By Paula GomesA truly compassionate Indigenous patriot, Mathilda Saigo has, since 1961, been rendering outstanding service to her home community of Paramakatoi, Region Eight, and surrounding villages in regions Seven, Eight and Nine in both the education and health sectors; and she does not think it is time to retire just yet, notwithstanding attaining the age of retirement in 2012.This phenomenal woman has served the country well, and could not be more deserving of the national award (Medal of Service) bestowed upon her in the late 1990s. To date, she has thirteen years of teaching service and almost forty years of subsequent nursing service to her credit.Nurse Mathilda Saigo with her husbandBorn in Paramakatoi, an Indigenous village nestled in the Pakaraima Mountains, to parents Iris Williams and Vincent Saigo in 1947, Saigo, commonly called “Nurse Saigo,” attained early basic fundamental education up to standard six (primary level), the highest available level at the time in the traditional community.Sitting outside her mother’s residence on the peak of a hill overlooking the village, her usual “chill spot” on a Sunday morning, Nurse Saigo took Guyana Times down memory lane, narrating her life-long journey, while casually sipping on a bowl of casirie, a signature Patamona beverage.Nurse Saigo confessed that teaching was her first passion and nursing merely happen per chance, but it was her inner desire — having lived the struggles of the Indigenous peoples — which drove her to be an advocate for change, advancement, and development through education and health in seeking a better life for her peoples.Upon completion of her primary education, Nurse Saigo started to teach at the local school in her village at the tender age of 14, and it would not be long before she extended her services to the neighbouring regions of Seven and Nine.“I taught for thirteen years, from 1961. I taught at Paramakatoi school, then at Philippai (Region Seven) for five years, then back here, then to Konashen (Region Nine) to teach with the Wai-Wais for three years,” she recalled with a profoundly commendable memory.It was at Konashen that a new opportunity would present itself, and try as she may, it haunted at her door until she finally answered.“It was not my choice to go into nursing, but I was at a meeting interpreting for the then Minister of Health, Dr Oliver Harper, (from the English language to Wai-Wai) when somebody came to tell me that there was a snake bite, and I asked for an excuse and left to treat the patient. When I came back, the minister asked why I left so suddenly, and when I told him, he asked if I was a nurse, to which I responded no. ‘But how can you treat patients?’, Dr Oliver asked,, and I said it’s because I can at least read the English language and understand the prescription,” Saigo heartily recounted.Within the three weeks that followed, young Saigo made a life-changing decision, as she was summoned to an interview in Georgetown but it was around the same time that she was accepted into the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), having finally attained the age criterion for acceptance.Upon conclusion of a two-year training programme she returned to her beloved community in 1977, and was appointed to serve henceforth alongside an American practitioner and state registered nurse, Nurse Wall, and it was there that she remained ever since.“When I came back in 1977, they told me that I will be here for six months, and I will be sent to wherever they would send me. But the six months never came to pass… it turned into six years, then sixteen years, and almost sixty years,” Nurse Saigo humoured.The persistent nurse seasonally returned to Dr Bacchus’s Outpatient Clinic in the city during the holidays, where she achieved a certificate in General Nursing and single Trained Midwifery.Nurse Saigo became the sole staff at the Paramakatoi Health Centre in 1977, working both day and night for over eleven years. A Medex from the neighbouring community of Kato would pay occasional visits to the community after this period, yet the headstrong woman would continue to work mostly alone for many upcoming years.“This time was very difficult. There was no electricity, I did deliveries without lights, holding only a torch light between my neck and shoulders. But I eventually came to love it…working at PK all on my own”.To date, Nurse Saigo has done a total of 10,707 deliveries in and around the community, and wherever she goes, there always seems to be a sick person or delivery case awaiting the intervention of her gifted hands. She has visited many communities around the region.In cases of extreme emergencies, medical evacuation by air was summoned via the use of a radio system at the missionaries’ residence.Today’s difficultiesAccording to the nurse, in those days she had direct contact with the Health Ministry, and interventions were much more timely, flying in both day and night, as opposed to present. Having to go through the region causes a delay in the process, as the regional health personnel rarely answer their phones, the nurse said in a state of distress.“We need more medication, equipment and doctors…there is no doctor at present.”Today, sadly, the health centre has no basic drugs as malaria medication since the July-August period, despite several efforts made to contact the relevant personnel on the coast to rectify the issue.Notwithstanding her retirement in 2012, the nurse expressed her willingness to continue serving her community. She is known far and wide in Amerindian villages, and is approached with medical cases wherever she travels.“I am sleeping in the middle of the night and someone comes rapping on my door, or I have just reached into a community tired as ever, and someone comes with a case. You know, as they say, there is no rest for the wicked!” she laughed.Nurse Saigo proudly declared that she is proficient in several Amerindian languages, learned over her years of travel and service in communities across the breadth of Guyana. Some of these languages include the Akawaio, Macushi, Wai-Wai, and of course her native tongue of Patamona. She has served as a translator at many forums: court, the National Toshaos Conference, and the Non-Aligned Conference, among others.
