Shanaz Ishmael Deen fb 22

From L – R: Shanaz Deen (from School Dam near Betty Soloman rum shop), Hannah Ramsammy (Nigg, behind Post Office), Serpatti Shoba Joseph (Letter Kenny / John’s), Shanti Mangal (Bush Lot), Ray (Bush Lot).

This photograph was taken in 1972 with Shoba’s camera. Shoba already had sisters living overseas. Shanaz had the good sense to keep her copy of the photograph and to now share it with us.

Hannah attended English School (St. Joseph’s Anglican Primary School) and always admired the elegance of the CHS girls in their school uniform. She was determined that she too will attend CHS when her time came. She and some of her other primary school classmates wrote the CHS entrance exam and they all passed. In those days students paid fees and had to buy text books and exercise books. There was no way Hannah’s dad could afford this. Hannah cried for days and stopped eating. When her uncle Lionel Etwaroo, a CHS grad himself and now a teacher at Cropper Primary School, heard about this he undertook to pay for Hannah’s education at CHS. So in 1968 Hannah proudly turned out to high school with her friends Maywattie Ajodha, Chandrawattie Ramjit, Sandra Jhagroo, Tully Drepaul, and Lowe.

The last time I saw Hannah was in New York a few years ago at my brother’s book signing event. She brought a ton of mangoes from her own trees in Florida which she sliced up at the cook-out event that evening. It was so nice. It felt like being back in Guyana.

Rishi Singh