October 21, 2009

Our Second Weblog Anniversary – Oct 21, 2009

Posted in Awards, Messages tagged , , , , , , , at 5:07 am by randallbutisingh

MY MESSAGE ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF MY WEBLOG

October 21, 2009.

Today marks the second anniversary of the inauguration of my Weblog on October 21, 2007.   I wish to thank all those, my editors, contributors and technical advisers, the sources from which I got inspiration, my interviewers, and you, my viewers from all over the world, of every language and clime; without whose inputs my Weblog could not have earned the success it has.   Recently, the Blog won the Graypow Award for distinguished blogging by an over 80 blogger. It is confirmed that I am now the oldest person running a Blog, and I am also the oldest person with an operating Facebook account.

The Weblog has been endeavouring all along to post meaningful content. As the philosopher White puts it; “The best test of any writing is its serviceableness for the moral and spiritual needs of men”.

I have tried by exhortation and example to teach values like perseverance, compassion, service, care for the environment, friendship, unity, love and most of all; it is never too late to learn.

In less than two months, I will have reached my 97th year of my sojourn here on Mother Earth.  I have not as one of my erudite colleague told me of himself; “I have gone into complete retirement”.  I believe that once you have life and can think, you need not spend the remainder of the winter of your years in hibernation, but with the experiences you have garnered. Live a twilight of usefulness.

My final engagement before my anniversary is to record the reminiscences of my life which I had prepared some time ago, and which with the help of my editor and technical advisers, I am now happy to record.

I may or may not live to see another anniversary.  On my last visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed as having a weak heart and will need a pacer, but I have decided against using it.   I feel as good as ever.   So with the limited time at my disposal, I have to live today as if it was my last, but work as if I will live forever.

I wish you all, my dear viewers, fulfillment and happy blogging.

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COMMENT from Cyril Bryan:

Today marks the second anniversary of this blog which had its first entry on October 21, 2009.  On our first anniversary we talked about how the Weblog was started and how we had achieved so much in such a short time.  I am truly glad that I am one of the persons responsible in helping “Teacher Randall” (T.R.) to start his blog with my technical support, and the selection of some entries with my comments as a “Guest Contributor” over the last two years.

He has said that my support has encouraged him to be even more dynamic with his Weblog inputs and comments, and has made him new friends, and connected him with past colleagues, students and friends around the world.  It is a pleasure that I was able to do this for a man whose world vision is similar to mine, especially in regard to the “Indivisibility of Mankind”, and the belief in “Lifelong Learning”.

This second year has passed quite quickly and the popularity of the Weblog has grown.  To date we have had almost 64,000 viewers to some 610 entries which include news items, videos and articles of interest, historical articles and pictures of Guyana, articles from various contributors, philosophy, psychology, education, and of course the articles, poetry and the many comments from Randall Butisingh to the content of the Blog and his correspondence with readers.

This month Teacher Randall begun to publish: “My Story” – The Reminiscences of Randall Butisingh since 1913.  This is a truly gripping tale of a man living for over nine decades in a changing world, battling poverty, battling the integration process of different cultures; being accepted for who he is; and being able to fully actualize the reason for his sojourn here on Earth.  Life in the early 1900’s was drastically different from life today, but T.R. battled on searching for meaning; searching for relevance; searching for his inner abilities that could transform others through his teaching; searching for inner security and his actualization through his poetry, religious studies and firm beliefs in personal education and lifelong learning. I am sure that everyone would find his story an interesting one.

I think that this Weblog has served a great purpose for many others as it has awakened many, especially older people to the fact that being “old” does not mean being discarded to the dustbin of history.  T.R. has told me that he gets correspondence from all over the world from people who are proud of what he is doing and who are emulating his strong beliefs of lifelong learning.   Even I was surprised when he told me recently that he had joined FACEBOOK, the social networking site, and invited me to be his friend on that site. He is now not only the “World’s Oldest Blogger” but most likely the oldest FACEBOOK member. Congratulations Teacher Randall!

