter. In a way he died toward the end of the
19th century. A part of him did, anyway his smug insularity. For the first time in his history
he looked out on the world. Shyly at first toward the Art of Japan. He absorbed the influence
of the Japanese print. Then he discovered the primitive African Negro. pre-Columbian. Oceanic
sculpture; the art of Siberia, cave paintings. These influences were profound, infused European
art with red blood. The artist was the first to sense the coming significance of the peoples who
played the role in contemporary art that they are about to play in contemporary living. The
European prophets.

In this western hemisphere, here in these Americas, there is all the potential. The human lives
here who has all the atavisms in his blood. Guianese man is a microcosm of American man, capable
of fashioning the universal. A fascinating prospect! Beneath this sun which is all the colour of
the world walks the man who is all the races of the earth. His hope is founded on marriage. His
home the world.




Guiana is a big, brown child,
A girl-child, gentle and gracious grown
Playing in the sun,
A child of piety and of peace
Praying in the sun.

Her hair is the hair of virgins,
Green forests intact of chaste treasures
Swaying in the sumptuous symmetry of seduction
That beguiles and yields innocently
To the wind's wooing;
The ravishing rivers of her arms and legs
Are elegant charms of transport
That lie welcoming
Between sloth's stagnation
And activity's goal
As a salvation of her hinterland hopes,
Sinuous and shapely,
Supinely stretched in the sun of her destiny.

Her soul is the whole arbour of splendour
From Pointa Playa to Skeldon,
Like the sun's,
And her gaiety is flamboyant and fresh,
Frolicsome sometimes frivolous,
Like the sun's;
Her laughter is the daughter
Of frustration's anguish running wild,
A forlorn, frightened child
Seeking specious self-expression
In syntheses of european echoes
As in a comforter of progress
That's but a mist of truth,
Kissed by the deluding sun of disillusion,
Dissoluble and doubtful
As dacoits of death.

But nobility and royalty
Course her veins,
Guiding reins of righteousness
That rule in the sun's saddle
And will last till the sun is done.
In her veins of Essequibo
Nobility rises in Roraima's altitude
To kiss God's cloud-cheek
And stamp her proud elevation
On the sky's scroll
As a landmark for celestials;
Her royalty is the rapture
Of gold's glory diamond-studded,
Her peerless pedigree which Eldorado holds
In trance-like taunt to tease posterity.


Her voice is a vapour of drums,
Kaieteur in rainbow crescendo
On Potaro's lips
Sipping in the mist of mobile magic,
Voicing hums of happiness,
Nature-bestowed solace to stunted industry,
In a seance with Time,
But the vapour is going
And there's a knowing
That tomorrow
Her sorrow, sympathy's son,
Nurtured on alien charity,
Like a blind beggar,
Will die,
A fly swatted on a wall,
And her voice will cry
Her orientation
In volcanic pent-up vent.

The gentle child will come of age,
As children come
Of Time's evolution born
In this world's nursing home,
Then the dormant urge
To surf and surge the shore
Of grand accomplishment, splashing,
Will foam and fashion, lashing
Her beautiful, brown body to a billow of action.

Posterity, astronomer of fate,
Safe in the sanctum of his scrutiny,
Peering through Time's telescope
Of incidents been and to be seen
Will ken her realisations
As the earliest star of the state utopian.

Recognise it?

The Language We Speak--1.


If instead of its present designation, this article bore the title "What language do we speak? the
reader's mind would at once have answered "Why, English, of course, if you're talking of British
Guiana and the West Indies?" The same answer is often given by West Indians to inquiring people
in England, but I have deliberately not asked the question since my intention here is neither to query,
criticise nor recommend, but simply to observe certain facts about the way we speak. A full thesis
on the subject would of course fill much more than this magazine so I shall limit my observations in
this article to little more than a classified examination of the words (not even the expressions) we use
and leave the reader to his own conclusions.

Before I begin two things must be clear. The orthography in the case of many words, it will be
seen, is conjectural but I think any Guianese may be relied upon to recognise the sound and mean-
ing of the words being "described"; secondly, no apology is offered for the meanings of some of the
words used, as here they serve the purpose only of academic examples of the particular class of words
bIing discussed.

Let us begin by looking at a few words in general use among us: Stelling bateau- beautician-
jumbie dharoo worker grabble. Of these none is to be found in the Oxford Concise Dictionary
except the last two and then they are not "our" words. The \ ords are all known to and used by all
"good" Guianese, but the first is Dutch, the second French, the third American, the fourth local of
African origin, the fifth local of Indian origin, the sixth English with a special local connotation ( -
a seamstress) and the seventh English but with an exclusive local meaning (- to seize violently).

Perhaps then with such examples before us we may more readily concede that some at least of our
words are non-English. This would already be a remarkable concession if the question were being
argued, but a further distinction may be forced from us by our island neighbours, for none but a
Guianese would know what were "a selling, bateau, or dharoo" just in case you query the second
of this trio. let me remind you that a Guianese ba teau is not just a boat but a canoe. a dinghy almost
restricted to use in backdam trenches "and incidentally" a Barbadian or Trinidadian would ask
What is "backdam?" and what would you call "trenches"?

So perhaps we had better fall back on the language we speak in British Guiana, and call it
Guianese for the sake of correctness and discuss that language. There will be lines of coincidence
with other languages of other West Indian territories but they will be ignored from this point on-
wards. The B.G. language, of course, draws its distinctive characteristics from the multiple origins of
its population. Without discussing history and racial proportions, let us for the sake of simplicity
and quickness, classify the words we shall discuss in order of bulk under the headings:

Localisms. Africanisms, Frenchisms. Americanisms. Indianisms. Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish.
These terms admittedly are dreadful, especially the third (Gallicism is already a word with its own
meaning) but they are clear and I think will be justified by the examples. Localisms, These the
greatest class fall into two or three groups the first of which consists of words of the people's inven-
tion: bambacious (also bombacious) officious (corruption of bombastic) blind cent coin (a cent)
defaced by age or damaged; botheration (noun and adjective) (as noun) trouble, bother (as adjective)
disgusting; bush rum rum made under cover, without licence, and usually overproof: freck a
small remuneration for services to be rendered or already rendered; ruction (adjective) aggressive
(usually of children) to womanise (of men) to seek the company of women persistently for per-
sonal pleasure.

And there are some English words with additional meanings: coolness a misunderstanding
between two parties: freeness unrestrained behaviour, generally of a group making merry.
Pointer stiff mid-rib of leaf of a coconut-branch used in the making of brooms (hence pointer-

There are also combinations of two or more English words to constitute entirely new words be-
longing to our society and environment: bottom-house-(1) the space under a house built on pillars


(2) a dwelling room in this space. (3) also adjectival use as: "bottom house" cricket; bad minded -
malevolent; clear-skinned adjectivee) a nebulous term denoting a type of Negroid person of
light-brown or near white complexion. (The term is further complicated in its application to In
dians); cycle-shop an establishment for the repair (not sale) of bicycles; light-skinned (see
clear-skinned): puni-trench estate canal for conveyance of puntloads of cane to the sugar fac-
tory; punt-trench-dam footpath along punt trench for the mule and muleteer engaged in drawing
the punts.

Africanisms. On this enormous class we can only touch lightly, for to it belongs nearly the whole
of what is called "creolese." The distinctive marks of this class of words are (a) the frequence of
the pure open vowel "a" (pronounced "ah" and (b) the repetitive element, as in "big-big", etc.; bakra
(adjective) white (people) (corruption of a West African word mbakara those who rule); big-
big (adjective) boastful, ostentatious, "high and mighty"; jub-jub a type of confectionery; Kuh-
kuhbeh a form of leprosy; mattie fellow, another, each other (e g. to beat up mattie to fight
each other); packoo or quashie almost synonymous terms for an idiot.

It should be noted in passing that "creolese" is the dialectal form of expression of the masses. It
is inelegant but expressive and although it is understood by the great majority of the population, its
users mark themselves as belonging to a certain br anch of the community and their progress in that
community is generally restrained. Even those who admire it and appreciate its incisive brevity
will not use it in serious conversation within earshot of those whose esteem they crave.

Frenchisms we consider next, since, by my reckoning, there seem to be more of them than a first
cursory examination reveals, words such as bateau, beterouge. cabane, fete, flamboyant, logis, mas-
querade, patois, pot (of pot de chambre) are well-known and distinct French words which would not
justify the use of the ugly term Frenchisms. But few of us realise that when we say four cents a
piece (French quatre sous la piece): ill up to Versailles (French jusqua Versailles); at him (-at his
house) (French chez lui): a touched mango (French mangue touchee); (How is) the sick? (French le
malade); (Where is) the dead? (French le mort); all two (French tous les deux) and all our re-
flexives: pick yourself up, carry yourself, move yourself, kill yourself out few of us realise, I say,
that there we have English words used in conspicuously French patterns, which is what the term
Frenchisms is intended to convey.

Americanisms we need again only lightly touch on since their presence becomes alas! daily
more blatant what with the irrepressible force of the cinema inter alia. Terms such as: o.k., guess,
guy. reckon must now be admitted; but of more interest to the searcher are such words as book-
store, drugstore, beautician, mortician which are clear, functional, and sometimes, as in the case of
ihe last two supplying so real a need

Indianisms: It is perhaps curious that more words of Indian origin have not found their way into
general use but, the reason may be that the Indians who use them. still speak their languages and live
grouped in rural communities, so that their words have remained enclosed, whereas the African has
simply grafted many of his words and speech patterns on to English. The Indians among us. like
the French in Europe have contributed to our voca bulary mainly in the field of food and dress: Rhoti,
dholl, pourrie, messala, sharoo, sari urni, baba, sala, are terms requiring no explanation to any "good"
Guianese, but there are other parts of speech, e.g., braiga, paisa also in frequent use.

Dutch. Portuguese and Spanish would seem, even when taken together, again curiously enough.
to be a rather small group. Space does not permit of any examination but the following groups arc
examples in order drogher, gilder, koker, selling, pratash, bacalao, vamoose (vamos) no canoca (no

And there we must leave the subject merely subject, and hardly entered upon, for we have
not really examined the origins nor at all traced t he semantic development of these words. We have
have confined ourselves to words and have dealt with no expressions. The whole interesting field of
"creolose" has been overlooked. And even when all these were done we would have the enormous
examination of the phonetics and the syntax of the language and this for British Guiana alone
Imagine all this to be done a dozen times over for the West Indian islands with *the added comp
locations of a developed patois in some of them -before we can say that we in the West Indies are
fully aware of the language we speak.

From the sixth talk in a series of broadcasts

The Children of Guiana.

If Guiana had a picture gallery for its children, there would be six portraits on the wall, and
as we have seen they belong to the children of the Amerindian, the African, the Indian, the Chinese, the
Portuguese and the European races. As Edward Parry, one of the bishops of Guiana once said-
"We are the dear land of the six peoples."
If we take the roll call by ages, Cornelius, the 7-year-old Arawak boy at Cabacaburi on the
Pomeroon, is the youngest of them all. Kenneth. the Chinese boy at Wismar, whom we met on the
wharf on another river is 8, just one year older. Teresa, is 9, the little Portuguese girl, who lives in
Albouystown and who wants to be a nun like Sister Mary Elizabeth, and the two 10-year-olds are
Ramiit. the Hindu boy at Port Mourant and the little English girl, Elizabeth, who goes to Bishops'
High School. That leaves only Joseph, the boy of African desent who had won a Scholarship and who
comes down by train early in the morning from Bux ton to go to school at Queen's College.
I enjoyed getting ready the broadcasts on these six children of our country, Guiana, and speaking
to you now, I have a vivid memory of their faces and the faces of the older people from whom we
learnt our history.
I remember how Joseph's father described the "Middle Passage" as it was called, that v o y a g e
across the Atlantic in the years before the slave trade ceased in 1807, when the slaves were brought in
crowded ships from West Africa to the West Indies, and how the captains kept a p a r t those who
spoke the same language, as a safeguard against insurrection. And then there is Uncle Stanley
telling a reluctant and even unwilling Teresa of the way the Portuguese came in 1835, perhaps un-
der the pressure of famine in Madeira, how they soon left plantation work and went into the retail
trade, importing their wines and onions in their own ships from Madeira. And I remember away
in Port Mourant the Hindu boy, Ramjit, sitting with Sita and Hassan at the feet of his grand-
father, while he tells them of the Hesperus bringing the first batch of East Indian labour to British
Guiana in 1838, how the priests kept alive the Indian way of life with the Jhandi and the Phagwah
festival and the celebration of the Ids. And up at Wismar. there was the C h in e s e boy, Kenneth,
whose Uncle Albert, the land surveyor, had, as a hobby, hunted out all the facts about the Chinese
in British Guiana The stories he told of the first immigrant ship, the Lord Elgin, how the rice fer-
mented below deck on that disastrous voyage and of Wu Tai Kam and his experiment in Chinese
settlement at Hopetown.. And of course, the "first child of Guiana," Cornelius, the Arawak boy, whom
we saw on the landing at Cabacaburi. We heard his teacher tell the story of the long trek of his
ancestors from Mongolia, over the Behring Strait, and down the Rocky Mountains and on, naming the
Caribbean sea, and his mother related the story of how the Carib God, Louquo, peopled the earth after
the Great Flood by throwing bits of cassava over his shoulders.
We have looked at a series of portraits, in isolation. Before we say goodbye to them, let us just
for a moment lift the curtain of time and see what has happened to our little children, let us look at
Guiana in 7 years' time, and follow their careers.
Teresa, the Portuguese child has grown into a beautiful girl of 16. She is still at school, at the
Charlestown Convent now. and the desire to be a nun has not left her. She is waiting to finish school
and then she will fulfil her desire. Elizabeth is 17 and now preparing to go to the University at
Leeds. Her father will soon be retiring and going back home to less exacting service in England, near
the town where he was born. Joseph, Ramjit and Kenneth, are all at Queen's College. The differences
in age have kept them apart but the Principal has already grown to look upon them as his best candi-
dates for the Guiana Scholarships for each of the next three years.
And Cornelius! He is still in the Mission House with F a t h e r Hale and he is undecided what he
would do. You see, like his father, he may become the captain of his tribe, but Father Hale is
asking him to stay on with him and to take his place at Cabacaburi.
It is up to them now.
During the talks in this series, we paid special attention to the dishes that were peculiar to the
various sections of the population. We talked about roti and currie as belonging to the Indian, and
Vingadoll and Malashadush and bul-de-mel as being essentially Portuguese. We spoke of the Chinese
Towsapaing and the African metagee and conki cakes. Then we spoke of the Amerindian and his
cassava bread. And we should add roast beef, potatoes and cabbage, and puddings, as peculiarly Eng-
lish dishes. But as we know, these foods have all been part of our lives as Guianese. We all eat and


