Saturday, September 8, 2012

Georgetowne Gem

Almost missed one of the best (in terms of informative and access to the 'old' knowledge) talks given for the year - by 'Bert' Carter on late 18th Century and early 19th Century Georgetown at Moray House. Thanks to the adminstrator's timely telephone call to remind me!

This excellent presentation took the format of a walk from the East Bank in the days slightly before the Horse-drawn trams-- yes-the East Bank had a sensible Public Transport system before the masses of people appeared -- down Water Street to the Seawall before the Pegasus Hotel was built. He told us that there were about 220 old pictures/photograghs so it was a visual treat as well.
The architectural beauty that has survived the vandalism through the ages and still available today was highlighted and I resolved to go with my camera and try to take some shots before they all disappear. An interesting Catholic symbol kept reappearing - I thought he said Tetraconch - a basic Greek Cross but when I looked it up on the Internet -it referred to a building plan. He pointed out William Russell who was a Scottish planter responsible for the concept of the Conservancy Dams and other notable people who made a lasting impression on the face of Georgetown. 
The pictures, many taken a mere three years after the invention of mass photography, were a delight and really gave a clear picture of Georgetown along with its history of development until today's sad mistakes and rampant vandalism with the theft of the iron railings-- incidentally I met a Columbian airhead whose father has a scrap-metal and mining company here in Guyana and who said gaily in response to my comment that they ought to screen the 'scrap-metal' for stolen architectural artifacts that THATwasn't their concern - it was the Government's responsibility-- rather like the Chinese attitude to the elephant tusks eh?
I learnt a lot in a short time and hope the taping/filming becomes widely available - this along with Chapter 2 of The West On Trial I would force every citizen to learn!

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