Wednesday, June 9, 2010

- Buxton

- Buxton is a village in the Demerara-Mahaica Region of Guyana, standing about midway between Georgetown and Enmore.
Buxton sits on very fertile land which is surrounded by an irrigation system (trenches). Local farmers produce a variety of fruits and vegetables including peas, beans, Dakar (Tamarind) and the Buxton Spice mango. This mango is unique to Buxton being fleshy and sweet like others but having a unique spicy taste. There are a variety of fish in the water including the Tilapia.[1]
The village was built on land purchased by former slaves and remains mostly a Afro-Guyanese community.
The village of Buxton is situated on the East Coast, in the county of  Demerara. It lies within Guyana’s Demerara-Mahaica Region (4), approximately 12 miles east of the capital city of Georgetown, and is part of the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council. April 2010 will mark the 170th anniversary of the purchase of this former plantation by 128 previously enslaved African descendants.
Heralded as the premier village in the country, it was the first village to be established in an organized manner following the abolition of slavery and the commencement of the movement by former slaves to acquire and develop their own lands. With its adjoining, sister village, Friendship, it comprised the largest local authority and often led the way in negotiations with the colonial establishment.

 School building and Church

Buxton-Friendship once boasted one of the best education systems in the country with three secondary schools-Buxton Government Secondary School, County High School and Smith’s College. It also housed four primary schools-St. Augustine’s Anglican School/Friendship Government School, Friendship Methodist (Wesleyan) School, Arundel Congregational (Missionary) School and St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic School. Early education was provided by a host of bottom-house Kindergarten schools, while skills and craft were taught to adolescents at the Trade School. The community shares a proud history of scholastic excellence through its many illustrious sons and daughters, some of whom were beneficiaries of the Buxton Scholarship, and who went on to serve in prestigious positions around the world.

Buxton is also the original home of the popular Buxton Spice Mango. This distinctly sweet fleshy yellowish-red fruit, when ripe, grows abundantly in the fertile backlands of the village.
“Buxton People Stop Train” This legend goes back to 1862 when villagers, arming themselves with cutlasses, axes, sticks and other implements, laid wait along the railway line to intercept a locomotive train carrying the governor, whose audience they fiercely sought. It was the last resort in a series of efforts by them to secure the abolishment of a repressive tax that was imposed on the properties of several villagers. As the train approached the
village, several men and women formed themselves into a human shield, forcing the driver to bring the train to an immediate halt. The protestors then proceeded to immobilize the engine by applying chains and locks to its wheels. This forced the governor to step out and meet with villagers. After listening to their complaint, he reportedly decided to rescind the burdensome tax. Ever since, Buxtonians have earned the reputation as a people of unequalled courage.
An artist’s sketch of the old Tipperary Hall in Buxton. Reeling from massive migration of its skilled and professional class to overseas destinations, Buxton continues to suffer from a severe economic slowdown and social challenges. There are, however, fresh efforts by a group of Buxtonians, led by Brothers Malcolm Parris and Bertrand Booker, to mobilize interest and resources for the redevelopment of essential infrastructure in the Village.
The first project earmarked is the erection of a multi-purpose community centre at the site where stood the legendary Tipperary Society Hall. It is targeted for completion by the year 2012. When completed, it is expected to serve as a beacon of pride and progress for the community.
An Act of the British Guiana Parliament to provide for the administration of a fund for the granting of scholarships to children from the Buxton-Friendship District.
This scholarship enabled young Buxtonians to attend Queen’s College, Bishops’ High School and other top-rated secondary schools in Georgetown.
The first scholarship was awarded in 1925 to Balbir Ballgreene Nehaul, who attended Queen’s College and went on to become a Doctor of Medicine, specializing in Bacteriology and Pathology.
First runner-up was Claude Easton Holder, the youngest recipient at age 11, who also attended QC and went on to become a notable educator.
Second runner-up was Teacher Randall Butisingh. He was followed by Esther Fung.
Another notable winner of the scholarship was the late Winifred Thierens Gaskin. She attended Bishops’ High School and went on to become the first runner-up for the British Guiana Scholarship and later a teacher, politician and diplomat.

There is also "The Buxton Battle Song."

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