enjoy roti and currie; Vingadoll is a special Christmas morning dish in many of our homes, and when
we had our wartime flour shortage, we had nothing else to eat but cassava bread, and we did enjoy
it, especially when toasted. The delicious Chinese cakes and the African and other' dishes have all
been absorbed in the Guianese way of life and we find them on the tables of all the peoples, at one
time or another.
This fusion, and what we may call this assimilation, has not ended with our foods. It has hap-
pened too with the races themselves. In our talks, we have s p o k en of these children as pure racial
types. But you know, of course, that in a country like Guiana, where for so many generations, peo-
ples have rubbed shoulders together and worked and played together, many of us have mixed blood,
and many of us belong to two, and sometimes even to three, of these racial types.
Some people say that the greatest problem facing the world today, is that of how the various races
of mankind can learn to get along with one another. And they say too, that the solution lies in places
like British Guiana, where different races, with varying backgrounds, have learnt to live together in
The hope of that solution, and of that harmony lies, as we have seen, in the hands of these child-
ren of Guiana.

A West Indian Student at an American University

Every year an increasing number of students from the W.I. are going to institutions of higher
education in the U.S. In the past decade the student enrollment in the U.S.A. has increased by
more than a hundred times. With such a phenomenal increase, we can no longer make the matter
of selecting a University a matter of speculation. The Government, the student, the parent and the
community, should know about American schools nd what they have to offer. It will be necessary
to touch on Educational philosophies in Europe and America, on pro-University education and on edu-
cation in terms of the Government, the community, the school and the home, and along with this
on adult education.
The concept of education as a privilege to be shared by a chosen group of intellectuals is one
far removed from the needs of our modern society es whether these societies be in Tibet or in Arizona.
We now stand on the threshold of a new age. an atomic age. Even if we take a conservative
view of this age out of the wild claims and counter claims of a multitude of writers we must face the
issue that this atomic age has placed our civilizati on on trial. To meet the challenge of this age we
must develop new values and new philosophies, and above all we must inspire in our youth a quest
for knowledge. Our schools must encourage and strive to develop creative impulses from the ele-
mentary classes. Our youth must hold like a torch before them the philosophy of Descartes "I
think, therefore I am.' For today men need more than ever the ability to question age-old
To understand University and College education today we must first have a general idea of the
number of Universities in the U.S. their rating and geographical distribution. There arc over
1,700 institutions for higher education in the U.S. Of these 1,031 degree-granting institutions are
listed by Lovejoy in his Guide to American Colleges and Universities: there are 337 listed in the
first grade, 491 in the second and 203 in the third However, one must bear in mind the impossibility
of measuring with a yardstick the intangibles and imponderables that confront those who seek to
rate such a multitude of higher education institutions.
It is a mistake for a student from these parts to attend schools like Lincoln University or the
Tuskcgee Institute which are listed in Lovejoy's catalogue of American Universities as second and
third grade schools respectively. For the same tuition fees and the same cost of subsistence one can
get training of a much higher quality.
It is also unwise and short sighted for West Indians t3 flock to one or two schools, and to neglect
dozens of other schools that offer wider and more interesting social experiences .more opportunities
for scholarship aid and in some instances inexpensive board and lodging. It might be well to find
cut. for example, whether there are student co-operative houses on or near one's University Campus.
These co-operative houses offer inexpensive living to students, and the experience of living with
diverse groups of American and foreign students is an invaluable one. Some Universities have
special endowments for the assistance and entertainment of foreign students.
Today there are over three hundred West Indian students at Howard University: Most of these
students aspire to study cither dentistry or Medicine. Howard does not have the necessary facili
ties to accommodate even a fraction of these students in her professional srhocls.


The situation in the United States with regard to Medical and Dental schools is one that cer-
tainly needs clarifying. Since the end of the war many of the first rate professional schools have to
select classes of 75 from seven to twelve hundred applicants, and the gaining of a B.Sc. degree is
no guarantee that one will get into a professional school. Many students with degree and outstand-
ing scholastic records find their careers stymied by having to apply year after year in vain.
This problem affects American students to some extent but it affects foreign students more
acutely. Many students today with B.Sc. degrees are going to medical schools in Europe. There
are West Indians at Brussels, the University of Paris, Geneva, Zurich and Lusanne. The European
schools even though they have inferior equipment encourage larger medical classes. The schools I
have listed, however, are recognized by the American Medical Association. The dual training in
America and Europe is sound and definitely gives one a broad intellectual perspective.
The student from the West Indies must from this multitude of Universities and Colleges select
with discrimination the one he will attend bearing in mind the factors that will apply to his own
individual case. He must first as Bacon advised in his essay on "Travel" equip himself with "The
currency of the realm". This is an important factor, for the days of working one's way through
College in the first rate institutions of higher education in the U.S. are ovel. College today is an
expensive venture and those with slender resources might well consider going to Europe rather than
the U.S.
The West Indian, too, must in choosing a College or University bear in mind that the gaining
of a degree is not all in education. Along with the rigid degree requirements one must seek after
broad social and cultural experiences, must look into and study the sociological phenomena in the
society outside of the campus, must meet diverse groups, visit factories and farms and must study
the history and government of countries. These things will broaden intellectual and cultural vistas
and enrich our experiences.
For such experiences as these the universities situated in the densely populated metropolitan
areas afford ample opportunity. One of my professors at the University of Western Reserve. Cleve-
land, Ohio, who had a flair for sardonic humour once told us of Chicago, that it is the only Uni-
versity in the world where Jewish professors teach Catholic philosophy in a protestant institution
to Atheist students. This gives some idea of the varied and interesting experiences that one can
expect at such an institution.
The American educational programme represents a new experiment in the history of western
Civilization.. You might say like Keyserling that America is merely a powerful materialistic epilogue
to Europe, but if she is, then she reveals the material inconsistencies of Europe in a stark and
graphic manner. The Europeans with their esoteric philosophies of caste, of educating a ruling class.
are forever confronted with the archaic images of abject poverty and wealth, of privilege and de-
privation, of haves and have nots. America has not eradicated these paradoxes from her society but
she is sowing seeds foi the regeneration of human society. If these seeds languish and die then
Amcirica will epitomize the supreme indictment of a declining civilization. The West Indian there-
fore. who studies in America comes face to face with this challenge, which from a world wide per-
lpective reaches into his own society.
Our educational system. especially on the secondary school level, is but a left over from the
Blilish 19th Century Public School, and in many cases this education does not equip us to meet
the needs of this age in which technics play a role so vital that invariably we can measure the
standard of living, the number of schools, hospitals the quality of housing, by the yardstick of a
single factor like industrial production.
The West Indies and the South and Central Americas are becoming more and more aware of the
immense invasive potential of American technics. We must be prepared to take from America and
the rest of the world all that we can use and adapt to the needs of our West Indian society, one of
whose main problems is a demographic and ethnic one. The twin forces of economic development and
-lducation will solve this problem.
The education that I have in mind however, embraces training in polytechnic skills, the encour-
agement of handicraft on a much larger scale, the functioning of libraries under trained Library Scien-
tists, who must in addition to the sponsoring of cultural programmes for the public benefit, recom-
mend to the Board of Education ideas for School curricula and the selection of textbooks. and also be
v;ble actively to help in adult educational programmes.
The needs of our society are such that the West Indian student whether this student studies
Medicine, Dentistry or Engineering, or any other profession must also acquire a knowledge, and
a more than superficial one, of the Social and applied sciences.
Our economy in its present state cannot support a very elaborate school system, but we cannot
afford to wait until our economy becomes a healthy one to put progressive education into effect. So
every individual who goes to a University must be prepared to aid in educating his countrymen


In the West Indies and in many of the countries of South and Central America a number of
paradoxes constantly mock those of us who are wont to turn aside and live complacently in the
realms of satisfied nothingness. These paradoxes appear in the form of a facade of modern or semi-
modern cities, and behind them semi-feudal plantations controlled by an oligarchy of absentee owners.
Tolstoy once observed about an American Minister, that he knew all the languages, had studied
all the sciences, and had read all the books. The only fault he found in this Minister was that he'd
never learned to think.
American University education is one that meets the needs of the American people primarily,
and in many cases the needs of the American people are different and sometimes diametrically
opposed to our own.
The pitfalls of the stereotype and of regimentation are two of which the West Indian must be
forever wary. One must always maintain the right to think even when ground out of an educational
assembly line.
This is a difficult task, for sometimes in the American University there is no place for the in-
dependent thinker, the rugged individualist the intellectual rebel who baulks against the irksome
chores of recording meticulously and docilely the thoughts of another man.
We in the West Indies cannot afford to become cogs for our society demands of us that we
become versatile and flexible. We must build new structures while the American inherits complete
structures already built.
Our reaching and striving in education must be more restless, more dynamic than that of the
In science, in art, in philosophy, in music, let us examine all that we can, but let us accept only
that which we can use without blighting our own endeavours.
The time is ripe for the birth of science, art and literature in the West Indies. It is time that
we said like the Brazilians, "Down with grammar; down with the sonnet; down with the Olympian
gods. We are children of a new land. Let us make free verse that is full of bold images, cast in
new moulds. Let us write a new literature that is truly our own, one that smells of our earth and
represents more truthfully the dreams of our people."
The two main ethnic groups in the British West Indies and British Guiana are either of African
or Indian ancestry. Both of these peoples have a rich cultural heritage.
In Brazil, a civilization is growing up dominated by African cultural influences. Gilberto Freye,
the world-famous sociologist says in his book "Masters and Slaves" "In this land it seems as if the
hot and oleous airs of Africa had mitigated the harshness of Gothic architecture, canonic discipline,
Vesigothic law. It is a land in which Europe governs but Africa rules."
If we have doubts about our racial identity or entertain any illusions about it, it might be well
for us to come to a definite and realistic solution before leaving for the United States, for in that
country all illusions and doubts will quickly be shattered and dissipated.
Discrimination on the campus and discrimination with regard to public transportation, housing,
restaurants and every-day social contacts is a problem that in one way or another almost all West
Indians will have to face and Lovejoy's guide (supported by Dr. Alvin Johnson and the Commission
on Higher Education) states that discrimination in one form or another has existed against such
minority groups as Jews, Catholics, Italians, Orientals, Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans.
The problem is not limited to the individuals who are denied admission. Even for such of the
minority group students as are admitted, the unhappy consequences of intolerance can be and often
are, profound....The frustrations of social discrimination in dormitories etc. strike at the personal
dignity of the affected students from minority groups.
This array of facts I have listed must not, however, be accepted without such mitigating con-
siderations as, the generosity and hospitality of individual Americans of all races and colours. Skin
colour is not the only criteria for judging individuals in America. Creative ability, integrity, and
intelligence will always hold a high place in the judgments of Americans. Julius Richmond, a Gui-
anese, the only Negro in his Dental Class at Columbia, because of his outstanding ability, rose to
an eminence above his white class-mates. This is one of many similar examples.
Intolerance in the U.S. drives the coloured races to find some area of racial pride and cultural
orientation so that Langston Hughes in his poem "America has never been America to me" says,
"I am a Negro black as the night is black....black as my Africa". This search for a cultural orient-
ation drives us to study the achievements of Negroes in History. in Africa, in America, in Brazil,
in the West Indies, and the rest of South America, and what one finds in this search creates the basis
of racial pride and cultural orientation. There is a whole new world of knowledge to explore in this
direction, of Ashanti art, and Bushongo industry, of Egyptian civilization, the oldest and longest last-
ing in our recorded history, and of Brazil, this dynamic new land where the European, the African
and the Indian have fused to produce an art, an architecture and a music that is one of the epics of
our modern times.
This is what America drives us unwittingly to discover.



