October 7, 2009
“My Story” – by Randall Butisingh.
(Reminiscences during my life beginning 1914)
My aim in writing this book is to leave a first hand account of my experiences of events which occurred from eighteen months after I was born to the year 1972 when I retired as a teacher after serving for more than forty years.
This is a legacy I would like to leave to posterity, as I am sure many would be interested to know how they came to be living in this land and the life and work of their forefathers..
I call this work Reminiscences because I want to include more than my own life. I want to include events which would give a broader picture of a people who emerged from semi-slavery and, with other people, helped to build this nation which was once the Pride of the Caribbean, the Bread basket of the West Indies and a Haven for foreigners who enjoyed its equable and salubrious climate, and its freedom from natural disasters..
British Guiana as it was known for a long time, since the days of slavery, was called the Magnificent Province,. Georgetown, its Capital was known as the Garden City, But time and changes have left their baneful effects – Ethnic rivalry, brain drain, corruption and economic failure.
I trust this book will help, in whatever little way, to see ourselves as one people, whose survival depends on unity, not division, on cooperation not competition, on peace not war.
As we approach the second anniversary of our Weblog this month: (October 21, 2009), I think that it is an opportune time to release my book promised some time ago.
I wrote the chapters of this book over the years, and revised it a bit over the last couple of years. It is titled “My Story”, and it contains the reminiscences of my life beginning in 1913. I have tried to write it in a chronological order as my life has spanned over nine decades, however this was not always possible. I may have repeated myself in some places, but this was done mostly for clarity as this book could be read as separate chapters and still makes sense to the reader.
To date, I have written 30 chapters and I will post the chapters as they are finally edited. As an online book I will be able to make changes and corrections if some information is incomplete or found to be incorrect. .. So this is still a work in progress!
Your input as readers is therefore important to me…. so please comment!
My thanks to Mr. Cyril Bryan who has helped me over the last two years with technical matters relating to the suggestion and the establishment of this Weblog, and for the editing of this document.
Today, October 07 2009, I started the posting with this Introduction and the first three chapters. The rest of the 30 chapters will follow shortly. Please look above, or on the sidebar, for the links to the various chapters.
I look forward to your comments, and please pass my weblog link to others who may be interested in my writings.
Thank you all!
October 7, 2009.
December 12, 2012
Randall Mohan Butisingh, loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and teacher, passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 9, 2012, shortly following his 100th birthday. Randall was born on December 1, 1912 in British Guiana (now known as Guyana), and raised in Buxton, East Coast Demerara, where he received his primary education. In 1925, he qualified and was the first runner-up for the first Buxton Scholarship. In 1927, he passed the School Leaving Examination and became a Pupil Teacher at the age of 15. This was the start of a 45-year long career, until his retirement in December 1972. Also, throughout his teaching career, Randall was a freelance journalist for the Guyana Graphic and Chronicle Newspapers. He was always innovative and productive. He was an entrepreneur in the printing business and was one of the largest suppliers for greeting cards in Guyana. He never rested.
Randall lived his life by great example and was involved in many community activities. In addition to his illustrious teaching career, he was the Social Welfare Officer of the Lusignan Community Center, and Lay Reader in the Anglican Church for 18 years. Writing poetry was his passion. In 1972, he published his first book of poetry, LOVE’S LIGHT, inspired by Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf. He dedicated this book to her and donated its proceeds to the Institute of the Blind. In 1992, he was awarded the Poet of Merit Certificate by the American Poetry Association. Always willing to share his knowledge, he became a member of the Guyana Hindi Prachar Sabha in 1976, an organization which sought to propagate Hindi in Guyana. He taught the language at the University of Guyana, and also held private Hindi classes for children. He was the organization’s Hindi correspondent and editor of its journal, GYANDA. His literary accomplishments include three books of poems (LOVE’S LIGHT; WILD FLOWERS; and LOVE’S BALM), a book of Thoughts called FLASHES OF LIGHT, and several essays and letters to the press dealing with topics on education and morality. He received the Cimbux Award in 2003 for his contribution to education.