We do hope that Teacher Randall continues with his good work for us all in the coming year and for many years to come.

Happy Weblog Anniversary Teacher Randall!

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TRIBUTE by Patanjali Ramlall – Guest Contributor

It is with pleasure and wonderment that I dedicate this tribute to Guruji Randall Butisingh.

My earliest memories of Guruji go back to 1956, when I was in 1st standard at Lusignan Anglican School, now Lusignan Government, East Coast Demerara, British Guiana, now Guyana. I often read the proverbs that he posted on the wall, behind my class, three of which were:

LEARNING IS BETTER THAN SILVER AND GOLD; SILENCE IS GOLDEN; and CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS.

He practiced and lived them all. He was always the consummate teacher and guide, never causing pupils to be scared of him, teaching in a compassionate manner, going that extra ten miles, e.g. Gardening, Art, Poems, etc. I never heard him lift his voice to any student, and some of his words were in the colloquial manner of the day, trying to accommodate his young charges who were then trying to grapple with Standard English; and he had a knack for doing the right thing without pretense or offense. All of these qualities he not only lived, but continued to improve on them visibly and by hard work over the years.

He continues to be a guide, teacher, a poet, philosopher, always in the pursuit of knowledge – in art, music, language(s), comparative religion, etc. Most of all, to continue to impart his life’s knowledge and share his wisdom with us is quite an accomplishment in his 98th year.

He was my Headmaster when I passed the School Leaving examination and left school at age thirteen in 1962.  Never could I, at that time have dreamt that he would continue to be my teacher and that we would have this avuncular relationship, now at my age 60. First: he was my teacher, then Headmaster, friend, philosopher, historian, poet, and now I am a guest contributor on his blog.

While I was on a Shrimping trawler off the coast of South America, (Brasil, French Guiana, Surinam, to name a few), from age 15 to 22, I never thought that I could touch base with this humble man again, and that I would be privileged to have him at my home as an honoured guest. His blog has greatly enlightened me and improved my awareness of life and the world. I gained a lot from his tireless writings and insight, and I wish him good health and strength to continue his great work for as long as possible.

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Tribute by CYRIL A. SARJOO, former teacher at Lusignan Primary School –

I have known Teacher Randall since the 1950’s. Now he is the world’s most senior blogger and  I wish to congratulate him on the 2nd anniversary of his weblog.

I am proud that he is a Guyanese and I am honored to have known and worked with him.

I have been reading his weblog and made a few contributions.

He has accomplished quite a lot academically and spiritually.

His spiritual revelations and his relationship with and his obedience to God have caused God to bless him and keep him alive to this golden age of 98 years.

His philosophy of life as evinced in his poetry and blog is very inspiring.

His many and varied accomplishments have earned him several international and local honors and awards and even a painting by a renowned Indian artist.

I wish him all the best and pray that Almighty God will continue to bless him with good health and spiritual strength.

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Tribute by Lyndon Barton

Dear Teacher Randall,

CONGRATULATIONS! on the 2nd anniversary of your weblog, and best wishes for your continued success.

As one of the readers and occasional contributor to this weblog, I am happy to see the way it has evolved to become a unique global forum that not only shines a positive light on our homeland GUYANA and the Guyanese culture, but also one that affords readers the world over a rare opportunity to gain valuable insights into your longevity and philosophy of life, which you so willingly share though your poems, thoughts for the day, inspirational messages, personal interviews, and recent book “My Story.”

For all this, I, personally, feel privileged and proud to be your former pupil, then a colleague, and now a friend.

Keep up the good work!

Lyndon

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Tribute by Rampersaud Tiwari.

Randall Butisingh will be 97 on December 1, 2009. He is the world’s oldest Blogger and probably the oldest Buxtonian alive. He was and still is a teacher, educator, writer, poet, artist, Hindi scholar and iconic community leader. I am now in my 77th year, and I am privileged to have known him since my early childhood years in our native Buxton Village on the East Coast of Demerara in Guyana, South America.