Palace of the Stillborn.

The wheel turns slowly
wheel of life and love
the waterwheel at the railway station
feeding the iron locomotive of desire. Smoky
distant world
wraps the trees
in a border of loose dusty memory
when the train is gone from the station of life.
The ancient chimney of estate
is cloudy ideal
like a finger of caution
or a finger of departure. Smoke
from burning heaps
upon moving cattle
and turns blue with dark
bitter intense pain
in the labourer stoking an inner life of passion
stoking hidden fires in the burnt red earth of love
coagulations of blood upon a diseased highway.
Some forsake and some are forsaken
lovers of antiquity. Exiles who labour
whom the brittle shell washed by the remorseless sea
house in interior palaces
of the imagination only. Born unwilling to breathe perhaps.



Sea Music for Undinte.

Waters are blown chords
To her begetting of the sun.
In these drowned distances
The seabed's mountains are her islands
Her 'tween-tide harbours to dry her Trade wind hair.
These fabled waves once trespassed on her touch
And tangled weed within her legendary hair
But now her singing flutes the broken windbreath
And strews the flowing sea hollows
Frozen in a plunge of green cellophane.

Eve's wonder swam there in her paranymphal eyes.
To enter through those portals was to find
Eden again, like Adam
The trees marvellous by the eternal river
And the shade shaped for the dream of lovers
Drowned in each other's arms
But creation asleep in God before the beginning.
The grace that would burgeon into her soul
Lay awaiting the spasm of explosion
To mushroom
And people new universes with her particles.

No stranger passed those priestess pupils
No wanton union lay
With the body of her spirit
Caressing of its hands and limbs.
One was to live there, not take a room.
Come heart, see
Your dismayed schooners sigh their torn sails into bay water
These lawns of the lake after the buffeting sea.
Love runs a swift valley between dark hills.
And after
The taxing sands, banquet your harvest,
Heart, from the warm hills made light with green.
Love's gathered grace breathes perfumes through the night.
Slake your huge hurt
Heal whole and brew no quarrel
Now you leap easy to Love's touch.
All the world's wells Love's selfsprings put to shame.

The Reality of Trespass.


The tragedy of America (and we in the Caribbean are a part of the Americas) is that the diverse
peoples in the Americas have not yet understood the impulse of movement that started-streams of
peoples fleeing from institutions of bondage in Europe and Asia. This fatal misunderstanding is
the paradox of the American, who clings to a past security.
Those who are dismayed that the American writer seems never to go beyond one great novel
or poem have spoken the paradox of America and have admitted that the whole substance of a new
world must nourish the bloodstream of the living person for him to understand the adventure of
tne old world who moved away from a past security.
We who inherit the world still sihirk the responsibility of a continual discovery to dis-
close the reality of man's freedom or man's total collapse. What becomes clearer at any rate
to the active mind is that freedom can not be solved in the old context of changeless spiritual law
or proprietorship of this universe by a changeless God. The whole structure of ownership or pos-
session is being challenged, and the concept of spiritual law reveals itself in actual terms as a
changeless and stationary refinement of the material world entirely out of keeping with the com-
plex reality of living forms.
This fundamental chaos of movement is something that has to be laid bare by a tremendous
poetic and cosmic insight passing beyond and abandoning a worship of the fossil symbols of Chris-
The individual is not the starting point nor the goal of the human world and we must aban-
don symbols of arrest that bind masses of people in acquiescent and collective contentment with
conditions of want, hunger and oppression conditions deemed insoluble by the Christian thinker.
And when this feeling of actual abandonment of a mere bone or fiction of life has passed
into experience it will be the necessary rebirth and liberation and daring for the human person
to embark upon a second great movement out of the bondage of the past. It will be the renun-
ciation of a philosophy of despair with the human world.
In the meantime while the old world artist seems to go from one triumph to another, in
reality he retards the final liberation of the new artist because he makes the environment of the
world more rigid, colder and less free. He clings to physical collapse as freedom of the spirit, and
this powerful and binding tyranny of the spirit feeds his effort to subdue the world in terms of
a humility that is more arrogant and penetrating and disarming than any physical persuasion. It
is because this climate of unfreedom prevails that the American artist is reduced to impotence in
the collision of events that he cannot record in his present loss of direction between the reality
of freedom and the reality of unfreedom.
The tremendous poetic and cosmic insight which will yield or surrender the image of a past
security has not yet appeared anywhere, but the overwhelming desire for a new living world is
present to my mind in Whitman and in Hart Crane. who revolted against Eliot's "perfection of
death" and saw the necessity for some kind of motion.
Whitman was. the crude pioneer of the new world who sensed the inadequacy of the static
myths. He exclaimed
"Come, Muse, migrate from Greece and lonia.
Cross out please those immensely overpaid accounts"
This spirit of great movement or migration is the only genuine tradition, to my mind, the new
world poet has inherited from the past. But it is a tradition which has been flouted and despised
and regarded as evil. which has been reduced to one not of genuine release and change -
but rather one that insists upon the transplantation of static disciplines into a new soil and a new
world. Thq result is (that only a ,negative freedom of association has so far been able to
develop in the new world: a freedom of association confined to dreams alone, confined to the
ivory tower alone. This freedom of spirit in the midst of extreme restriction that is tantamount
to a denial of all movement is the Machiavellian cynicism of our twentieth century aristocrat and
poet and teacher.
Whatever genuine expression of movement the American poet has achieved today is expressed
only in a form of expectancy rather than actionan anguish of longing which I find in the verse
of Archibald MacLeish.
They are not words at all but the Wind rising
"they are voices
Also none among us has seen God
( ...... We have thought often
The flaws of sun in the late and driving weather


Pointed to one tree but it was not so
As for the nights I warn you the nights are dangerous
The wind changes at night and the dreams come
It is very cold there are strange stars near Arcturus
Voices are crying an unknown name in the sky."

It would be an interesting and revealing task to study in the poetry and art of the Americas as
a whole how this watershed of expectancy runs down the length of two continents and what resol-
ution is emerging to demand fulfilment creatively so that the full streams of life may spill across
the ridges of inaction into the famished and bitter wells of isolated peoples in the Americas. One
may well ask in parenthesis how conscious has the American people been of the necessity for a
living discovery, and for the release of the living genius of the world?
This is not an easy question to answer. But it appears that the expectancy of the American
people is found in their refusal to share in doctrines of negation and perfection. It is clear that
the naked collision of events has starkly challenged people to seek a new approach to life. This
naked insecurity of the people has its everyday drama in the landlord and tenant relationship. This
drama in epic proportions has been revealed, to my mind, no more effectively in its raw in-
consistency and its demand for a solution than in the simple eventful and moving dialogue of
John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.
The Grapes of Wrath is the naked insecurity of people who wrestle with each other, and are
unable to penetrate into, or to discover the inner reality of their movement, who are unable to dis-
cover the comprehensive reality of trespass and the comprehensive reality of the human person, who
prefer in their confusion to uphold the myth of possession and private property. But a certain trust in
the violent power of association makes this venture into the unknown more than a semblance of move-
ment. This violent trust or faith seeks to overcome that negative power of association which in
spite of religious trappings is fundamentally a lack of faith in the human person.
Can the writer today possess religious trappings, can he be a Christian today and still have
faith in the human person? It is significant that Steinbeck in an intellectual fashion deals with
this circumstance. This is how Steinbeck expresses his feeling on this thing:-

"Casy spoke again, and his voice rang with pain and confusion.
"I says: 'What's this call, this sperit? An' I says: 'It's love. I love
people so much I'm fit to bust sometimes.' An' I says: 'Don't you
love Jesus? Well, I thought an' thought, an' finally I says: 'No I
don't know nobody name' Jesus. I know a bunch of stories but I
only love people. An' sometimes I love 'em fit to bust, an' I want
to make 'em happy. I'll tell you one more thing I thought out; an'
from a preacher it's the most unreligious thing, and I can't be a preacher
no more because I thought it an' believe it."

So that finally Casy's attachment or love for the people is synonymous with his abandonment of
religious or Christian trappings. In a crude way he comes close to the Red Dean of Canterbury.

Let us try and sum up The Grapes of Wrath as simply as possible. A people thrown off the
land, out of their home, fleeing from bondage as it were, looking for freedom. Amongst them are
two characters that reveal the whole nature of their conflict: Tom Joad and Preacher Casy. Joad
who has just come out of prison is on parole and is therefore not free to leave his state. Cir-
cumstances compel him to break the law and to flee with his people. He is the symbol of the
necessity that drives and the sentimentality that holds them back to die. Their fear of insecurity,
their desire to die on the land, and the whole evasive social responsibility that has been the world
they know has been experienced by Tom, who is a really heroic figure

Where does Casy come in? Casy is the intellectual decision on the part of Steinbeck that the
people have faith in each other and in the earth. Casy is the preacher who has decided not to be
a preacher in a church any longer. He has "put down the dictionary" in the Buberian sense. So
he becomes at last a genuine teacher, a genuine student of life and a poet who lives among the
people. This intellectual decision is Steinbeck's supreme evocation of the muse of life, of the earth,
of something which one might call the Unknown God, something that cannot be called spiritual
simply, because that is the emphasis of an over-refinement of life. Steinbeck has sought to lay bare
the ground that the American poet and the poet of the new world has to discover which would
give the impulse to a new direction in the literature of the world. He has sought to lay bare the
necessity for movement and a genuine freedom of association to bring the most fruitful and far-
reaching contacts between persons between man and man and between man and his: envir-
onment, the world.

Open Letter to West Indian Writers.
'by A. J. Seymour
Dear Fellow Writer,
I lift my spirit from here in Guiana where I sit writing the English language, and look up North
in the directions that lead to those two capitals of the English-speaking world, London and New
York. If I had a telescopic eye I would rake those massive cities wtih their millions teeming the
streets bent on the various business of living, and, perhaps wistfully, I'd note the libraries and
Concert Halls, and the museums, and art galleries, and their countless opportunities for mental and
spiritual growth. But sitting here I let my imagination rove the Atlantic and I ask myself these
three questions which may have occurred to you at one time or other. (1) As West Indians, why do
we write? (2) What do we and should we write about? and (3) What can we West Indian writers
take from the United Kingdom and the United States of America to help us to build our own West
Indian tradition?
Why do we write?
The first and fundamental answer most West Indians will give, like the answers given by creative
writers the world over, is that we write because we must. We write because the urge comes to us to
put the thoughts and emotions down upon paper, because very often the emotion and the thought
come to us on the wings of the words that we find shaping in our minds, and like Blake, we are
merely God's secretaries, writing down the thoughts inspired in us. I don't suppose there is any
answer that can go deeper than this urge and this is true for the writer in the same way that the
composer of music is conscious of an unbidden world of music whirling in his head as he walks along.
But having made a note of this basic urge there is some autobiography to be written, with your
permission and pardon.
Choosing only three names, I think it would be a valuable insight into some of the mental and
spiritual conditions in the West Indies, if we could put together the record of the impulse and cir-
cumstances that resulted in J. E. Clare McFarlane (a man who has written his name into the literary
history of the West Indies) writing his first poem in Jamaica, or my friend of the chiselled form,
H. A. Vaughan in Barbados or Alfred Mendes in Trinidad. I could think too, of a company of others
writing in English in Guiana or Honduras or the islands of the Caribbean, known or unnamed or for-
gotten, but linked by this urge, which is half personal and half environmental, to put their thoughts
on paper. It is not that we want to prepare a synthetic formula for encouraging a West Indian
School of writing, but it would be useful to see the variations in the situations that ended in words
upon paper written by a West Indian with imagination.
My own writing goes back to the time I left school and found myself relieved of compulsory
reading and writing; I felt the need to write merely for the love of it and composed essays on the
perennial topics of life and literature. This happened at a time in my life when Mr. Emerson and
Mr. Galsworthy each took me by the hand--I have of course often thought back to the quality of
my sponsors -and led me through the gateways of English literature. The Essays and the Saga have
been my Pillars of Hercules.
After some years, in 1936, came my first poem, a thing of trifling merit, but I can never look
at it without being taken back to an afternoon in the Post Office Stores Department when some
pianist began to practise blues music in the nearby studio of the radio station ZFY, presumably for
that evening's broadcast. The piano was out of tune and rather tingling in the booms because of
age, the music was sentimentalistic, and the playing was incompetent, but it was as if somehow a
key turned in a door, because, as I was listening half-tired, suddenly words began to come up into
my consciousness out of somewhere I had never known existed, they began to link themselves
together into meaning and they had an emotional power that startled me into being alert and eager.
I was delighted and so intent on seeing what more words there were to come up from the unknown,
that I didn't know when the music stopped because the words were still coming. From that day to
this I have always been humble and grateful before the uprush of consciousness that finally takes its
separate existence away from me in words upon a page.
I suppose that like myself you have been conscious of the indifference and discouragement which
beset the young West Indian who wants to be a writer. He can expect little or no reward for his
labour and he generally meets with no encouragement from friends and relations. Up to a few
years ago it was seemingly considered a sign of effeminacy or eccentricity for someone in the West
Indies to want to be a writer. I remember the advice against it given me on so many sides when in
1937 I was thinking of publishing my first book of verse, and I have too a vivid memory of an inter-
view not more than 2 or 3 years ago when an important official, in a tone that implied contempt,
advised me "to stick to poetry and literature and to leave alone other activities." If I hadn't re-
served them for my autobiography I could give instances of rebuff and rebuke even higher up in the


