A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) took the opportunity on the long weekend to clean several cemeteries in Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Back To Roots (BTR) used Easter Sunday – the day when Christ’s resurrection is celebrated to execute the project.
However, the day chosen had nothing to do with the significance of Easter.
Many cemeteries in Guyana are unkept with thick vegetation taking over where dear loved ones are laid to rest after passing.
Founder of BTR, Suzan Grumble urged that some more consideration should be placed on the place loved ones are laid to rest.
“I went to visit my dad’s grave and I couldn’t get to it – the bushes were high and mud and ants were biting, so we had to run out from the burial ground and it saddened me a lot and I said, ‘Why should we bury our loved ones and wait on the Council to clean when it is our loved ones. We bought a plot and put them there, why should we walk away and leave them?’ So, I started this by calling up a few persons and said let’s do this,” Grumble explained.
She said at first people were reluctant to support the idea but eventually, she was able to sell it to enough people to get countrywide support.
The initiative, she added, was a successful one as many persons joined in the activity around the country.
At the Christianburg Cemetery in Linden, Orin Fanfare, who is the sexton of a nearby church, said that the Linden municipality did not have adequate staff to properly maintain the cemetery as needed.
“Most of these people that rest in their graves here were hard-working persons and they paved the way for us to make this place a success. So, I don’t believe that people should dump their loved ones and just leave them like that here,” the sexton said.
Speaking of activities at the Stanleytown Cemetery in New Amsterdam, Grumble explained that the township was involved.
“What they did was to send in people to start clearing up the high trees before we got there. So, they made it possible for us to be able to look and see where we want to go…”
According to Grumble, BTR was birthed out of an idea to serve and link communities globally with a common objective of not losing our unique cultures while assisting the underprivileged, elderly and vulnerable.
“… we now have a group on the East Coast, we have one in Berbice, we have one in Linden, we have one in Georgetown, we have one in Barbados and we have one in London, so Back To Roots is spreading,” Grumble said. (G4)