November 1, 2007

Landmark at Chateau Margot

Posted in Buxton, Guyana, Poetry tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:18 pm by randallbutisingh


Chateau Margotis a little village on the East Coast of Demerara about six miles from Georgetown.

It was once a sugar estate, therefore the need for this tall imposing structure, the factory chimney, which is the first object that passengers on board a ship that comes to Guyana see. It was erected by a Buxtonian, Anthony Gordon, who was as imposing as the structure itself. A verbose man of whom it was said told his groom, in the days of horse-drawn carriages to “unhitch those quadrupeds and provide them with provender, or I shall connect my shoemaker to your tailor.”

On the completion of his task when he saw the volume of smoke that was emitted from the chimney, exclaimed, “Had it not been for the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, I would have drowned the heavens with smoke!” The chimney has been the theme for two other Annandale poets, Rooplal Monar, national prizewinner and Guska, poet and artist.

The writer of my foreword to “Selected Poems” yet unpublished, told me that reading about the Chimney brought tears to her eyes. Here it is:

You stand
defiant of wind and weather
a monument
dwarfing the tall green trees around;
Innumerable bricks labouriously laid
fashioned your form so straight and strong.
Where is the being that gave you shape?
If you could answer, you would tell:
“His bones are hidden in the dust
and time has dulled the scroll of memory”
Yet, in your form and bearing there exudes
the spirit of your maker long deceased.

Once your hollow symmetry
like a giant sky-trained gun
belched forth munitions of black dust
that seemed to drown high heaven
and hide the sun;
But now, your sooty task, complete
You remain serene, majestic,
enveloped in earth and sky and air
a monument to your designer
gladdening eyes at sea.

So, like you,
when my brief task of rhyming is complete
and the dark dust of my musings to earth subsides,
May my soul’s song survive:
a time defying monument in VERSE.

-Randall Butisingh



  1. randallbutisingh said,

    From letter sent by Cecile Burgan-Nobrega:

    Hello Randall. Just a line to say I loved them all. I however grieved and shed a tear when I read “Landmark at Chateau Margot”. I went to mass this morning. It was Sydney’s Birthday. His full name is Sydney Ormonde Bartholomew Burgan. I told him that we correspond and if he remembered you. He said: “Of course, Teacher Randall, he was my teacher.” He is a spit of the old man Father Burgan -a little taller, I think, but tall, dark and handsome. What a pity I am so busy with my project – The Bronze Woman Monument project – if all goes well in, Her Majesty the Queen will soon unveil the Monument. Will send you a package asap. Love and Best Wishes to you and all the family circle.

    Cecile (Burgan-Nobrega)

  2. Sr said,

    Hello Mr Butisingh,

    Thank you very much for the brief history on the Splendid landmark situated in the chateau Margot pasture, I was a former student at Chateau Margot Primary and have great memories of the chimney itself.

  3. Rooplall Dudhnath said,

    Hi sir

    You were my head teacher at Lusignan Primaty school. I now live in Chateau Margot. almost in the shadow of the famous chimmey. I am a
    Baha;i.. and I remembered you and Guska .. and Rooplall Munar.. and your tryst with the Hindu temple at Courbane park Annnandale where you resided for some time.. I also like your poems

    O son of Spirit!
    My first counsel , is this posses a pure and kindly heart that thine may be a soverienty ancient and impereshible
    and everlasting!.. Baha’u’llah

  4. Dear Randall,
    God bless you, I love the poem and the history . I was trying to find my ancesters , and I found your poem . My grand father was born in Chateau Margot 1893 -9th April ,but I cant find much of him.I believe his parents came to Brt Guiana with the last badge from India.

  5. Bryan Max said,

  6. Bryan Max said,

    Hi Folks, I posted a link to the Chateau Margot Chimney above, enjoy

  7. starboy said,

    sout up people

  8. damani gordon said,

    anthony gordon is my great-grandfather

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