community hierarchy. The West Indian writer has to battle against the ogres of indifference and
When you consider the lack of encouragement and the lack of reward, it is inevitable that West
Indian writers will always be playing the role of Dick Whittington, and going abroad, perhaps to
seek their fame and fortunes in other countries. I can think in recent years, of Edgar Mittelholzer
in England, and George Campbell in New York. I know more about Mittelholzer's work and he
repeats the pattern of all exiles who see things through foreign eyes: standing amid the alien corn,
he goes back to the well of memory that his own Berbice and Corentyne districts have become.
The West Indian writes to let those at home and abroad see the West Indian mental attitude
expressing itself, a task and a duty that no one else can perform for him. An investigator like Simey
may come near to capturing the quick of the West Indian mind but even while he is catching it with
his alien point of view, it is a different thing. Harold Stannard was perhaps the man who, because
of his inherent sympathy and quick wit, has come nearest to seeing how the West Indies look from
the inside, and who adjusted his own vision to us. without moving from the rich and broad Euro-
pean tradition in which he stood. Many of his remarks ard his writings have the quality of un-
canny revelations of the West Indian spirit and I think many of us in the region would like to sec
the University College institute an annual series of Harold Stannard Lectures to bring from other
parts of the world lecturers in history and civilisation.
Some one might argue of course that the West Indian mental attitude has not yet emerged fully
and that a great deal of West Indian writing is self-discovery, with a community discovering values
already patent in its activities. That may be so, and especially in a young community there is a
sense in which this very discovery is the functional relation of the artist to his society, just as it is
part of the duty of the West Indian writer to help create a West Indian audience. But if a nation is
to be born it is important that the area view of all events in the world should be cultivated and only
the West Indian can do that.
Of course, this brings us on to the assessment of the West Indian quality and I would like here
to develop one feature of the argument that we sometimes come up against,- the relative inability of
English and American critics fully to understand what the West Indian writer is trying to express.
The critical standards of England (with the emphasis that Stephen Spender has recently recorded
of spiritual discipline) and the critical standards of America (with inducements of material pride) do
not apply without modification to the West Indian writer. C !iiit of expression, powr1. and economy
of means are desirables everywhere but while interpreting the values of his society the West Indiam
writes in a tradition where the sun strikes deep shadows into the ground, where the vegetation's
sudden growth is an almost visible thing, where in the society and perhaps in his own blood then
are mingling strands of temperaments from different races a iv\ing at p:"ace with one another. So the
editorial requirements of Russell or Manchester Squares may easily become (unless we are careful
to safeguard ourselves from the possibility) the imposition of an alien fIarmievork Itroln without the
area into which the West Indian writer is re-quested to accommodate his .ourkt. not .v-itnout da
mage to his personality.
For instance, it seems to me that on balance, desirable though its stimulus has been during the
past few years, one has to be careful of the B.B.C's. fostering influence upon a special type of West
Indian writing (that type which is quickly assimilable by the car) unless the producer's of literary
programmes are either West Indians like Una Marson or carefully advised by them. You see what
I mean. For the English writer there are other influence to offset that of the BBC but io the
West Indian this institution is often the only chance to display his work and to get an audience-.
and in a world where the incentive of reward counts so strongly and where the West Indian writer
can expect so little for his work, the B.B.C. incentives may make him write, perhaps not in the
way that best advances his work, and the schoolmasteriv admonitions of the B.B.C. critic, for' in-
stance. following the present English ideal of discipline and cutting sharply across the area's
characteristic of exuberance, may be followed too eagerly, so that the values and needs of his West
Indian audience may be forsaken or thrown overboard.
.To sum up the reasons why the West Indian writes, I say that he writes because he must, and
despite the lack of reward and in the face of discouragement. It is good that he does so, because
he is helping the West Indies to discover and express their own values. The West Indian writer, liv-
ing abroad, although cut off from the living experiences of the region .is calling on his memory and
his emotions recollected in tranquillity; he is the West Indian in exile and he still retains or should
retain, an area point of view towards events and people.
Now let's see what the West Indian writes about.
What do we and what should we write about?
I think you share with me the wish that at no future rate should the Dominion of the West
Indies pass an Act to legislate what topics should hb the fit subjects for a writer's exercise, and
what follows here is no substitute for a Schedule of Approved Themes. Because as an imp,.rt;il,,
modern writer says, we must write as we can and be grateful that we can write at all.


The quarry from which the writer takes his material is primarily the stuff of his own mind
and soul, however you defifie those two hardworked words, and in the formative work of many
West Indian writers, you're sure to find preoccupation with their reactions to the sun and the
sky and the sea, and the way one's love looks when she smiles. That, of course, is the way of
the poet, and the short-story writer serves his apprenticeship in a similar manner by looking within
himself and creating linked episodes and characters that posture in situations he has conceived or
read about. But in both instances you will see r .! vagueness of recollected symbols, the beloved
cA.e bears a family resemblance to all the beloveds of he ages and the short story could have hap-
pened on the steps of the Cauitol, or within hearing of the traffic in Picadilly or by Collier Corner in
Camp Street. With a smile of understanding we realise the young writer is lyricising his imma-
There is, fortunately, a limit both in time and intensity to the extent of this lyricising. but
while in this phase of an apprentice handling the recollee:ed symbol, the writer may be tempted
into some of the most disturbing excesses of limitation. (Edna Manley has dealt with the Jamai-
can evidences of this tendon.'y in her '-rticlc "Art in the West Indies" and it is true also of all
young communities). Bu: it falls out that gradually and waveringly. the writer's attention tends
to move from the pre-occupation with his own states of mind into the objective regard of social
problems around him. (I'd like to note in passing that many a West Indian has come full butt
on to social problems because he was a journalist but the examination of the West Indian writer
who is a journalist and so has to grapple with .he reality behind the news is important and
should be reserved for a separate set of paragraphs. Let us keep our attention on the more cre-
ative writers).
The West Indian writer is likely therefore to pass from art's sake to life's sake, partly because
of the sharpening of his intelligence and his skill in communication and partly because his social
responsibility grows, and he becomes aware of this primary literary tr'adiion that one must
check one's reactions to the pressures of the environment by a conscious valuation of that very
environment. And then, speaking for life's sake. ere arc: the demands of a West Indian audience.
The writer must let them read. and also lead them to reach about themselves.
Again with your permission and pardon. I shall eI :a personal "cferince point the writer's
growing recognition of the need foi a West Indian audience. My own work in a public information
bureau led to an av.areness of Guipnn's history which necessarily had repercussions on my own
creative writing, but in a somewhat larger field though still within the Guiana frame of refer-
ence, the principle is the same. When a future historian com-es to analyse and survey the trends
in Guianese literature and he happens upon the history of the periodical Kykoveral. he will pro-
bably at some length trace the progress from the purely literary to the social and critical in the
outlook of that periodical. He wijl show that this progress look place under pressure of the editor's
need to create and maintain an audience. I cannot of course attempt to anticipate ou,r' future
historian when he passes his judgment on the values inherent in each successive issue and answers
questions such as these: "Is the quality high? andn i Hl many persons read it? Is the editor
compromising between his conflicting desires to keep the quality high and to have as many readers
as possible on all levels in the community." But fortunately it was a young community which
had its intellectual and artistic associations linked together for joint action in the framework of a
Union of Cultural Clubs and this framework allowed its organ, the periodical Kykoveral, to draw
contributions from, and to touch all racial and social levels in British Guiana.
If there is one thing that is emerging, it is that there is a community of writers in the
West Indies and surely this letter is evidence of that. I speak of this community here because
West Indian writers are themselves the centre a nd most important part of the West Indian audi-
ence. Henry Adams has a sentence in his Education where he says that if a man's readers are
the right 500, his ultimate audience is 5.000 or 50.000. We in the different units are a special
high-level West Indian audience. We can learn from one another, we can discuss one another's
problems, we can assist with our pens one another's argosies of merit and hope being launched out
to the growing reading public, now that the West Indies are beginning to spell out the syllables
of their history. As poets. and playwrights and novelists and editors of periodicals we may be
operating in different fields and with different degrees of success, but this community of the pas-
sionate few is a live one, and both consciously and unconsciously, I believe I can discern a move-
inent to complement and reinforce the effect of one another's efforts. (For instance, it may be
that Eric Williams makes a point of some aspect of life in the Caribbean. Then it is likely that
there is a poet in Jamaica in whose work we can find a seconding of the motion).
There is no doubt that this community will grow, and of the many things that West Indians
expect of the University College in Jamaica. one great hope is that the University will be a home
and nursery of this community and of the creative West Indian spirit; when the University is
in full operation, the West Indian writers and readers-to-be in their early years will mingle their
attitudes to art and history. But of the great potential audience, we West Indian writers are
ourselves at present a primary and influential part.
Of course, there's a dilemma here. In the region, the West Indian middle class is just begin-


ning to emerge, and as Simey says, they are few and not in touch with the ruling caste above
them of persons who are not friendly to the West Indian spirit, if they think about it at all, nor
with the masses below them who are pre-occupied with the struggle for existence and very often
have neither the income nor the training and inclination for patronising West Indian literature
For these upper and lower classes, the doctrine of "the imported is best" is one that generally
applies beyond foodstuffs and textiles to literary products. Not all members of the awakening
middle class have power or courage equal to desire and obviously the number is few for whom
the West Indian writes.
Well, how can we best increase this audience? There are the large choir of West Indians writing
poetry, the critical essays of a McFarlane, the historical economic approach of an Eric Williams
or an Ar.hur Lewis, these are part of the West Indian spirit moving over the face of the waters,
but it is in the novel and the play I suppose that the greatest attraction lies for a West Indian
audience. Walter Adolphe Roberts and V. S. Reid, in Jamaica, Edgar Mittelholzer and A. R. F.
SWebber in British Guiana and C. L. R. James and Alfred Mendes in Trinidad are some of the West
Indians who have used the novel form to put a mirror up at the face of West Indian society. Our
novelists have resisted the temptation to look for their subjects outside the area but their work
is all too-little known or read within the region where it can best be appreciated, and it should
be part of the programme of our Little Reviews to bring these novels before the public. I must
admit that few of our novelists have yet acquired the technical proficiency of European or North
American writers but a full audience will be created only with the awakening of a certain social
responsibility and with the beginning of pride in the West Indian spirit which will itself mature.
The policy which seems to emerge from this is that, like Samuel Butler, we must write for
ourselves and for tomorrow's masters, rather than for today's. Emphasis must be on quality and
this is all the more necessary if we are to carry out what Lilian Dewar has called "the act of pos-
session" (in a recent article on "Simey on Education", Lilian Dewar wrote "we must make an act
of possession of our West Indian environment before we can talk of West Indian culture"). Only
the master can prepare and preserve his right to possession.
Finally. let us come back to the journalists. I draw certain distinctions between the attitude
of the West Indian journalist and the attitude of the West Indian creative writer. Journalists
present and analyse facts as they are and it is a good thing for the true facts of any matter to
be made available. Often however opinions are not fully separated from the facts and these are
presented as they would seem to a person who writes by a policy (a newspaper has to give its
own public what it wants because it has to sell); and often the facts may be facts of reaction
rather than facts of reason. But generally journalists cannot escape the sense of being writers of
a day that is implicit in the name of their profession and generally they follow the public mind.
Creative writers are not so bound by the facts or the confines of the day, or the immediate
problems of the area. They are the pilgrims on the golden road to Samarkand; they will go
always a little farther. In themselves they are the guides of the public mind and without consid-
eration of a policy to sell a paper or defend a party, they follow, in the words of a very fine
journalist the truth as they see it for the God of things as they are. As in so many other instances,
Aristotle has the last word "Poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than
history, since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are
Of course, a man may be both journalist and creative writer, but when such a man adjusts his
vision to the creative task, he is more in the realm of ultimate long-term values than expedient
short-term ones. It is an unfortunate accident in present West Indian history (which time and better
wage rates will remedy) that basic education levels in journalism are not as high as those in other
professions. When our West Indian University graduates begin to invate this field, as they will,
there will be a change, and these distinctions and reservations of mine may lose their validity.
Let us take one last look at these distinctions before we leave them, and we may find a hybrid,
where a creative writer is persuaded or compelled for a while to use his power in what is journalism.
But generally, the end products of the writing activity are clear either as journalism or as literature,
and you can tell the horse from the ass.
What shall we take from the U.K. and the U.S.A.?
The distinctions between the journalist and the creative writer took us into the realm of values,
and we must remain there if we are going to answer the last question of the three what can the
West Indian writer take from the English-speaking world.
It is a searching question and we can only glance at the answer but one begins by acknowledging
what we in the West Indies owe for the circulation of books and ideas and music, and indeed the
very transplanting of the tradition that adheres to the English language and to the models of govern-
ment that Anglo-Saxon democracies have evolved. In one sense we cannot know too much of this
tradition we are taking over and remaking into our own, and we must remember the manner in which
that Anglo-Saxon way of life grew in the peculiar racial and cultural ferment that took place for cen-
turies within the boundaries of the British Isles. It was fed by the broad European tradition, where
through the accidents of history (an accident which is responsible also for my writing in English,