Dear Editor,The construction of the much talked about Aurora Primary and Nursery Schools are rapidly progressing, and from the vantage point of passersbys it looks very good.But there are some questions still to be answered, and at the very top of that list is what has become of the more than eighty percent, or almost twelve truckloads of the dismantled materials which consisted of both lumber and zinc sheets.The people in authority must tell the beneficiaries, the stakeholders, the members of the Parent Teachers Association, and the residents of this community, who from time to time were asked through different ways to contribute and had contributed towards the maintenance and delivery of education through or from that demolished building.The public has a right to know and that right must at all times be respected.The regional officials who are expected to have a copy of the Bill of Quantity and the contract document must be more vocal in relation to this missing school materials.This deafening silence from some quarters is a cause for concern, especially when evidence is in the public domain that a group of persons from one ethnic group had requested a small portion of materials and they were advised that a procedure has to be followed. Then, subsequently, the said materials had ended up in possession of persons from another ethnic group without that same process being observed.It may have been particularly galling for those who would have attended the school, their children and currently their grandchildren, to be denied what was to them a reasonable request.Recently I visited the office of the Good hope/Pomona Neighbourhood Democratic Council, where residents from time to time are led to believe that the Bill of Quantity for any project undertaken by the Government would be at the NDC. Office for them to see, and if necessary extract a copy, but I was told by the Overseer that none is or was ever there.Sincerely,Archie W CordisConcerned Resident
The House of Representatives on Thursday, August 4, during its 49th Day Sitting, constituted a Special Committee to investigate the new L$500 Specimen Banknote and make a formal report on Thursday, August 11.The Committee would investigate whether the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) created the L$500 Specimen Banknote after seeking the authority of the House, which has the sole constitutional authority to approve the printing of any denomination in Liberian dollars.The Committee is expected to summon Finance Minister Boimah Kamara and CBL Executive Governor Milton Weeks for the investigation.Margibi County District # 4 Representative Ben Fofana is the Chairman of the Special Committee, which is co-Chaired by Montserrado County District # 13 Representative Saah Joseph.Members of the Special Committee include Lofa County Districts # 2 and #3 Representatives Julie Wiah and Clarence Massaquoi, respectively; as well as Nimba County District # 4 Representative Garrison Yealue; and Gbarpolu County District # 1 Representative Alfred Koiwood.The House Plenary unanimously reached the decision, which allowed House’s Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. to appoint the Committee based on a letter from Maryland County District # 4 Representative Rev. Dr. Isaac Roland.The Maryland lawmaker indicated in his letter that contrary to what was authorized by the National Legislature, the CBL is currently carrying on an educational campaign to showcase the new higher-denomination Liberian banknotes.Meanwhile, the House Plenary has also established a Special Committee comprising of seven persons to investigate the authorities at Car Parking stations on how revenues generated from vehicles are being expended.The Committee is chaired by Rep. George Wesseh Blamoh and co-chaired by Rep. Clarence Massaquoi. Members include Rep. Haja Siryon; Rep. J. Gabriel Nyenkan; Rep. Solomon George; Rep. William Dakel; and Rep. Emerson Kamara.That Committee is also expected to report in a week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,The recent intimation by Justice Kennedy that he intends to vacate his position in the US Supreme Court has been met with a barrage of questions focusing on the ‘political leanings’ of his likely successor.These questions imply that the resignation of Justice Kennedy provides Donald Trump, the current US President, the opportunity to select a replacement who obviously subscribes to the ‘political’ beliefs and ‘ideological’ leanings of the Republican party as opposed to the Democrat party.To virtually ‘institutionalise’ such ‘political’ considerations in the selection processes for such a critical position is worrisome from several standpoints; not least of which is the fact that it goes against the universally acceptable core principles of effective staff selection such as objective and relative knowledge, skills, qualifications, experience and competencies of the competing candidates.If these are relevant and essential in all other staff selection processes, why are they ignored in the case of Judges, especially Judges of the highest court of the land?I wonder what will be the reaction from all and sundry if the selection of Judges in Guyana was to follow suit!It would be interesting to have the comments of the American authorities on this apparent departure from universally acceptable staff selection processes.Sincerely,Nowrang Persaud
