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By Neil MarksA Victoria schoolboy tries in vain to read the inscription on this monument in Victoria that is thought to be dedicated to the African slaves who bought the village. The inscription was washed out with time and no one bothered to restore it. Under some of the tallest breadfruit trees you would find in the East Coast Demerara village of Victoria, a group of men “bubble” an ital pot – cook-up, with chunks of breadfruit – as they take shade from the harsh Tuesday afternoon sun.As the food simmers, they finger into their mouths roasted breadfruit, coated with peer sauce. “People in the village need jobs,” laments one man. Another man, Patrick Solomon, identifies himself as a tradesman; he is taking the day off.“Sweet boiling cassava,” he assures, is not in the pot. In fact, “Sweet boiling cassava” is the name of a band in the village. The band has been performing for a few years now as part of the numerous activities designed to take advantage of the designation of August 1 as Freedom Day. Several cardboard posters are nailed to the lamppost at the street head. There is the “Annual Free Up” and then there is “Soiree Time at Punter’s Place.”A little up the road, a man emerges from the backdam with a good load of mangoes wrapped in a t-shirt on his head.“Aye, you selling?” cries out a woman, all dressed as if heading for church. Her two neatly dressed children are with her. They collect five mangoes and pay $100.“Yes, people still go to the church,” she says, looking at the Victorian Christian Brethren Church, which looks as if it would soon collapse.But it is not the only one looks destined to fall, literally. The village is littered with old churches, many of them falling apart. For the older folks, it is a sad state of affairs. The churches are an integral link to early life in Victoria, the first village to be bought by freed African slaves in this country.“That was the slave church,” one wheelchair-bound woman lamented, as she observes the afternoon life in the village. The old wooden church has been demolished and replaced by a concrete structure.“Like is only St George’s they want to keep,” said a woman tucked away in an office in the Victoria Cultural Centre. She was referring to the famous St George’s Cathedral in Georgetown, hailed as one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world.“The people in the village showed a great desire for church worship and used to travel as far as Le Ressouvenir, 11 miles to the West, to attend services conducted by the Reverend John Smith. At the same time, some of them were taught to read and write,” wrote former head-teacher, William Nicholas Arno, in his book “History of Victoria Village.”The Congregationalists built the first church in the village and gave it the name of Wilberforce, an abolitionist who fought for the freedom of the slaves. Thereafter,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, the Wesleyans, Plymouth Brethren, Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist and Anglicans also built churches.“Boss Africa,” who was adopted as the Village Father, headed the school that was carried on at the Wilberforce church.Today, the state of churches in the village implies a very different culture.A group of men from Victoria cook under breadfruit trees during an afternoon lime. Much of Victoria’s history is lost. In the compound of the community centre, a 14-year-old schoolboy struggled to read the inscription on the monument thought to have been dedicated to the 83 slaves who bought the village towards the end of 1836. The inscription disappeared with time, a signal of the lapse in any real effort to preserve the village’s history.But now,NFL Jerseys Supply, an ambitious initiative, a village conference and other activities, is underway to arrest the challenges facing Victoria. Abraham Poole, who was born in Victoria, points to the sloth and failure of residents to sense and respond adequately to transformations that have been occurring within the national and global economies.He suggests that this is the main reason for the decline of the village economy, and one reason for the ensuing social, educational, and moral problems that besiege the village.“The emancipation of African slaves will form part of the context in which deliberations will take place, and doubtless be an unpleasant reminder that their descendants have not fully capitalized on the costly investment of their ancestors,” Poole posits ahead of a village conference slated for tomorrow.What is now Victoria was a cotton plantation called Northbrook. The plantation’s 500 acres was bought by the freed African slaves.The slaves bought the plantation from the money they saved, having started to receive money four years prior to emancipation on August 1, 1838.David Grainger, who has written on the village, points out, that it is a matter of legend that two-thirds of the money was paid right away in coins, delivered in a wheelbarrow,NFL Jerseys China Cheap, some of them still black with the mud in which they had been buried. The remainder was covered by a promissory note which was redeemed three weeks later.The move by the African slaves, two of them women, was in fact a collaborative effort of those from five estates, namely Douchfour, Ann’s Grove, Hope, Paradise and Enmore.It is unclear how the village got its name, but many suspect it was named after the British monarch Victoria.The purchase of Victoria spawned similar action in other parts of the coastland, and so the 83 slaves are credited with having given birth to the village movement. The purchase of land lifted the shackles of economic dependence on the planters.The former slaves were intent on moving on and are credited with establishing systems of governance.“In May 1845, six years after the purchase, the owners agreed to a number of regulations for the proper management of the estate which is among the first attempts at a code of Local Government in Guyana,” Arno,cheap nfl jerseys discount, quoted earlier, points out.The village rules provided for a community of high moral standards. Drunkenness, cursing, swearing, gambling and fighting were not allowed, and there were also rules governing education.Tomorrow’s village conference offers Victoria an excellent opportunity to unearth the sort of imagination and drive the freed African slaves who bought the village had.Lil Champs show switched to National StadiumThe Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha yesterday said it has completed the process for the grand Sa Ra Ga Ma – Lil Champs show which brings to the fore young and talented boys and girls from India at the National Stadium Providence, East Bank Demerara on Sunday, August 8.The venue was previously advertised for the Starlite Drive-in cinema.“From the moment the curtain drops the audience will be charged with deep emotions which will flow from the variety of songs,Cheap NBA Jerseys China, music and dances,” the Sabha stated.The young singers Hemant, Shreyas, Yatharth will perform alongside little Bak Bak machine Afsha Musani accompanied by musicians from India.The group has displayed exquisite skills in a number of Indian Art Forms and overwhelms with vocal items.“The youthful members of the Dharmic Nritya Sangh will as usual steal your hearts with their magnificent display of kathak, folk and fine interpretive dance items,” the Sabha added.The Sabha has been able to arrange for this special presentation at the National Stadium Providence, East Bank Demerara.  Tickets cost $3,000 and $1,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China,500 and will be available at Harinarain Store – Regent Street, Bhagwan’s – Water Street,  Kendra – Prashad Nagar and Murti Shop – West Coast Demerara.After the no-show of the Lil Champs in May, the Sabha is making every effort to assure the public that this weekend’s show is on.Yesterday, the Sabha said the artistes are already in Suriname and will be in Guyana in advance of the show.
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