October 13, 2008

The Soul of Hector McDonald Lee

Posted in Buxton, Education, Guyana, Lusignan, Poetry tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:17 am by randallbutisingh

The Soul of Hector McDonald Lee – (Poem by Eusi Kwayana)

( for the late Buxtonian, Hector Lee who died in September 2008)

Today is a day like no other

Closing one season, opening another

This is not my elder like my Mother

Nana Brown an ancient figure

Mama Freda, or like Miss Irene, Congo Queen

Not like Teacher George, or Stir About

Or Teacher Ruby

Not my very junior, junior like famous Floyd

This is a round like Sidney Brown

My own generation‘s son.

Ring the bell, the solemn bell

Beat the drum, the joyful drum

Our day of Sorrow and Pride has come!

Pride at the gift of such a being

Sorrow at the painful act of parting

At the loved ones he is leaving

With no thought of soon returning

Pause a moment let me praise

A silent Icon of our days

When this tall Kumaka fell

In a country unaware
What a massive loss was here

All were struck dumb

That this day would ever come

The one on whom we close the gate

Combined all talents in one rich head

And shared them till he took his bed

He made generations literate

on all Guyana‘s river banks

Teacher of teachers, a teacher‘s teacher

When young learners fell through the school cracks

No need to panic; relax, relax

Hector caught them in his net

making of them scholars yet.

Historian, mathematician, philosopher

Counselor, all combined

Luminary of the poor

Turning no seeker from his door!

Ring the mourning bell beat the joyful drum

Bless the day his Mother gave him birth

Bless his footsteps across Guyana

Non Pareil Leguan, Sandvoort,

Enterprise, Kitty


Bless the harvest of his works

Bless the day we lay him on the breast of Mother Earth

In the hope of second birth.

Only souls like his, though long forsaken

Can put back together what is broken.

*********

The following are Extracts of a MINI biography of the late Buxtonian Hector Lee (1926-2008), taken from Emancipation magazine (1999-2000):

Hector Lee was born in February 1926 in Buxton village, the first son of Buxtonian coppersmith Albert Lee and Ivy Sam. Lee attended St Augustine Anglican church at Buxton under Headmistress Dorcas Glasgow and Headmaster Frank Russell, and obtained passes at the school Leaving and Pupil Teachers appointment examinations in 1939 and 1941 respectively, before joining the Teaching Profession as an Acting Teacher at Lusignan Anglican School in 1943. In 1960, he was transferred to St. Peter‘s Anglican School, Leguan… His tenure at St Peters came to an abrupt end in 1964 when the school building was destroyed by fire during the disturbances. In 1963, he accepted an appointment as Headmaster of St Stephen‘s Anglican School in Richmond, Leguan, and carried on his good work there for another three years. He was transferred to St James the Less Anglican School in Kitty, Georgetown, in 1968, and remained there until his retirement in 1981…In his early post-retirement years, Hector Lee voluntarily instructed young teachers in Buxton and taught free of cost at company Path Primary School in his village… Although neither the State nor the Guyana Teachers Union ever publicly honoured Hector McDonald Lee, he is held in high esteem among villagers as one of the most beloved sons of Buxton. He was later awarded the CIMBUX award in Education from the that organization based in Washington D.C. USA.

———————————————————————–

COMMENT

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 09:58:53 -0400
From: ramtiwari@excite.com
Subject: RE: HECTOR LEE

Dear Lyndon, Teachers Eusi and Randall,
With you and many others, my family and I mourn his loss to Buxton, to Guyana and elsewhere he trod in his journey in life.
May his Soul rest and grow in peace. We grieve his loss. The Ancestors welcome him in their sacred celestial home.
‘AYUSHMAN BHAWAH’ – Peace and Blessings on his Soul. ‘OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI, HARI OM’.
Butters/Ram.

Rampersaud Tiwari

COMMENT

From: randallbutisingh@hotmail.com
To: ramtiwari@excite.com;
Subject: RE: HECTOR LEE
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 14:18:12 -0400

Dear Ram,
I, too mourn the loss of my pupil Hector Lee, a Buxtonion who reflected the past glory of his once renowned village. I here extend my Sympathy to his bereaved relatives and friends. Hector was a pupil of St. Augustine’s School and I am happy to say that Albert Ogle (God rest his soul) and I were part of his training.  He was a brilliant pupil, all round, especially in mathematics. I recall the day when Albert and I were wrestling with a problem for about half-an-hour and couldn’t solve it; I suggested that we take it to Hector.  He was at that time in the last grade of the elementary school studying for the School Leaving Examination.  Within a few minutes Hector brought back the slate with the problem solved.  It was not until recently I divulged that incident to him.  Hector passed the Teachers’ Certificate Examination in the First Class at one sitting, almost self-taught.  Later, he served as head teacher with the commitment and dedication which was the legacy of his head teacher Frank H, Russell, an amazing man who also helped to make me a good teacher. After retirement he continued to educate the youth of his village.  Hector was a worthy recipient of the Award from CIMBUX for Education and, with CIMBUX, I honour his memory.  Humble and unassumiing,he has left a legacy in the many whose lives he has touched and elevated.
May his soul rest in peace.

Teacher Randall.

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2 Comments »

  1. Errol Benn said,

    Hector Mc Donald Lee ( also Known as HM ) was a true legend to me and my family,all my brothers and sister pass through HM hands,he had a special way of dealing with pupils and teachers.
    I will always remember him.
    Thank you sir ,thank you.
    May your soul rest in peace.

    • randallbutisingh said,

      Thanks Errol for your comment. Hector was my pupil and he was very gifted. He will always be remembered by the many whom he has helped at Buxton and other places where he taught.


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