though a number of other racial urges help to guide my pen through the tangle of words) the order
of Rome, the proportion of Greece and the religious spirit of the Jewish people acted and reacted
upon the youthful gropings of the peoples who have now become Italy. Spain, and Germany and
France. The same process of assimilation and ferment we must undergo to make the West Indian
nation and the approach must be a critical one.
The West Indies stand in the line of two main streams of influence, one from the U.K. and, be-
cause Negro Harlem will always have its peculiar attractions and repulsions for a West Indian, one
from the great concourse of coloured people approaching half a million who live in New York. (There
is another possible stream from India but it has n ot yet begun to exert its potential influence).
Superficially, England stands for tradition and "form". both in the artistic sense and in the sense
of social responsibility that Galsworthy has described in one of his short stories. America on the
other hand has a certain massive formlessnesss' which appeals to the people of a young country.
But there is an underground connection between the two streams of influence and their impact on
the West Indies. When America received her great waves of immigration from Europe in the 19th
Century, people who had lived with fierce antago nistic loyalties on adjoining square miles of terri-
tory in Central Europe and had frowned at one another from beneath beetling brows and fluttering
flags, suddenly knew a sense of release into being Americans speaking the English language, and to
them this new language, English, brought new brotherhood in which all the old passionate
antagonisms were dissolved. America as an epilogue has solved the problem of national and cultural
divisions that has split Europe apart, but perhaps because of her emphasis on material values or a
corresponding lack of emphasis on spiritual values, America has failed to solve the black and white
problem. As another epilogue of Europe, to which h Asia and Africa have made unique historical con-
tributions. the West Indies is a pocket experiment of racial and cultural factors which can perhaps
solve the black and white problem where America has failed.
You may ask what makes me think so. Well, one of the creative elements in West Indian life
that neither Europe nor America seems to have retained in their make-up as an inherent quality is
that of religious values. It seems to me that the world has got itself into such a situation that only
recourse to non-earthly values can put it fully right again. Partly because of slavery where the
African slave could feel the worth of his personality only in a church society, religion is more im-
portant to the West Indian than it is now to the European. Dostoevsky's novels, for instance, seem to
appeal to West Indians more than the novels of Tolstoy) and it is significant that in his essay "Civili-
sation on Trial", Toynbee should look to the African Negritos ("Said to have an unexpectedly pure
and lofty conception of the nature of God and of God's relation to man") to be the race which might
he able to give mankind a fresh start.
Therefore perhaps because of the racial temperaments that are now peculiar to West Indians,
we come with a special point of view to the treasures of English and American literature that be-
long to us also. because the language is our langu age. and we take what we need and leave what we
do not need.
To illustrate that special point of view, although there is no time to develop it, it is worthy of
note how unbelievably far we are from France with its critical Latin spirit and of the remainder of
European tradition, how near to German. how far from Italian literatures of the day; and every West
Indian must have experienced that strange jolt to the spirit that occurs when we read a book that
obviously was written for U.K. eyes only because of its reference in the third person to the colonies
and to colonials. The spirit seems to say then "Friend, this book was not written for you. You were
never in mind as part of the audience when the writer of this book phrased his sentences. You must
write your own books for yourself and your people to read."
On the U.S.A. side, the West Indian comes with somewhat puzzled eyes and ears upon the note
of protest against racial discrimination that runs like a dark theme played upon drums through the
poetry and prose of coloured Americans. Even in a book like Langston Hughes's "Dream Keeper"
a book of poems specially selected for young people, where one appreciates what is a triumph in
modulations and musical variations with one's responses being used as the notes, and one appreciates
the way in which poetry naturally flowers out of American negro speech even here, to a West
Indian, the note of protest obtrudes like the soft sound of muffled gongs. In the recent Hughes and
Bontemps anthology, "The Poetry of the Negro" there is a feel about the poems in the Caribbean
section which is different from those in other parts of the book. In sociological terms that difference
comes perhaps from the fact that unlike the coloured American who is part of a black minority in a
white continent, the West Indian is in the majority in his region.
My intention is a simple one. I believe that it is better more stimulating and more creative to
be a West Indian writing in this region today than to be a writer in the U.K. or the U.S.A. Because
wte live in a young community, the influence of a creative writer here is much greater than that of
writers in an older and more established society. A West Indian writer can partly express, partly
create the values of his region; he is helping to lay the foundations of a new community and even-
tually a new culture, and thus partly escapes the frustration that may beset his counterpart in London
or America.
The West Indies is a small manageable culture al unit at the beginning of its responsible history,
and we writers have a chance to help shape it from the beginning. That is the great common res-
ponsibility and opportunity for you and me.

From a broadcast-

The University Meets the People.

When the ancient universities of Europe, like Oxford, Paris, Bologna, Cordova and
others began to develop, roughly 800 years ago, there were no extra-mural departments,
that is, departments with organised lectures and courses of study outside the walls of the
universities. But on the other hand, those old universities were not so highly organised as
they are today. They started off without any walls; there were no colleges as we know
them not for many years. Students old and young simply gathered around the teachers
-- wherever they happened to be, usually in their homes, sometimes in the open air.
In the famous case of one mediaeval lecturer, Peter Abelard, history records how the
students emptied the schools of Paris to follow him wherever he went. Even when at-
tacked by his colleagues and virtually exiled from the University, he was still able to
draw students from all over Europe to hear him. They didn't say then "Oh I went to
Paris" but rather "I studied under Peter Abelard" or whoever it happened to be. And so
it has always been. The real university is not confined to one place or selected places.
It is to be found wherever students co-operate freely for the extension of the bounds of
knowledge. Thus, more by accident than design, certain centres of learning in Europe
gradually established a reputation for scholarship. These centres attracted more and more
of the best students and teachers, and in time colleges were built and the universities as
we know them developed.
Now it was in the spirit of those very early years, before colleges were built, that
Extra-mural departments have developed. It was felt that in the case of the older un;
versities like Oxford and Cambridge, higher education was fast becoming the prerogat',
of the few, particularly those who could afford to pay the high fees. Many people ir~sie
the Universities too, felt that they were becoming cut off from everyday life because not
enough ordinary people living ordinary lives had anything to do with them. As the
famous committee which set up the Oxford Extra-mural department in 1907 put it:
"a living University is not a self-contained and independent unit but an organ
of society growing with its growth and nourished by its vitality"
and it was hoped that through the Extra-mural department a new energy might be im-
parted to academic life inside as well as outside the walls. And in fact over the past 50
years some of the best work of the English universities has been done in connection with
external studies. Research of many kinds has been undertaken by extra-mural tutors,
often helped by their adult students. For example, at the end of this recent war, when
Britain was carrying out a series of surveys covering conditions of work and production
problems in her major industries, an extra-mural tutor in North Staffordshire with the co-
operation of some adult students, carried out some research into conditions in the pottery
industry, and the report they published contained material which has been of national
value. Class members themselves have won adult scholarships and gone inside the uni-
versities to study for degrees. Some have become famous. Many have won positions of
public responsibility and not a few are members of Parliament. The English extra-mural
department in effect have brought a two-fold benefit, new life to the older universities, and
to the people as a whole the opportunity to share in the advantages of higher education,
thus helping themselves to become more effective members of ihe community in which
they live.
Out here in the British West Indies, the new University has well and truly started in
the original spirit of the old Univk ,sities of Europe. As many of you know, the teaching
staff and the students are not waiting for the buildings to be completed. They have
already started their work in temporary buildings at Mona in St. Andrew, Jamaica.
In England, adult students often refer to the Extra-mural Department as the People's
University, meaning not just the organisation which provides lecturers for the people, but
something which they themselves actually run. Adult students over there form their own
committees in each town or village. They decide on their programme of classes, apply
for extra-mural tutors, and take full responsibility for organising the courses successfully.
British Guiana has already taken a lead in this direction out here. One Sunday at a
meeting I attended in Agricola, a local committee of 10 prospective adult students was
elected by the audience on the spot. They have chosen their Chairman and Secretary.
The success or failure of the Extra-mural Department in British Guiana (as over all the
West Indies) depends upon the people who make use of it.

1!49 Convention Review by the Hon. Secty.

Intellectual Life in British Guiana.

The B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs owes its bir th to the visit to British Guiana in 1943 of Mr.
Harold Stannard who was travelling around the West Indies as Cultural Adviser to the British Council
in this region.
Mr. Stannard made a profound impression on the Guianese people with his addresses to various
golrps, and in some of his lectures he deplored theinsularity of these Clubs (I use his words) "which
were keeping alive the love of learning and of the arts, and which were ploughing a lonely and
difficult furrow so far from the world's intellectual centres". It is under his stimulus that the many
streams of mental and artistic life in the comm unity were brought in happy contact with one
another, and so gathered strength from their confluence as the British Guiana Union of Cultural
The time was ripe when Mr. Stannard came. For the last 20 years the descendants of the peoples
who hact come into Guiana from Africa, Asia and Europe. to live and work here, have been evolv-
ing a way of life of their own. Innumerable clubs and groups have sprung up in answer to a com-
munity urge to give expression to a varied intellectual curiosity, and although the mortality rate
was, and still is high. the persistence with which these clubs are replaced reflects the vitality of the
urge and may be traced even in the Union's limited 7-year span of records.
The Union is an association of organizations, in Georgetown and in the rural areas which count
among their aims, the mental and aesthetic development of their members. The framework the
Union provides is one in which its affiliated clubs share activities, but the Committee of Manage-
ment has gone beyond that and attempted to put into focus the intellectual life of the community.
In its attempt to build a tradition, it also seeks t o commemorate those persons and events in Gui-
ana's history of which we can all be proud, despite our differing origins.
Union Clubs fall roughly into 3 groups. First, there is a substantial group of High School Old
Students Associations and Youth Clubs sponsored by religious denominations, and these become
affiliated to the Union in their search as young people for personal development. Then there is a
main body of literary, dramatic, musical and adult debating societies, and of Art and Science groups
which are supported by members of older age. They are each specifically pursuing one main line
of endeavour, but they seek fellowship and all round development in the Union, and they are con-
scious of the value of a frame-work, which may be able to co-ordinate and focus their efforts, and
to insist on higher intellectual and artistic standards: There is a third group, a heterogeneous
collection of associations of teachers, journalists and welfare workers, which incidentally promote
higher cultural standards for its members. In short, the Union is a framework which can embrace
any organized group of persons pursuing a development activity in the extra-economic field.
In a review of the Union's activities, it is perhaps best to dissociate the internal and
external aspects, to consider first the domestic relationships, "the friendly and active co-
operation among clubs" which is one of the declared objects of the Union and then to see the
Union's relationships with other sections of the community and the general public; as the objects
state, the Union is "to take joint action and make joint representation in all matters affecting cul-
ture in British Guiana."
For easy identification. it has become the policy to hold Union meetings on the evening of the
last Monday in every month. Union Night has taken various forms, but the Committee of Manage-
ment has been influenced by the consideration that projects should not be planned for the Union's
programme, which could be carried out as well by constituent Clubs acting on their own. All Union
meetings are open to the public as well as to members of member clubs, and although specific pleasure
or benefit flow to club members taking part or assisting as audience, many activities are direct pre-
sentations to the community of co-opeiation among the clubs.
One of the endeavours of the Committee to ensure friendly co-operation among the affiliated
bodi::s is a Better Acouaintanceship campaign with clubs interchanging guest speakers, or the Union
bringing together on one platform speakers from various bodies (as with the Youth Clubs) to share
experiences, syllabuses and techniques.
There is one type of club and public service upon which the Union has been continuously en-
gaged, the high-level discussion of important topics books and reports affecting British Guiana and
the West Indies. At one time or other the Union has discussed the West Indian University and West
Indian Federation, it has examined closely the Reports of the Royal Commission, and the 1946 Carib-
bean Conference, and meetings were arranged at which introductory speakers on certain aspects of
those two important books, Capitaiism and Slavery by Dr. Eric Williams and Welfare and Planning
in the West Indies by Professor T. S. Simey. led the general discussions which followed.