This tribute on the 2nd Anniversary of Randall Butisingh’s Web Blog is to me a kind of celebration of his achievements and his contributions during a long and useful life. At this distance in time, I can only dimly imagine the struggles, sacrifices and efforts he must have made in his journey in life.  As I reflect on his life, I remember hearing a Hindu Vedic recitation of “a Light that shines beyond all things on earth and beyond the highest, the very highest of the heavens. This is the Light that shines in the Heart” – taken from the Chandogya Upanishad; and which in my view epitomizes the spiritual qualities that helped to shape the human values that shine in his heart.

Randall’s parents were part of a small number of indentured Indian immigrants who had completed their terms of indenture or had been expelled from the neighboring sugar estates who settled in Buxton in the closing years of the 19th century. Randall’s father was a Koker Attendant in the village.  With good schooling as the objective for their children, Randall’s parents encouraged him to pursue his studies at school with dedication and diligence at a time when many East Indian children of school age, for historical and economic reasons, were unable or refused to attend school and get an education. From the time Randall started his primary schooling, he was a student who tried to achieve his best although he was not one of the brightest students.

The defining moment in Randall’s scholastic career arrived in 1925, when at 12 years old, he secured 62% of the marks in the examination for the Buxton Scholarship. The other successful candidates were Ballbir Ballgreeme Nehaul with 80%, who later became a medical doctor, and Claude Holder with 61%. The Scholarship was awarded to Ballgreeme Nehaul, who became the first Buxton scholarship winner.  However, Randall Butisingh’s 62% could have secured his placement in the prestigious Queen’s College, but this was not to be, as his parents could not afford the expenses for him to do so.

This missed opportunity did not prevent Randall from becoming a Teacher and serving at all relevant levels leading ultimately to Acting Headmaster, the status from which he retired the Guyana Teaching Service in 1972. A significant feature of his career was his mastery of the Hindi language which was a subject in the national examinations for teachers in the colony. In later years, he helped to promote the teaching of Hindi in extra mural classes at the University of Guyana (UG) through the good offices of the Indian High Commission in Guyana, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Hindi Prachar Sabha of which he was a founding member.

Randall Butisingh was also a founding member of the Indian National Congress of Buxton. Patterned after the Indian National Congress of undivided India, the Buxton Congress was established in 1946. The objectives of the Buxton Congress were to promote strong bonding feelings of communal harmony and nationalism in Guyana and to persuade the British to “QUIT BG” since the country was then a colony of the United Kingdom.

“APADANA SOBHINI PANNA” – WISDOM BEAUTIFIES CHARACTER: from Buddhist Pali.

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Tribute from Miles A. Hintzen

Congratulations, sir, on the second anniversary of your blog.  Kudos also to the associates – editors, technicians, and others – who have helped you launch and maintain this wonderful and scintillating site on the internet.

It was only earlier this year, on my own personal journey to trace the roots of my biological father, that I stumbled on your Weblog.   Since then I count myself blessed for this fortuitous accident which has now transformed me from a man on a genealogical expedition to a servant of God on that most meaningful of all journeys – the travel along life’s highways in search of the true meaning of life and its purpose beyond the realm of physical being.

Sir, your pieces have helped me along and have added tremendously to my understanding the real destiny of man and woman on this earth and in the hereafter.  The short time that I have had the pleasure of your distinguished acquaintance has already surpassed multiple lifelong associations with others in providing me with food for thought on the most pressing matters of the day.  To be sure, it has opened my eyes to the beauty of life and shown me how a single individual can so value and utilize every precious moment that Almighty God has given him to make the world a better place .

You, sir, are a living legend. Would that God in his infinite wisdom should allow you another century on this planet or several more decades to illumiate us with your keen observations and lifelong experiences.