Dear Editor,The legal system in any society is that institution which prevents that society from descending into anarchy by ensuring that the rule of law of upheld. The Constitution and the law protect the legal system from political interference so that ultimately the rule of law will not be destroyed by politics. Guyana is no different from other societies. However, since this Government has taken Office, in the same way the PNC did when it was in Government before, it is using the legal system as a weapon against its political opponents.The constitutionally independent Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Office has been neutralised, as the holder of that Office, herself, has been a victim of political persecution (Pradoville 2). So that important mechanism to prevent malicious prosecutions of fabricated charges has become non-functional. As a result, criminal charges are simply made up without any evidence to support them and instituted against former Ministers and Officials of the PPP Administration.Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, was charged with Larceny by a Bailee, in his capacity as Attorney General, of certain law books. Nandlall said that he was subscribing to these books 10 years or more before he was appointed. He says that he requested the Government to continue to pay his subscription for these books as a term of contract of service, when he negotiated those terms with President Donald Ramotar. Ramotar has confirmed this in writing.Attorney General, Basil Williams, first commissioned a special audit by the Auditor General in relation to these books, specifically. In his report, the Auditor General made no finding of any wrongdoing. When the matter first arose, Nandlall made a public offer to buy the books and hand them over to the AG Office. This was refused, and he was charged. There is nowhere else in the world that a person would be charged in these circumstances.Dr Ashni Singh and Irfaan Ali, two other Ministers were also charged. The gravamen of the offense for which they were charged was selling State properties without first obtaining a Certificate of Valuation. This is another made up offence. There is no such offense in the laws of Guyana. These two former Ministers were executing a decision of the Cabinet. This decision was part of the Executive’s land distribution policy. Under the Constitution, the President, assisted by his Cabinet, has the freedom to chart executive policies of the Government for the day. If these policies are wrong, they may attract political sanctions from the electorate at the elections. They cannot amount to violation of the criminal law. Neither can the criminal law be stretched to unlawful limits in order to create offenses to meet the political agenda of vengeful politicians.Unless this political vendetta and legal madness is stopped in its tracks by the Judiciary, then when the Government changes, like-minded politicians would demand reciprocity. They would call for their own pound of flesh. So, every political policy and decision that is perceived to be wrong by the next Government would be converted into a criminal charge. Every personal benefit enjoyed by a Minister, whether as part of his contract of service or not, would become the subject of criminal proceedings. For example:1. Ministers who are now living in rental premises, where the Government is paying millions of dollars of rent, annually, would be charged;2. the Prime Minister would be charged for spending millions of dollars in framing his personal photographs and millions of dollars in other endeavours, when he has no tangible portfolio of Government;3. each Minister would be charged for the monies paid by the Government towards a medical insurance policy;4. a Minister would be charged for purchasing $1M in mints (sweetie);5. dozens of criminal charges would flow against Ministers who violate the Procurement Act;6. dozens of criminal charges would flow in relation to D’Urban Park, the “drugs bond” and hundreds of other similar transactions.Obviously, the above is not exhaustive. It is only to make a point. This would lead to a total destruction of the society. The criminal process would become an instrument for oppression and revenge, not for justice and fairness. Those who like to speak about a failed State would then understand what a failed State is.It is only the Judiciary, as an institution, that can stop this descent. These matters are before the Judiciary. Let us hope that they can save this country.Sincerely,Jai Seetaram
Dear Editor,My question will be very short. I just wish to know who will be held accountable when an accident occurs on the corners of Alexander and Charlotte Street. It has been months now, if not longer since “STOP” signs on both streets have been sending the same command to vehicles heading north and west; cutting across each other, with no indication as to who has the legal right -of -way.I am always left in awe at simple yet potentially catastrophic mistakes like these. I bang my head to wonder whether the person (s) who authorised and/or placed the stop signs did not see that both streets were giving the command or whether he cared to notice or whether he even knew what he was doing?Should a collision occur at the corner of Alexander and Charlotte Streets, is the state prepared to compensate drivers for this ridiculous faux pas on the part of its agents?Thank you,Zena Henry
