I recently saw on the electronic media a programe with Dr David Hinds giving the signposts of the life of Dr Walter Rodney.
In that review of Dr Rodney’s life, Dr Hinds omitted to mention Dr Rodney’s formative years at Queen’s College. These formative years, Rodney always said, were among his happiest years. QC in Rodney’s day had the ethos of an English Public School. The boys knew each other, irrespective of their ages or forms, the Masters knew each boy by his first name, and the pupils had much affection for most Masters. There was a familial feeling among them, as expressed in their famous school song.
Rodney’s contemporaries are found in all parts of the world, and all have made contributions in whatever countries they live. The few who remained in Guyana have likewise made useful contributions to their country. These would include former President Granger, Major General Joe Singh, Dr Samuel Hinds, Carlton James and Dr Roger Luncheon. The QC Master who taught Rodney History and was his House Master at K House (Cunningham House) is still alive in Guyana.
It is well known that though these Old Boys may have found themselves on different sides of the political fence, they maintained their personal relations with each other, and whenever they met, they would call each other by their false names. Next time Dr Hinds speaks on Dr Rodney, he should not omit his years at QC.
Dr Hinds felt that the PPP/C should not have responded to the Rodney family’s call for them to clear Rodney’s name, but that this should have been done by some African group, since the PPP would gain some political kudos. He did not remind himself that Rodney belongs to all Guyanese, both at home and abroad. Dr Hinds also did his best to defend himself and the WPA of the allegation of betraying Rodney’s memory by their joining with the PNC in their political odyssey.
Dr Hinds must be regarded with understanding and sympathy. He is an old-style Africanist who wishes to preserve African culture as a contribution to the Guyanese pluralism, but his laudable Africanism has slowly and imperceptibly and, indeed, unconsciously morphed into racism. Dr Hinds is one of the elders of our society, and I wish him long life and strength to continue making his contribution.