In the twilight of his years, Randall’s thirst for knowledge did not diminish. He studied comparative religion and Eastern philosophy. He taught himself to read the Arabic script and learned conversational Spanish. A man of many talents, Randall completed several paintings and also played the flute, guitar, violin, and other musical instruments. Randall also learned to use the computer and even ventured into the world of social media. In October 2007, Randall began blogging to share his life experiences, philosophy, and writings with friends all over the world. He first published drafts of his autobiography, MY STORY, on his blog, and was considered the world’s oldest blogger. His autobiography will be released shortly. He said in one of his writings:
“Gold and silver have I none but such as I have, give I unto thee. If my messages can touch only one heart, I know I have not lived in vain.” Dad, you will be truly missed. May you Rest In Peace.
Go to the funeral parlor’s website and add your comments as well …. Add or view memories
November 25, 2012
Update on December 10, 2012
Teacher Randall Butisingh passes at 100
Editor’s Note from Cyril Bryan:
Update on December 10, 2012.
Teacher Randall 100 years old, passed on to the great beyond on December 9, 2012. May his soul Rest In Peace.
“Teacher Randall attained his 100th birthday on December 1, 2012. There was a wonderful party for the occasion held at the Nursing Home in Florida, where he resided. He had always looked forward to his 100th Birthday and he attained that goal, like the many other goals he acheived over his long life.
We all extend our condolences to his family.
Randall Butisingh will be 100 years old on December 1, 2012
Teacher Randall will be 100 years old on December 2012. He is in a nursing home, having suffered a slight stroke about two years ago. However, he communicates, although not as clearly as before.
I talked with him via telephone, a week ago, and he is looking forward to reaching his goal of 100 years on that day, His family has prepared a press release to commemorate his 100th Birthday, and I will be posting it on this Blog.
This Blog still receives some 5,000 hits per month, although there have been no regular addditions to it since Teacher Randall stopped blogging two years ago. Thanks for visiting and commenting.
Friend, and Guest Contributor to this Blog.
June 15, 2010
In the past weeks, FIFA announced a $196 million surplus for 2009, as overall revenues soared over one billion dollars. “The market trusts South Africa”, said FIFA President Sepp Blatter, making reference to lucrative television and marketing deals, such as Coca-Cola, Emirates Airline, Hyundai, Sony, Adidas and Visa. In addition, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is projected to earn FIFA its largest revenues in history, with $3.1 billion in corporate sponsorship and broadcasting rights already secured for the next four years, and more generous funding likely to follow. In terms of FIFA revenues, South Africa is set to become the most “successful” World Cup host of all time.
With ongoing news of massive FIFA profits, the question lingers: What about South Africans?
As the June 11th opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup draws closer, South Africans have increasingly expressed their discontent at the massive disparity of benefits. For example, in July of 2009, South African trade unions led a nation-wide strike after learning that some of the 70,000 labourers assigned to building and renovating World Cup stadiums were earning about $1.50 an hour and others $5 a week (minimum wage in South Africa is supposed to be $200 a month). In addition, the United Kingdom newspaper News of the World reported how young Chinese workers in Shanghai earned 2.30 rand (approximately $0.30) a day to manufacture models of “Zakumi” – the official mascot of the 2010 World Cup (the product typically sells for $48). Also, reports surfaced that Adidas was manufacturing its “Jabulani” soccer balls (the official ball of the 2010 World Cup) in Asia as well, paying workers marginal wages, and leaving South African workers and industrial leaders completely out of the picture and unable to enjoy financial profit.