On further reflection, sir, that would probably be unfair to God, for while we here do need you so badly, learned teacher, there awaits for you in another phase of existence, rewards, fulfillment, and honor befitting of how well you have shown us the paths to our own successes, happiness, and destinies.

I only pray that God will see fit in his benevolence grant us the blessing of your presence among us for a very, very long time, before requesting the pleasure of your presence elsewhere!

Congrats again, sir…and may God keep you in good health!

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October 5, 2009

Hindi Prachaar Sabha honours Randall Butisingh

Posted in Awards, Buxton, Philosophy, Religion tagged , , , at 6:27 pm by randallbutisingh

Hindi Prachaar Sabha honours Randall Butisingh

September 22, 2009 | By KaieteurNews | Filed Under News

…hailed as world’s oldest blogger and Hindi teacher

Mr Misri Persaud of the Guyana Hindu Prachaar Sabha, left, collects the award on behalf of Randall Butisingh from Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Sabeet Kumar Mandal.

Mr Misri Persaud of the Guyana Hindu Prachaar Sabha, left, collects the award on behalf of Randall Butisingh from Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Sabeet Kumar Mandal.

Guyanese Randall Butisingh, known as the world’s oldest blogger and a prominent teacher of the Hindi language, has been honoured by the Guyana Hindu Prachaar Sabha.

Butisingh was honoured for his work in promoting and teaching Hindi language when the Indian Cultural Centre hosted a programme Saturday to celebrate World Hindi Day.
Mr. Misri Persaud of the Guyana Hindu Prachaar Sabha collected the award on behalf of Butisingh.

Butisingh was born in Guyana on December 1, 1912. He grew up 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, with a few short breaks, in which he served as a Class II Certified and Trained Teacher until his retirement in January, 1972.

During his career, he taught mainly in Buxton, with short assignments in Lusignan, Non Pareil, Ann’s Grove and Mon Repos.
His literary accomplishments include: A paper on “Hindi in Multicultural Guyana” and a translation of a biography of Mahatma Gandhi – from Hindi to English.

He became a member of the Guyana Hindi Prachar Sabha in 1976 and also served as the Sabha’s Hindi correspondent and editor of its journal, “Gyanda.”

Among the areas of his interest are Comparative Religion, Eastern Philosophy, the computer,  and, of course, teaching Hindi. In his late 70’s he learnt to read the Arabic script and is able to read from the Holy Quran. He can also recite a few of the Suras from memory. He can also read Urdu, a sister language of Hindi, written in the Persian script to a fair extent.

At age 89, he began learning to play the recorder and according to him he has acquired some degree of proficiency. He also practises on the keyboard.
Now in this, his 98th year, he is studying Spanish and art.

August 10, 2009

Randall Butisingh’s Weblog wins Graypow Award

Posted in Awards, Messages tagged , , at 9:25 pm by randallbutisingh

From: eshackle@ozemail.com.au
To: randallbutisingh@hotmail.com
Subject: Graypow Award
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 07:46:42 +1000

Randall Butisingh’s Weblog wins Graypow Award

These days, millions of senior citizens enjoy exploring the Internet, and hundreds of websites are offering them valuable guidance and entertainment.

As publishers of the world’s first multi-national e-book (now a blog), Life Begins at 80 http://lifebginsat80.blogspot.com/ , we believe we should encourage these admirable youngsters (hey, some of them are only in their 50s!) So we have great pleasure in presenting a GRAYPOW Award to the outstanding Florida website:
Randall Butisingh’s Weblog https://randallbutisingh.wordpress.com/

This is the Graypow Award which has been presented to the sites listed on this page

February 11, 2009

MLK Oratory winner: Gerra Gistand

Posted in Awards, Education, History, USA politics tagged , , , , , at 4:25 am by randallbutisingh

MLK Oratory winner: Gerra Gistand – Video

Gerra Gistand of MacGregor elementary school won first place during the 13th Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory. Finalists gave original five-minute speeches on the topic:

If Dr. King were alive today, what do you think he would say about current events?”

