Num­ber 43 Joppa Vil­lage

Stabroek News Sunday - - THE WORLD BEYOND GEORGETOWN -

Story and pho­tos by Bebi Oos­man

NWum­ber 43/Joppa Vil­lage lo­cated on the Coren­tyne, Ber­bice in Re­gion Six is self-suf­fi­cient, sim­ple, free, and non-vi­o­lent, a vil­lage of “one big fam­ily”, ac­cord­ing to res­i­dents. It is said that in the an­cient days, the vil­lage was pur­chased by Richard Rich­mond, who named it Rich­mond Es­tate. The res­i­dents said he dis­trib­uted lots to rel­a­tives for them to build their homes, and parcels to cat­tle farm­ers for them to rear their an­i­mals, while the back­lands were used for cul­ti­va­tion, which is still hap­pen­ing today.

Leonard Bobb, 63, who was born, and grew up in the vil­lage said back in the day Num­ber 43 was like a “cot­tage vil­lage” with a few small houses. He di­vulged in­for­ma­tion about Richard Rich­mond.

How­ever, af­ter Black Bush Polder was opened many years ago the vil­lage be­came known as Joppa Farm be­cause of the nearby Joppa Sluice. “Our vil­lage was Rich­mond Es­tate. My great grand­fa­ther bought this por­tion of land about nearly 100 years ago,” Bobb said. “It was Joppa Farm when I born [and when I was] around 10 years [old] the Num­ber 43 Vil­lage was added.”

The Joppa sluice is no longer func­tional. “The sluice was so old that it was leak­ing salt wa­ter to the farm­land so they in­stalled a self-gen­er­at­ing pump there,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Bobb, from his boy­hood days to now the vil­lage has de­vel­oped some 60 per­cent. How­ever, while the vil­lage has been de­vel­op­ing, res­i­dents have been mi­grat­ing to other vil­lages, coun­ties and coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to some res­i­dents, as soon as they com­plete their sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, the youth would opt to leave the vil­lage. One woman said, “Them chil­dren na want get into farm­ing.”

Bobb said the vil­lage is not very pop­u­lated and more per­sons need to move into the area, as the land is very good for cul­ti­va­tion. “You see a set of open land? It be­longs to Rich­mond Es­tate, the fam­ily right now is not a big fam­ily, many gen­er­a­tions to come it may get more pop­u­lated,” he said. ith that be­ing said, the older folks of the vil­lage and some young ones too have been em­bark­ing on large-scale farm­ing. One man said the land is the best in Re­gion Six for plant­ing, once main­tained prop­erly. How­ever, res­i­dents are frus­trated as the block­age of one canal is ham­per­ing their liveli­hood.

Ac­cord­ing to Bobb, the vil­lage des­per­ately needs bet­ter drainage and ir­ri­ga­tion. He said it is long over­due for the canal, which he re­ferred to as the ‘sal­away canal’ to be cleared.

An­other diehard res­i­dent, Lloyd Rich­mond, 77, said Joppa Vil­lage is the only home he knows. “I born and grow here and will die here too,” he said, while ex­plain­ing that the vil­lage was a very quiet one.

The man who is also a rel­a­tive of Richard Rich­mond, said he was a cat­tle farmer, but due to his age he has since sold his an­i­mals.

He fondly re­mem­bered his wife, who he said was the only woman he ever loved. He said Joppa Vil­lage is where he fell in love, started a fam­ily and had many firsts. The fa­ther of six re­called that when he met his now-de­ceased wife, they were both teenagers liv­ing a few vil­lages apart. “I use to drive the bus and she did wan go den­tist and she catch the bus and we gaff right through and from then me love her,” he re­called.

He said his wife, who died ten years ago, made

his life very easy and en­joy­able, ad­ding that he loves the vil­lage be­cause it is where he feels clos­est to his wife.

Prince Trot­man, 42, strongly stressed that the canal, which will bet­ter en­able drainage for the farm­ing land as well as the en­tire vil­lage, and neigh­bour­ing Ben­gal Vil­lage is in need of at­ten­tion from re­gional of­fi­cials.

Trot­man, a cash-crop farmer, said he has been col­lect­ing sig­na­tures from res­i­dents and was on his way to take a let­ter to the re­gional of­fice plead­ing to have the canal dug.

Ac­cord­ing to the man, sev­eral pro­pos­als were made to the re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tion in the past. How­ever, he said with the vil­lage now col­lec­tively ar­gu­ing for the canal to be dug, he ex­pects the author­i­ties to pay heed.

Mean­while, one of the oldest res­i­dents, Clau­dine Ifill, 85, said she still en­joys gar­den­ing and ex­er­cise. “Ev­ery­day I does ex­er­cise. I can’t just sit down, that is not for me,” she said.

The woman said she would be re­ally glad for street­lights to be placed along the main ac­cess road in the vil­lage.

Ifill said that de­spite its farm­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties per­sons may not want to re­side in the vil­lage be­cause they may say “the vil­lage is so dull”. How­ever, she said, this is one of the things she en­joys the most about the vil­lage, not much hap­pen­ing.

Ifill said the younger gen­er­a­tion is not sure where they are head­ing, as their thoughts are far dif­fer­ent from what she re­mem­bers in her young days. She said youths need to learn to ac­cept ad­vice.

Shereen Ifill, also known as Sherry, 38, also said the vil­lage needs street­lights im­me­di­ately. “Peo­ple does come out all hours and head to their farms, street­lights would help us feel safer,” she said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the woman stressed, the vil­lage needs a skills-train­ing cen­tre for the youths. “They go to school and home, or they go to tech­ni­cal in­sti­tute we have no gam­ing fa­cil­i­ties, we need that for the youths to keep them oc­cu­pied be­fore they have other thoughts to do wrong things,” she added.

Her hus­band Yo­gesh­war Jaiper­saud, 43, who op­er­ates a beer gar­den has em­barked for

Lthe first time o crop so that’s

Usha Gobe vil­lage and h said, “No­bod me a sell to li back fall out live in the kitc

She said sh of the house w and one bed, m and it still fall

Veron­ica (o ma­jor in cash ing and cat­tle said the villa hous­ing and b lights and som

She also sa needed in the ties. “It need a put­er­ing be­cau put in­ter­net se

David Eg­ger­ton on his way home from his farm

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.