But Union discussions have ranged farther afield and also back in time. At one presentation
the Union used the resources of its member clubs to present Europe in the 17th century. Not only
were lectures given, but the panel of speakers used the piano and the epidiascope to crowd into 2
hours the main development of history, literature, art, science and religion of the continent of Europe
between 1601 and 1700. The enthusiasm with this was received, encouraged the Union to repeat the
idea, on a more ambitious scale for Europe in the 18th century, and with an even greater response.
This next section of the review passes more definitely from the active and friendly co-operation
of clubs to the projection of the Union upon the community as a director of its intellectual life.
Perhaps the most important single activity of the Union, so far as the public is concerned, is
the Debating Competition which it has sponsored every year since 1945 for the Patrick Dargan
Memorial Shield. Generally 9 or 10 debating clubs and societies take part in this competition which
honours the memory of an important Guianese advocate, ensures that the propositions debated relate
to problems facing British Guiana, and by the public fortnightly meetings arranged for the competi-
tion when the same proposition is debated at different centres in Georgetown on the same night,
reaches out to the general public and stimulates further discussion in homes and work-places.
An Union act of even greater value than the Debating activity, and one the benefit of which
will grow with years, is the collection of a library of more than 300 books, pamphlets and papers on
Guiana or written by Guianese; many of them are rare and most of them are now out of print. But
for this collection, many of these books which stand at the beginning of our Guianese tradition may
probably have perished and joined other things violently destroyed or silently gone out of mind.
Each annual convention is an occasion at which every member of every Club has the right to be
present, and convention time is really Open House to the public. There are presentations of dramatic
and musical anthologies with the member clubs of the Union appearing on the same platform. In
this way, the Union has annually brought together on one programme, the music and drama that
spring from Africa, America, Asia and Europe, and the performance last year by a combined choir
of several of the Union clubs which sang choruses from Handel's Samson points to the possibility of
great developments in this field.
The Shakespeare Week which the Union sponsored this year for the first time seems to have
come to stay. Planned to take place around the date April 23, traditionally observed as Shakes-
peare's birthday, it consisted of an essay competition open to all young people under 18 in British
Guiana, a series of public lectures at various city centres delivered by citizens prominent in the
cultural field, radio talks and features planned to synchronize with the project; a display of books
at the Georgetown Public Free Library and a welcome, though belated, showing by one of the com-
mercial cinemas, of Henry V for school children and adults.
The Union is in close touch with other bodies working along similar lines; with the Royal Agri-
cultural and Commercial Society and the British Council, it is represented on the Combined Cultural
Committee, and there is a liaison with the West Indian University Extra-Mural Department. Already,
previous conventions have discussed the Union's responsibilities, to the secondary school population
which leave their training institutions every year, to the mass of adults in a community of varying
social and cultural stnata and to the people who live in villages and other rural communities. This
year's Convention follows other lines of response ability and will attempt to discuss and formulate the
standards desirable in the press and the broadcasting system, and there are also to be formulated
at some future date, the Union's statements of standards desirable in those other media of inform
ation and education which influence and determine public taste namely public libraries and the
One of the Union's most important reaching out of the hand to the community, Kykoveral, is
instance of co-operation between the Union and one of its affiliated clubs, the British Guiana Writers
Association. Their half-yearly literary and critical publication, Kykoveral-watching over the Guiana
scene-takes its name for an old Dutch fort now in ruins to remind us of our Amerindian and Dutch
heritages, and it is generally becoming recognized in British Guiana and throughout the British
Caribbean. as an instrument to help forge a Guianese people, to feed their discussions of the country's
problems and way of life with information and opinion, to make them conscious of their possibilities
of spirit and the intellect and to record common pride in the literary and cultural tradition of the
past and the achievements of the present, without in the least detracting from the group aims of
clubs or their autonomy.
There is no Muse of fire to work upon your imaginary forces and unlike dramatists, secretaries
may not ask an audience to piece out with their thoughts the imperfections of their rough and all-
unable pens, but the social scientist would probably describe the Union of Cultural Clubs as an in-
strument to help build a community in British Guiana.
In this "dear land of the six peoples" as a former Bishop of Guiana affectionately described us,
history shows that the pursuit of economics and politics has tended to keep apart the main sections
of a community and even to bring them into active competition. It is in the activities of literature,
music and the arts, that the hope lies of knitting together all the diverse elements in a young com-
munity. Because no matter what may be the race or the social level, when individuals meet for the
enrichment of the mind and the refreshing of the spirit, then true community begins to emerge.


"The Poet of Guiana, Walter Mac A. Lawrence".
Throughout the West Indies there has been a flowering of literature and the arts which proves
that a nation is being born in this region. This literature is full of the underlying agreement and has
the family signature and when you look at the fine quality of the literary work being released to-
day in any part of this area (Victor Reid's novel New Day written in Jamaica and Derek Walcott's
poems written in St. Lucia) -- you will realise that the feel and direction are the same.
In British Guiana the contributions to this national literature emerging have not been as many
as they might have been, even by those Guianese writers now living, and among the dead we num-
ber only a few whose work has been published in book form. Leo's Poetical Works and his Local
Lyrics. A. R. F. Webber's novel "Those that be in Bondage". Mittejholzer, are names we remember
immediately (and they are not many) and I am glad that P. H. Daly has done this service to the
memory of Walter Mac A. Lawrence. by selecting and editing his poems.
As I know Lawrence left behind him a mass of stories and poems and it was a labour of love for
Daly to go through this material and make available to the public this addition to our Guianese
and West Indian literature. Every Guianese should get a copy for reading and for his library, both
as an act of homage to a fine poet and also as an investment in the West Indies.
The collection has been truly named "The Poet of Guiana" because Lawrence was essentially
the county's poet. Guiana made him her lyre, and for 20 years he celebrated the sounds and sights
of Guiana both on the coast and in the forest. In a special sense we would look upon him today as
the poet of the Hinterland and he wrote compelling and attractive verse about our rivers, the Esse-
qiibo and the Mazaiuni, and about our national asset, Kaieteur.
Lawrence can create fine pictures of the moonlight and other natural effects. I find that morning
was a theme that attracted him most of all; in these 40 pages of his poetry you will come upon
passage after passage where he develops an image based on morning. Once it is "the silver dawn
has blushed into the rosy glow of morn .... with the radiant marbled sky all ravished by the tropic
sun". on another occasion he calls it "the glory of skies when .ie morning comes up once more", then
it is the line "or ever the rosy fair finger of Morning re-opens the glittering portals of day." You
will find other gems scattered through the pages, and there is the complete jewel-poem "Dawn" in
ihis collection.
One important I aturc about Lawrence's poetry is the massiveness of his conceptions. The Ode
to Kaieteur has it and I find that it is mixed in all his portrayals of Guiana's forests and hinter-
land. He likens the forest to a "great cathedral unlit, and draped in twilight mystery" or he will
call on the southern breezes to "blow the crimson twilight out". There was perhaps something con-
tinental about him and that is the quality which British Guiana brings to West Indian Federation.
In his technique also there was this tendency to the long rolling rhythm and to the highly latinised
word and he was a master of the long metres that Swinburne made popular in Victorian poetry.
Daly has, and I think rightly, stated that Lawrence's work has on the whole an architectural form which
his rhetorical ambiguities never affect. But generally his lines run pure in their massive periods, as
in his Allegory on Guiana. composed in 1931 on the Centenary of the Union of Essequibo, Demerara
and Berbice. The fair maiden Guiana. is instructed by old man Time but despoiled by strangers
i'om afar.
In his introduction Daly has stressed Lawrence's ability to tell a tale in verse and there will be
others like me who would wish that there were in evidence more of the long poem Meromi. This
is a story of a Guianese Garden of Eden where Meromi dies and her husband Hector is broken-
hearted but the Avenger by the force of his will orders the villain Lucius Wilson to leap into the
:iver and slay himself.
I was disappointed at the exclusion of certain poems by Lawrence that I have grown to love -
"Futility", with its striking theme "the flowers are dead", the section about Echo and its roundelay
Irom Meromi and the lines beginning:-
"O beautiful Guiana
that children in British Guiana should all have by heart: and there are one or two extracts from
his long philosophic poem Meditation that I looked for in vain. But then I suppose an
editor has his reasons and his preferences.
In the history of Guianese poetry, the place that Walter Mac A. Lawrence holds is a high one.
In the encouragement that he gave to younger writers like myself and in his own life and work,
he was a type of the human spirit overcoming limitations. This book of poems, published seven
years after his death, is typical of that triumph over circumstance of which he continually sang.
Poetry is one of the cementing forces that make a nation and Lawrence takes his place as
of right among the writers who are trumpetting tu bring the West Indies to birth.


The work of Dennis Williams in his four studies of the plantation is to my mind a momentous
and significant happening-an important statement of the problem of values by a modern artist. In
his first statement, so to speak, Dennis Williams stirs p 1 antation figures to life. They appear like
mythical figures whose mutilation in the past have succeeded finally in cutting to the bone their
sentient anguish. The huge moon face of seer or saint or rapist rises to overwhelm in abstraction the
peculiar anguish of the woman of the plantation. This study has a perspective of fable-a perspec-
tive of peculiar innocence that has its roots in a conviction of universality.
Dennis Williams suddenly in his second statement retires from the fabulous into a severe com-
pression that is at once profound perhaps a sinister fusion of the anguish of the woman and the inten-
tions of the seer. In this deep retirement the strange eyes of the artist view with an intent
and tremendous resolution or irresolution the fabric of his world. He is a revolutionary perhaps.
The roots of chaos lie beneath his contemplation.
When I saw Williams' third statement-which was some weeks after I had seen the first two-I
must confess I was taken by surprise. The third painting was a re-statement of the first study but
with major transformations. The revolutionary of the second painting had gone deep or had disap-
peared temporarily and in his place the early plantation figures had acquired a degree of sophisti-
cation and knowledgeability that was in one sense an acceptance of the world on its own tears: in Mac-
hiavellian terms perhaps. This masterly com pression reveals what Kenneth Romney-Towndrow at
the Berkeley Galleries describes as Williams' "strange and rather ominous sympathy between the
urgently primitive and the most sophisticated eroticism of the School of Paris." And this remark
may be studied as a corollary to a degree of passion in Williams' painting similar to the feeling in
West African art. To my mind the same memorable and compelling mysticism works miraculously
in William's work as in West African art which has deeply influenced the European genius of modern
In Dennis Williams' fourth statement the whole problem of his work comes to light: the problem of
a fusion that is universal or of a free association. Williams has poured a degree of colour and light
into this painting that is a variation on his sombre treatment in the other studies. Here the sophis-
ticates of the plantation, the figures who appeared as symbolic appearances of night life, of city life in
the third painting are definitely set for the ball, for a gay time. There is a movement of gaiety in
this painting that may appear entirely divorced from the amazing compression of Williams' intent con-
templation of the world in his second painting. But this I believe would be misleading. The gaiety of
this fourth movement is surprisingly perhaps but nevertheless profoundly the opposed facet of the
second painting. Here the artist is just as intent on a retirement but in terms of light and colour. He
still has to solve the problem of a marriage of day and night. So that the roots of this fourth paint-
ing lie either in evasion or in the artist's c'onsistsent revolutionary contemplation of the w or ld in
order to meet its challenge of complex unity in a venture into the world of meaning and substance.
The closest parallel to Dennis Williams' painting in the West Indies is in the work of Wilfredo
Lam, the great Cuban painter. Williams' work is, like his, an amazing compression of the mystical,
the tragic and the beautiful. And both artists are vitally concerned in their work with the approach
to the particular and the universal.