As multi-national airline industries increased flight costs to and from South Africa in the early months of 2010, and with expendable income of potential tourists reduced because of the global economic crisis, the amount of visitors expected in South Africa has declined steadily from 450,000 to 250,000. In addition, South African government projects on mass transportation have been met with heavy resistance, and port workers have also participated in various strikes across the country. All in all, hosting the FIFA World Cup is projected to cost South Africa far more than initially estimated, with stadium construction well over the 9.8 billion rand ($1.28 billion) budgeted, $1.5 billion spent on Johannesburg’s Gautrain light rail transport system, and $90 million for security, including new helicopters and body armour for police. The country has also upgraded seven of its airports, and built an eighth, the King Shaka International Airport in Durban, completely from scratch. These various developments have added significantly to South Africa’s public debt, in the hope that the long-term investment will eventually pay off.
The cheapest ticket for a 2010 FIFA World Cup match is 140 Rand ($19), whereas most will cost well over $100. While FIFA has offered free entry to a small percentage of construction workers and various local contest winners and schoolchildren, the fact remains that most South African citizens will be left outside the stadiums built by their own hands, while foreign tourists will have the best views of the greatest soccer players on the planet. The country has an unemployment rate of nearly 30% and the average monthly income is widely estimated at R2700 ($360). The country’s most loyal soccer supporters are among the poor, and as they rarely pay more than R15 ($2) to attend a local professional match, their attendance at 2010 FIFA World Cup venues is highly doubtful.
As a fan of international soccer, I am excited for some of the best athletes in the world to arrive on African soil, and I am indeed planning to take advantage of the opportunity and attend a few matches. Nevertheless, while I am eager for the competition and ready to support the South African and USA teams, my conscious is troubled, for the question remains: What benefit will the 2010 FIFA World Cup have for South African citizens? Yes, one can find examples of a few development projects surrounding the tournament, but what about the “big picture”? What about the long-term? Will the quality of education in South Africa increase, or will less funding be allocated as South Africa pays off its bloated stadium construction debt? What will happen to the 70,000 workers who no longer have stadiums to build? Will South Africa see the boost in tourism that it seeks (and so desperately needs to pay off its debts)? What happens if it does not? What about the ongoing spread of HIV/AIDS? What about public health? What about land-distribution?
FIFA is expected to earn billions, yet South Africa is expecting to owe billions for years to come. Whereas foreign business leaders and a small number of well-connected South Africans will reap incredible rewards long after the closing ceremony in July, the debt repayment process will most certainly leave its most negative impact upon the poor and marginalized throughout the nation. And so, the most important questions leading up to the grand tournament is not who may win the golden trophy. But rather, I hope the millions of soccer fans around the world who will be following each match are led to consider the facts surrounding the event and boldly decide not to ignore such blatant exploitation. More specifically, my hope is that fans will consider not only what is taking place within World Cup stadiums, but also what is taking place around them.
Posted by ELCA – MUD
Comment by Randall Butisingh:
This is an article from my friend Brian Konkol, who now lives in South Africa, which I would like to share with you. This Blog has many articles by Brian and his wife Kristen, which you could access using the search button.
Football is the most popular sport in the world as it is inexpensive to play … all you need is a football. As a child we played a lot of cricket, but there was always football as an alternative, easy to set up and play, and requiring little space to play – the field and goalposts being whatever we decided was right for the space that was available.
Today, football has grown into a worldwide game played between nations, all aiming for bragging rights as the best football nation, or at least the chance of creeping up in the world standings. Like any competition, football can be divisive as it pits one nation against the other. However, it can also serve as a cohesive force of bringing nations together as building blocks for harmony and common purpose. Let us hope that this World Cup in South Africa, helps in the positive process of awakening all mankind that we are all one with common destinies, so we must all work together, even though we compete, for the good of all mankind.
June 13, 2010
Character building is the primary function of education. This means a cultivation of moral values which will enable the individual to be fair and just and helpful in the society in which he is a member.
He must learn that his body is a temple of God and should not be abused. He must eat to live and not live to eat. He must exercise, rest, and cultivate good habits. He must be able to look and wonder at God’s creations, love what is good and beautiful, and be prepared to make the final sacrifice for Truth.
from: “Flashes of Light” by Randall Butisingh