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “It’s going to be ‘No stopping any time,”‘ Ken Pellman, a county Department of Public Works spokesman, said Monday about the new signs. “It was one lane in each direction. Now it’s two lanes in each direction, so there is no room for parking. The restriction against the trucks was redundant.” In a Feb. 23 letter to the county supervisors, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works wrote that trucks have “adversely impacted the quality of life and traffic safety on the streets and surrounding neighborhoods.” The nearest stop that could accommodate tractor-trailers lies three miles north along Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road. “It’s basically a traffic flow situation,” Pellman said. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 SANTA CLARITA – County officials are prohibiting parking of commercial trucks along a stretch of The Old Road just south of Lyons Avenue – it runs though a hill crowded with hotels and fast-food restaurants – after crews converted the road from two to four lanes. A resolution unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors earlier this month rescinded previous restrictions on street-side parking from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for trucks weighing 10,000 pounds. Instead, signs prohibiting stopping on the road by any vehicles have been installed on the east side of The Old Road, between Marriott Way and Chiquella Lane, and on the road’s west side between Marriott Way and Sagecrest Circle. That section of The Old Road runs past what some local drivers refer to as “Hamburger Hill.” The road’s east side along Interstate 5 is stacked with burger stands, gas stations and motels, making it a draw for travelers and truckers. Rows of houses and apartments and a strip mall flank the other side. The two-lane road was re-striped in December to allow four lanes of traffic: two northbound and two southbound lanes. The route, which runs alongside Interstate 5, often is an alternative for motorists trying to avoid gridlock during rush hour. firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
NORWALK – A witness in the killing of a Subway employee nearly two years ago testified Tuesday that she did not realize the restaurant was being robbed, even when the suspect tried to pull her purse out of her hands. “He was trying to pull my purse and I was pulling back. Only when I turned around did I notice he had a gun,” Margarita Diaz testified. Soon after being ordered to the floor by the gunman, she heard a gunshot, Diaz said. After the gunman left with an accomplice, Diaz said she discovered clerk Joseph Molina of Whittier lying behind the counter in a pool of blood. Molina, 22, was a student at Pasadena City College. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsDiaz’s testimony was part of the second day of a preliminary hearing in Norwalk Court for Leonardo Cisneros, 22, Bernadette Corvera, 25, and Sara Lopez, 24, who are charged with murder in the Dec. 10, 2004, slaying of Molina during the robbery of less than $100 from the cash register at the Subway in the 5400 block of Norwalk Boulevard in Whittier. A judge ordered the three defendants, along with Jose Resendez, 29, and Mitzie Ann Oso, 28, held for trial. An arraignment for the five was set for Oct. 26 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Investigators said they linked the five to a robbery spree that targeted businesses in Whittier, El Monte, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, San Marino and Alhambra in 2004. Cisneros, Corvera, Lopez and Resendez are also charged with multiple robberies, while Resendez is charged with the Aug. 4 murder of Dianqui Wu of Rowland Heights. Oso is charged with being an accessory to a felony after the fact. Tabitha Gutierrez, a Subway shift supervisor, testified that she was washing dishes in the back of the restaurant when she heard the gunshot. She ran to the back door, but she was confronted with someone she originally identified as a young man. She later read in a newspaper that it was Corvera, who wears her hair closely cropped, Gutierrez testified. She said she saw Corvera near Molina in an area where the public is not allowed. After the gunshot, she heard someone yell, “Get the money!” That is when Corvera, Gutierrez said, approached her about how to open the cash register. She told Covera, who was wearing a bandana over her face, to turn the key. She did and then fled with the cash drawer, followed by someone law enforcement officials later identified from video surveillance as Cisneros. Detective Jay Tatman of the Whittier Police Department, testified about the surveillance video recovered from the Subway and about his interviews with some of the suspects. He said he noticed similarities between the incidents, including the fact they all took place on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, along with the physical traits of the suspects in the cases. During interviews with detectives, Corvera admitted to knowing Cisneros and Lopez and identified Oso as her half-sister, Tatman said. “She admitted to her involvement in the Subway robbery, but that she did not intend on the murder, only a robbery,” Tatman said. Molina’s mother, Josephine Molina, and aunt, Marilyn O’Neill attended the hearing. “It brings back so many memories,” Molina said after the hearing. “I was just trying to control my tears while listening to the testimony.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