MLK Oratory winner: Gerra Gistand – click on this link to view the video.

November 2, 2007

CIMBUX AWARD SPEECH

Posted in Awards, Buxton, Guyana tagged , , , , , , at 4:47 am by randallbutisingh

Cimbux Award Speech

Randall Butisingh addresses the CIMBUX Awards Dinner in 2003.

CIMBUX (Committee for the Improvement of Buxton) is an organisation formed by Buxtonians living in the U.S.A. The organisation meets bi-annually for a reunion when Buxtonians from all over the country attend to raise funds for helping education and social services in Buxton, their birthplace in Guyana. Among the activities at the reunion, is the presentation of awards to Buxtonians, who, it is considered, to have made valuable contributions in some sphere of activity to their village.

At the reunion members and others also get an opportunity to display their Literature and Art. Among the prominent Buxtonians who have received awards are Eusi Kwayana, Minister in the 1953 PPP and the Burnham government, Educator and writer; Sir John Carter, QC, KB, CCH, OR, who served in various ambassadorial capacities for his country; Rampersaud Tiwari, a public servant who was Permanent Secretary to a Ministry in the Burnham government; and Lyndon Barton, Senior engineer and an instructor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, author of Mechanism Analysis, holder of four U.S.patents, member of the Society of American inventors and Tau Beta PL. and Artist.

At the 2003 Reunion, Randall Butisingh was given an award for his service in the field of Education. Below is his Award Acceptance Speech for which he received a standing ovation:-.

“Fellow Buxtonians, Colleagues, Brothers, Friends! I am happy to be with you here at this tenth Reunion of CIMBUX. Happier still that I may be able to meet some of my colleagues and friends whom I have not seen for years. How unexpected, that at ninety-one, when I am about to be called to higher service, you have invited me here to provide me with a testimonial.

“I thank you the organizers of this event, and especially the colleague who nominated me for the award. If I were as wise then, as I am today, I would have had occasion to be happier, for along with what is considered the worthwhile contributions I have made to education and the community, I have left things undone and made errors along the way. But if I have been able to help or inspire even one of God’s creatures, I know I have not lived in vain.

“My brothers, fellow Buxtonians, CIMBUX is an idea which to me connotes C – Compassion, I – Integration, M – Memories, B – Brotherhood, U – Unity and X – Excellence. What are we here for but to serve our fellowmen? “The Brotherhood of man’ says Sir Patrick Renison, one of the best governors of colonial Guyana, “is not only a fact of Nature, but a Divine command.” We are not only flesh and bones, mind and intellect, these are transient; we are essentially spirit, a spark of the Divine flame, the Image of God. We are all One. “No man is an island to himself”. We are all pieces of the mosaic which is indivisible humanity. The conduct of any individual can either diminish or enhance humanity.

“CIMBUX is an organization which is nobly conceived. It is not only here to serve, but to project an image which reflects the glory of what has once been the Premier Village in Guyana. Its members must be as salt to savour whatever environment they may find themselves in, and a light to lighten it.

“I leave these thoughts with you, dear brothers and sisters – my sand of time is running out – you may not see me again. Remember that those who bring sunshine in the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. When I was a boy at school, I remembered learning this little poem:

Kindness and love to all I owe,
No other debt doth God allow;
Kindness and love then I must pay
To everybody, every day.

“I thank you for considering me worthy of this award. I will treasure it and let it be a reminder to me and posterity that service with love does not go without reward, even if there is no uttered appreciation or gratitude.

“My final exhortation to you is Unite! For Unity is strength; and remain in the bond of Brotherhood.

“May God bless you.”

Randall Butisingh
11550 NW 20th Street
Plantation Acres
Florida 33323
Telephone 954 474 9082
Email: randallbutisingh@hotmail.com
http://www.randallbutisingh.wordpress.com