A Note on Colour Prejudice

A psychological debt is not oaid with words of admission by 1lie guilty pailry. One wuilt Ithink
that both Margery Perham and Sir Alan Burns would be in:elliient enough to realise that. When
she in her broadcast on the Colonial Dilemma and he in his book on Colour Prejudice (hoth of colur-c
addressed to an English audience) made statements to the effort that the coloured oi' colonial peoples
must "forget the past". and stop "brooding on past injuries", and realise "that the handicaps i ndci
which their race labours are not due to the machinations of others but in a very large measure tc
their own short-comings", one can only say that racial tensions are not eased by these words.
Australia the U.S.A. and South Africa are too near with their legal and social discrimination policies
against coloured peoples, and just as the Nuremburg Trials were necessary after the last war to
prove the guilt of the German aggression, so it seems there wili have to be soiie emotional satisfac-
tion given to the coloured peoples of the world, before the new leaf can be turned in rel;tionshipe:
between them and a dying Europe. Words don't do that.
This has been negative so far but in April a positive appeal against coloured prejudice in the
manner desired by the W.I. Royal Commission was made in British CGiain. In his Town Hall


lecture on the Commonwealth, Professor Harlow had asked for harmony between black and brown
peoples in Guiana and the President of the B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, seconding the vote of
thanks, made a most impressive impromptu appeal to the English living in Guiana to co-operate in
their own conduct against prejudice. It was a classical "Et tu Brute".
I don't suppose it is fair to suggest that the Board of Trade should mark certain books "Not for
export", but most coloured people must have felt sorry to see Sir Alan Burns blundering his way
into the complex web of relationships that we call colour prejudice. Poor Burns! In so many
places he turned in his book of that title and put his foot into it, and the pity is that he was obviously
trying to be hopeful. The truth seems to be that unless the British civil servant is given the special
training for work in the colonies advocated by Major Sir Ralph Furse and Professor Simey. the career
of the civil servant will unfit him for properly understanding the psychology of West Indians and
other typical educated coloured persons. He is not sufficiently Christian to believe in the worth of
the individual, and in his manpulation of the conventional courtesy of the Civil Service he does not
fully appreciate other values than his own. Even historians like Coupland. Eric Walker or Harlow
underestimate the great bank of emotional resentment in India. or South Africa or the West Indies,
which they think they can conjure away with an appeal to reason. A U.S. State official like Blan-
shard or a British colonial governor like Burns amuse with their conscious or unconscious attempts
to besmirch the respective British colonial or the U.S. Southern States records they amuse but
hardly do more.
Simey does better than the others because hewas an expert. He was a social scientist trained
to the sympathetic approach, detached as a Professor should be, from actual administration, and living
in the West Indian environment for a short period only. (Incidentally. Burns had not read Simriy).
Surely there should be a scientific approach by Europe and America to this matter of racial rela-
tions, this problem of the 20th Century which is so important that millions of people remember the
atom bomb mainly as a frightful engine of destruction dropped by a white upon a yellow civilisation


His Finest Hour.
by J. A. V. BOURNE

Christmas Eve!
Georgetown is in festival mood. iThere is a nip in ;hi b,-c'ze and the sky is bright with the
glorious light of the full moon.
In the garden of a cottage in Church Street. crickets chirp musically and, away in the distance,
comes the faint sound of carols ..... but little Margaret Ann does not hear ..... she is sound asleep.
Two hours ago. Margaret's Christmas party was in full swing. On a gaily decorated table in her
drawing room a huge cake, surrounded with bon-bons and chocolate creams, feasted the eye.
Parcels of gifts were piled high and the Christmas Tree, beautifully lighted with red and blue
lights and glittering stars, held many gifts from her little friends.
The children danced merrily around this table to tunes on a gramophone. Everyone chattered
happily in anticipation of the dainties displayed before them. A big tray of ice cream brought imme-
diate silence as cups and paper spoons were shared out. Her little friends sat on the carpet in
friendly groups and the joy of eating added to the entertainment.
Then the party was over and the last little one had departed. Margaret was on the point of
'4oing to bed. But she couldn't wait for Santa Claus, so she begged her Mother to undo one of the
plrccels, as she was impatient to see what it contained.
"What a beautiful doll, Mummy!" she exclaimed and she hugged it to her bosom and danced
Now, the cottage is silent. Margaret is asleep. Beside her lies her new, beautiful doll.


In a heap in the corner of her bedroom there are lots of old toys that have had their day. Dis-
carded now, many of them broken, they lie in sad disorder.
Among them is a little man of a RAG DOLL, nicknamed Victor. Poor fellow, no one notices him
nowadays. His playtime hours are over.
In dreams, nothing is impossible. Margaret stirs in her sleep and dreams........!


........Who is that waving his stick and dancing merrily across the floor?
Margaret is astonished; she rubs her eyes.
"I wonder if he can see me?" she thinks to herself.
There is a wonderful blue twinkle in the room and all the toys are alive.
The rag doll beckons to her imperiously.
"Come!" he whispers in a clear, crystal voice, and she follows him into the drawing room.
Victor is. not as tall as the low coffee table, but nothing daunts him. Springing on to the piano
stool, he waves Margaret to a seat and then says: "Listen!"
He plays "Nelly Bly" on the piano. Margaret sits in the Morris chair and listens, fascinated.
Dreams can have a touch of joy, too!
Suddenly, Victor stops and, turning to her, points with his finger. In a soft, crystal voice, he
Gliding through the drawing room door is her new dolly. She is dressed in a bronze taffeta suit
spiced with dusty pink. She enters, and Victor advances and takes her little hand in a friendly way.
"What is your name?" he asks.
"Fanny", the new Christmas doll replies.
"Where have you come from?"
"A Christmas tree."
Margaret laughs, amused at this conversation.
Victor becomes serious. "I must show you around, but first let us play. I am fond of music,
you know."
The piano stool is twice his height, and Fanny is only ten inches in her high-heeled shoes.
"Hold my hand," he says, and whispers a magic word "Kratos!"
They soar into the air together and alight on the stool. Together, they play a marvellous duet
by Mozart. Before it is finished, Teddy Bear, who is silently looking on from a corner, makes a hop
towards the piano. He is jealous and shakes the stool. A black elephant lumbers across the room
and joins him. Together they shake the stool and Fanny falls off. Trying to save herself, she grasps
a cord of knitting wool which is hanging from a nearby table. They all becomes entangled in the
strands. Victor jumps down and joins in the fray.
He picks up his wand, which is lying on the carpet, and strikes right and klft. Teddy is the first
to extricate himself, and he hops on to the Rocking Horse, away from the crowd, and rocks selfishly.
Soon, the others are free. Victor waves his wand over the sleeping wooden doggie and he jumps
to life.
"March!" he cries and, led by himself and Teddy Bear, they troop round the drawing room.
Margaret sits watching the players in utter bewilderment, wondering what will happen next.
Victor advances towards her.
"Join us!" he says in his crystal voice. But Margaret is reluctant. Bending forward, she picks
him up gently and places him on a nearby coffee table.
"Speech!" someone cries. Victor waves his wand and there is silence.
"Fellow comrades," begins Victor, "Tonight is our night. Our final night. Our finest hour!
Never has so much been owed to us by so many!"
"Toil and tears!" the crowd murmurs.
"Tomorrow is Christmas Day. Tomorrow no one will notice us again. You see that Christmas
Tree," he points with his wand........"it is filled with NEW toys, fresh delights for the children in
this house to play with."
There is a deep pause.
"Yes", sobs Teddy Bear, "We'll all be thrown into the corner and no one will play with us any
That's why we should make the most of these last few moments. Let's start on the chocolate.
and bon-bons," cries the elephant.


Bow-wow barks approval.
"Silence, all of you!" cries the Rag Doll, and continues:
"Our life is at the end. Our playfulness over.......and Margaret Ann will soon have no more
use for us. Playmates all, this is our final hour. What shall we do? How shall we spend it? Shall
we go down into forgetfulness, unwept, unhonoured and unsung.........or shall we take up arms
against a sea of oblivion and march against the new toys?"
"Tears and toil!" someone shouts.
Victor pauses and Margaret Ann feels that tenseness of the situation. Everyone looks at Fanny.
But no one moves.
Victor gazes around for a while, and then continues:
"Playmates, I see that my words do not move us to warlike acts. But, although I am a battered
old rag-doll. I still have sawdust and courage in my bones. You see this wand? Watch!
And Victor jumps down and, running towards the wall of the room, he reaches up and touches
a little switch.
There is a tiny click and, immediately, a Great Wind sweeps across the drawing room from an
electric fan........ blowing down papers and tossing the branches of the Christmas Tree helter-
skelter. Balloons are blown off and sail around the room, adding to the confusion. One bursts with a
a loud bang as it touches the piano. Toy motor cars run here and there, and a fire-lorry crashes into
Teddy, knocking him into the corner........
Victor runs around the room wildly, shouting: "Kratos! Kratos!"
An aeroplane soars swiftly through the air Fanny hides under the piano stool. There is pande-
monium ........
When will it end ........?
Time passes swiftly in Margaret's dream. Presently, a clock strikes......One, two, three, four,
fve ........ !
Our finest hour!
Suddenly, everything is quiet.

Dawn has come and this long and exciting dream has faded. Little Margaret is smiling now in
her sleep smiling happily. She tosses, becomes restless ........ her hand reaches out and grasps
her beautiful new Christmas doll.
Gradually. her eyes open........ open wide through the window into a new and happy Christmas
Tumbling out of her cot. Margaret, now fully awake, cries excitedly........
"Mummy! Mummy!"
"What is it. darling?" her mother answers, coming into the bedroom.
"That rag doll. Victor!" She points to the corner. "See him? Last night I dreamed........"

(With acknowledgments to the 1948 Xmas Tide)

Index to Kykoveral, Volume I (Dec. 1945-Dec. 1917).
(the number in brackets following the issue refers to the page on which
the contribution occurs).

"Achievement's Way". (Terrence Holder) Dec-
ember( 1945 (12).
"Arabesque". (Helen Taitt) December 1947
"Attunement of the Senses." (F. E. Dalzell)
December, 1946 (12).
"Autumn in England". (A. J. Seymour) June.
1947 (6).
"Belshazzar". (Stanley H. White) December,
1947 (11).
Bourne, J. A. V. "Marionne". December, 1945
Bourne, J. A. V. "Portrait of Mrs. Dolly."
December, 1946 (7).
Dalzell, Frank E. "Attunement of the Senses."
December, 1946 (12).
Dalzell, Frank E. "Emerald Isle". December.
1945 (12).
Dalzell, Frank E. "Lines to a Spinster". June,
1946 (9).
Dalzell, Frank E. "Obituary of a Bum". June.
1947 (8).
"Earth is a Woman". (A. J. Seymour) Decem-
ber, 1945 (10).
"Emerald Isle". (Frank E. Dalzell December,
1945 (12).
"Fear". (J. W. Smith) December, 1945 (9).
"For me the Backyard". (E. Mittelholzer)
December, 1946 (8).
Harris, Wilson. "Quiet's Event". December,
1947 (8).
Harris, Wilson. "Savannah Lands". June, 1946
Harris. Wilson. "Studies in Realism". June,
1947 (7).
Harris. Wilson. "Tell me, Trees; What are you
whispering". December, 1945 (9).
Harris, Wilson. "Words written Before Sunset."
December, 1946 (9).
Holder, Terence. "Achievement's Way". Dec-
ember, 1945 (12).
Lawrence, Walter Mc A. "Ode to Kaieteur".-
(concluding stanzas). June, 1946 (6).
"Letter to My Unborn Son". (J. W. Smith)
June, 1946 (10).
"Lines to a Spinster". (Frank E. Dalzell) June
1946 (9).
"Marionne". (J. A. V. Bourne) December. 1945
Martin, Egbert (Leo). "Resuscitation". June,
1946 (6).
Martin, Egbert (Leo). "Swallow". December.
1947 (7).