All four starred on loan in the Championship last season and have made the step up to Premier League football.So will Gallagher be the next youngster to make his mark at Chelsea?Here at talkSPORT.com, we have taken a look at the young midfielder’s development…Story so farGallagher is a lifelong Chelsea fan and has been with the club since he was eight years old.He is yet to make a senior appearance for the club but was on the bench for the 2019 Europa League final against Arsenal, picking up a winners’ medal.In August, he signed a new three-year deal with the Blues after being named their Academy Player of the Year and joined Charlton on loan for the season. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Getty Images – Getty Conor Gallagher has scored four goals this season Mario Melchiot tells Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham to be a ‘bad boy’Why Chelsea fans should be excitedGallagher loves Chelsea and he has the talent to match.Lampard was his idol growing up and he is already targeting a place in his side next season.Players such as Abraham, Mount and Fikayo Tomori have shown there is a pathway to the first team and Blues fans should rightly be excited about this current crop.“I think it is about time that a manager came in and did that with the Chelsea youngsters,” said Gallagher.“Mason, Tammy and Fikayo have been Chelsea’s best players at the start of the season. It shows that if you give more youngsters a chance they can perform.“I hope one day I can work under Frank, because I think he has a lot to teach me.“He scored loads of goals and I try to play my game like him, in terms of being box-to-box, scoring goals and making assists. It is how I aspire to be.” Getty Images – Getty 3 3 Gallagher was discovered to have a heart condition and needed minor surgery to fix the problem last summer.Blues assistant Joe Edwards was complementary at the way he fought back to full fitness.“It cost Conor his whole pre-season but he bounced back in the way you’d expect because his mentality is solid and he’s just a fighter,” Edwards told Chelsea’s official website.“It’s that desire and energy that have been so important for us because we’ve had to fight a lot this season, particularly in the Uefa Youth League knockout stages, and he’s been our catalyst.“He’s a good player technically but that heart and physical capability to keep pushing himself have set him apart.” Getty Images – Getty 3 Conor Gallagher has quickly adapted to life in the Championship with Charlton He has scored four goals in 11 games and was named as the EFL’s Young Player of the Month for September.Gallagher has also represented England at Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level. He was part of the Under-17 England side who won the World Cup in 2017.The midfielder was also called up to the England Under-21 squad for the first time this week, for the games against Slovenia and Austria.Who is he like?It’s easy to see why he has been compared to current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.He is a box-to-box midfielder who has an eye for goal. Gallagher could get into double figures with Charlton and Lampard famously had 10 consecutive Premier League seasons with 10 or more goals.The midfielder is also very reminiscent of Lee Bowyer and he is probably the perfect person to take him to the next level. Gallagher has been enjoying learning from the Charlton manager.He recently said of the former Leeds and Newcastle star: “He’s great. I’ve only worked under him for a couple of months now but I’ve loved it.“He was a top midfielder back in the day and knows his stuff. He has played at the top level so it’s a lot to learn to make the box every time and that is how I’ve scored my goals this season.“I am looking forward to working under him for the end of the season.”What have other people said?After Charlton’s draw with Fulham, Bowyer sung the youngster’s praises, saying: “Conor isn’t bad… not a bad player!“Has he surprised me? He’s scored one every two games, for a 19-year-old kid who’s never played men’s football before, he’ll surprise anyone.“I think he’s even surprised Chelsea. I don’t think they knew how far he could go so soon.“They had people come in on Thursday. Claude Makelele (technical mentor at Chelsea) came in to speak to us about the loan, how Conor is getting on, their thoughts on him and they’re delighted. Conor is a good player, one to watch in the future.” Gallagher was excellent for Chelsea’s youth sides last season Conor Gallagher has been tipped as a future star for Chelsea.The 19-year-old was named as the Blues’ Academy Player of the Year last season and is making a big impression on loan at Charlton this season.It is a good time to be a Chelsea youngster with Frank Lampard handing debuts to Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James since his appointment in the summer while Tammy Abraham has been in fine form up front after getting his big chance at Stamford Bridge.
“Sunday was totally irrelevant,” he said at full time. “That is next year if we win the cup and have the Europa League. You saw the fitness levels, you saw Barrie McKay running back 40 yards in the 93rd minute. “We were physically fine, mentally fine. It is disappointing to start the game well and then give away a soft, soft goal. That can’t happen. “The third goal allows them to sit deep and they had 10 men behind the ball so it is hard to break down. “We got a great strike from Baz, who again produced an outstanding level of performance. We should have had more chances with all the possession we had. “To come here and have 70 per cent of the ball tells you all you need to know.” Mark Warburton believes his Rangers side are fit enough to play two games a week and says they are physically ready to take on European football next season.The Ibrox side lost 3-2 to Hibernian on Wednesday evening, just three days after a gruelling Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic which went to extra-time and penalties. Warburton insists the defeat was not due to fatigue however, and says his side do not have an issue with fitness. If Rangers beat Hibs in the Scottish Cup final next month they will enter the second round of the Europa League qualifiers and the manager is confident his side, who will be playing in the Premiership, can cope with the heavy schedule.