Mitchell. H. L..."Sundown." December. 1945
Mitchell, H. L..."Sunset Scenes". June, 1947
Mitchell. H. L. "Tropic Rapture". December,
1947 (8).
Mittelholzer, Edgar. "For me the Backyard."
December, 1946 (8).
'Name Poem". (A. J. Seymour) June, 1946 (7).
"Nebuchadnezzar". (Stanley H. White) Decom-
ber, 1945 (8).
"Obituary of a Bum." (F. E. Dalzell) June, 1947
"Ode to Kaieteur". (concluding stanzas).
Walter Mac A. Lawrence. June, 1946 (6).
"Poem". (P. M. Sherlock) December, 1946 (6).
"Poem". (J. W. Smith) June, 1947 (9).
"Portrait of Mrs. Dolly". (J. A. V. Bourne)
December, 1946 (7).
"Quiet's Event". (Wilson Harris) December,
1947 (8).
"Requiem for E.L.D." tA. J. Seymour) June.
1947, (6).
"Resuscitation". (Leo (Egbert Martin) ). June,
1946 (6).
"Savannah Lands". (Wilson Harris) June,
1946 (8).
"Seventh Veil." (Walter C. Williams) Decem-
ber, 1946 (11).
Seymour, A. J. "Autumn in England". June,
1947 (6).
Seymour, A. J. "Earth is a Woman". December,
1945 (10).
Seymour, A. J. "Name Poem". June. 1946 (7).
Seymour. A. J. "Requiem for E.L.D." June
1947 (6).
Seymour, A. J. "Tomorrow." December. 1947
Seymour, A. J. "Tomorrow Belongs to the
People." December, 1946 (10).
"Studies in Realism." (Wilson Harris) June,
1947 (7).
Sherlock, Philip M. "Poem". December, r946
Smith, J. W. "Fear". December, 1945 (9).
Smith, J. W. "Letter to My Unborn Son." June
1946 (10).
Smith, J. W. "Poem". Jtine, 1947 (9).
Smith. J. W. "To a Dead Silk-Cotton Tree".
December, 1946 (9).
Smith, J. W. "To the Poets." December, 1947
"Sundown". (H. L. Mitchell) December. 1945


"Sunset Scenes". (H. L. Mitchell) June, 19-17
"Swallow." Egbertl Martin (Leo) December.
1947 (7).
Taitt, Helen. "Arabesque." December, 1947,

"Tell me. Trees what are you whispering."
(Wilson Harris) December, 1945 (10)
"To a Dead Silk-Cotton Tree." (J. W. Smith)
December. 1946 (9).
"Tomorrow" (A. J. Seyinour) December, 1947
"Tomorrow Belongs to the People." (A. J.
Seymour) December, 1946 (10).
"To the Poets." (J. W. Smith) December, 1947
"Tropic Rapture" (H. L. Mitchell) December
1947 (8).
White, Stanley H. "Belshazzar." December,
1947 (11).
White, Stanley H. "Nebuchadnezzar." Decem-
ber, 1945 (8).
Williams. Walter C. "Seventh Veil". December,
1946 (11).
"Words written before Sunset." (Wilson
Harris) December, 1946 (9).

Aesop, "Greenheart". December, 1946 (13).
"After the Fire." (H. Standard) December.
1945 (13).
"Art in the West Indies." (Edna Manley) Dec-
ember, 1947 (16).

Bcaburam, A. H. "The Canadian Mission and
Education." June, 1947 (13).
"Between Man and Man." (0. S. Wight) Dec-
ember. 1947 (37).
"Big Bear." (J. A. V. Bourne) June, 1947 (32).
"Blessed be the Indexers". (H. R. Harewood)
June. 1946 (37).
Fooltman. "Rendezvous for Books." June. 1947
Book Reviews. December 1947 (35).
"Books out of doors." (A. J. Seyamour) Decem-
ber, 1947 (30).
Eourire. D. L. "Painting in British Guiana.
June. 1946 (26).
Boline. J.. V. V. "Big Boar." June. 1947 (32).
I.owure. J. A. V. "Death in the Night." Decem--
b2r, 1946 (16).
lo'rn)., A. V. "Miracles do not happen".
December. 1945 (47).
rourlne, J A. V. "Off to Kaieteur." December.
1947 (24).
Boumie. J. A. V. "Ttiesday". June. 1946 (24).

Boyce. Duncan. "Water Money." December,
1945 (22).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, Annual Report
of the, June, 1946 (40).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, Fourth Annual
Report of the June, 1947 (37).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, Echoes from the
1947 Convention. December, 1947 (14).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs. Library of the.-
Section on Guianese History. December,
1945 (55).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, 1947 Notes on
the Union's Work. December, 1947 (32).
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, Third Annual
Convention. (E. D. Ford) December, 1946
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, "Union Notes."
December, 1945 (43).
B.G. Writers' Association. 1945 Report. June,
1946 (38).
B.G. Writers' Association. Condensed 1946
Report. December, 1946 ,28).
B.G. Writers' Association. Association Notes.
(The Hony. Secty.). December, 1945 (42).

Cameron, N. E. "Drama in British Guiana."
December, 1945 (38)
Cameron. N. E. "Walter Mac A. Lawrence I".
June, 1946 (17).
Camcron. N. E. "Message." December, 1945
"Canadian Mission and Education." (A. H.
Baburam). June, 1947 (13).
"Carnegie Public Free Library." (Celeste
Dolphin) December, 1946 (15).
"Challenge of our Time". (Book Review) (The
Editor), December. 1945 (41).
Chase, L. R. "Cultural Memories." June, 1946
"Cemetery at Cabacaburi." (Celeste Dolphin)
June, 1946 (21).
"Combined Cultural Activities." (Vincent
Roth June. 1946 (19).
Concert Notes. June, 1947 (35).
"Co-operation in the West Indies.' (G. C. L.
Gordon) June. 1947 (25),
Criiias. "Message of the West Indies." Decem-
ber. 1946 (23).
Critics. "West Indian University". June, 1'17
Cruickshank. J. G. "Winkel Village." June.
1947 (11).
"Cultural Memories." (L. IR. Chase) June, 1946
Daly. P. IH. "Walter MacA. Lawrence II". June.
1946 (18.).
Daly. Vcro T. "Story of Kykoveral." December,
1945 (18).


Dalzell, F. E. "Workable Democracy." Decem-
ber, 1945 (37).
"Death in the Night." (J. A. V. Bourne) Dec-
ember, 1946 (16).
"Democracy Forum." (Ruby Franker) June,
1947 (22).
Dolphin, Celeste. "Carnegie Public Free
Library." December, 1946 (15).
Dolphin, Celeste. "Cemetery at Cabacaburi."
June, 1946 (21).
Dolphin, Celeste. "Let the Children Sing."
June, 1947 (16).
Dolphin, Celeste. "Letter to Junius." Decem-
ber. 1945 (35).
"Drama in British Guiana." (N E. CamorInn.
December, 1945 (38).

Editor. "Challenge of our Time." (Book
Review) December, 1945 (41).
Editor. "From the Tower." June, 1946 (34).
Editorial Notes.,- December, 1945 (7).
June, 1946 (5).
S December, 1946 (5).
S June, 1947 (5).
S. December, 1947 (5).
"Episode." (Molly L. Isaacson) December,
1947 (33).
"Exploration for Beginners" (A. W. Steward)
December, 1945 (23).

"Fences upon the Earth." (Wilson Harris)
June, 1947 (20).
Ford, David. "Third Annual Convention." Dec-
ember, 1946 (30).
Ford, David "Young Men's Guild." June, 1946
Franker, Ruby. "Democracy Forum." June,
1947 (22).
"From the Tower." (The Editor). June. 1946

"Garuba." (J. E. Humphrey). December, 1945
"Georgetown Fire and the Future of British
Guiana." (Eric Roberts). June, 1946 (29).
Gordon, G. C. L. "Co-operation in the West
Indies". June, 1947 (25).
"Greenheart". (Aesop). December, 1946 (13).
"Guianese History". (A. J. Seymour) Decem.-
ber, 1945 (27).
"Guianese Poetry". (A. J. Seymour) June 1946
Harewood, H. R. "Blessed by the Indexers.'
June, 1946 (37).
Harewood, H. R. "Message." December, 1945

Harris, Wilson. "Fences upon the Earth." June,
1947 (20).
Harris. Wilson. "Tomorrow." December. 1945
Humphrey, J. E. "Garuba." December, 1945
Humphrey, J. E. "Painless Practice for the
Apprentice." December, 1946 (25).
'I'm thinking aloud." (A. F. C. Matthews)
December, 1947 (20).
Isaacsn. Molly L. "Episode." December, 1947
"Is an Artist Responsible" -- Opinions. June,
1947 (27).
"Walter Mac A. Lawrence I". (N. E. Camieron)
June, 1946 (17).
"Walter Mac A. Lawrence II." (P. H. Daly)
June. 1946 (18).
"Letter to Junius." (Celeste Dolphin) Decem-
ber. 1945 (35).
"Let the Children Sing." (Celeste Dolphin)
June, 1947 (16).
"Lost Guiana Boundary." (D. A. West .is)
December. 1947 (21).

Magalee. Rev. P. A. "The Stone of Help." June
1947 (12).
"Making of a Journalist" (H. Staunard) June,
1946 (11).
Manley. Edna. "Art in the West Indies." Dec-
ember, 1947 (16).
.: tathlews. A. F. C. "I'm thinking aloud." Dec-
ember, 1947 (20).
'Message". (N. E. Cameron) December, 1945
-'Message". (H. R. Harewood) December, 1945
"Message to the West Indies". (Critias) Deccm-
ber, 1946 (23).
'Miracles do not happen." (J. A. V. Bourne)
December. 1945 (47).
Mitchell, H. L. "Virtue and Morals." June. 1946

Notes and Jottings. December. 1947 (34).

"Off to Kaieteur." (J. A. V. Bourne) Decem-
ber, 1947 (24).
"On Capitalism and Slavery." (G. W. P.
Roberts) June, 1947 (29).

"Painless Practice for the Apprentice." (J. E.
Ifumphrey) December, 1946 (25).
"Painting in British Guiana." (D. L. Bourne)
June, 1946 (26).
"Poetry of Egbert Martin." (A. J. Seymour)
December, 1946 (19).
"Prepare for Tomorrow." (J. W. Smith) June,
1947 (34).




"Racial or Human Problems." (0. S. Wight)
December. 1945 (40).
'Rendezvous for Books". (Bookham) June, 1947
Roberts, Eric. "Georgetown Fire and the Future
of British Guiana." June, 1946 (29).
Roberts. G. W. P. "On Capitalism and Slavery."
June, 1947 (29).
Roth, Vincent. "Combined Cultural Activities."
June, 1946 (19).
"Schools of British Guiana." B.H.S. (J. W.
Smith) December 1946 (26).
"Schools of British Guiana."-Queen's College.
(J. W. Smith) December, 1945 (53).
"Schools of British Guiana."-St. Stanislaus.
(J. W. Smith) June, 1946 (33).
Seymour. A. J. "Books out of doors." Decem-
ber, 1947 (30).
Seymour. A. J. "Guianese History." December,
1947 (30).
Seymour. A. J. "Guianese Poetry." June. 1946
Scymour, A. J. "Poetry of Egbert Martin."
December, 1946 (19).
Seymour, A. J. "Sunlight and West Indian
Poetry." June, 1947 (17).
Smith. Dr. A. W. H. "Whither Mankind." Dec-
ember, 1947 (22)
Smith. J. W. "Prepare for Tomorrow." June,
1947, (34).
Smith. J. W. "Schools of B.G.: Bishops' High
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Smith, J. W. Schools of B.G.: Queen's College."
December, 1945 (53).
Smtih. J. W. "Schools of B.G.: St. Stanislaus."
June. 1946 (33).
Smith. J. W. "Uncle Staple." June, 1947 (31).
Spirit of Man-Anthology. June. 1947 (14).

Standard, Harold. "After the Fire." December,
1945 (13).
Standard, Harold. "The Making of a Journ-
alist." June, 1946 (11).
Steward, Alan W. "Exploration for Beginners."
December, 1945 (23).
"Stone of Help." (Rev. P. A. Magalee). June,
1947 (12).
"Story of Kykoveral." (Vere T. Daly). Decem-
ber, 1945 (18).
"Sunlight and West Indian Poetry." (A. J.
Seymour) June, 1947 (17).
"Through other People's Eyes." December. 1947
"Tomorrow." (Wilson Harris) December, 1945
"Tuesday." (J. A. V. Bourne) June, 1946 (24).

"Uncle Stapie". (J. W. Smith) June, 1947 (31).
"Virtue and Morals." (H. L. Mitchell) June.
1946 (28).
"Water Money." (Duncan Boyce) December,
1945 (22).
"West Indian University." (Critias) June, 1947
Westmaas, D. A. "The Lost Guiana Boundary."
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"Whither Mankind." (Dr. A. W. H. Smith) Dec-
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Wight. O. S. "Between Man and Man." Decem-
1947 (37).
Wight, O. S. "Racial or Human Problems."
December, 1945 (40).
"Winkel Village". (J. G. Cruickshank) June,
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ember. 1946 (37).
"Young Men's Guild." (David Ford) June, 19'16


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