Yesterday the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport joined the Russian Embassy in celebrating International Child Protection Day under the Theme, ?May there always be sunshine?.On the occasion Ambassador of Russia to Guyana, Nickolay Smirnov, said he was pleased to be a part of the celebration since this event goes way back and represents a good relationship between the two countries. The Ambassador added that through this art competition the participants will be able to express themselves and views.?Many children specialists have said that art is a good way of allowing children to express and they believe that self expression gives children the opportunity to express their inner feelings and thoughts,? Ambassador Smirnov further wished all the participants well and said he hoped the day of celebration will be beneficial.Culture Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, said that he too was happy to be a part of the celebration. He said that Russia as a nation did a lot of lobbying for this day and its observances. He added that since this day was designated, Guyana like many other countries have signed several pieces of legislation with the aim of protecting children. Making reference to education, Dr. Anthony said Guyana has made some significant strides in making education free of cost for all.?There was a time in Guyana when education was a special privilege but today almost every child who is of the age to attend school can do so free of cost and for that we ought to be proud.? Dr. Anthony added that as it relates to legislation,Brian Gionta Jersey, Guyana has not only passed pieces of legislation but the groundwork needed to make the legislation work is also in place.He also made mention of the various entities that have been set up to ensure children are protected and properly cared for.Meanwhile, the art competition took the form of chalk drawings by children from different schools around the city. It was held at the Burrowes School of Art.
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?It was always the love for what I was doing, and making people happy, it wasn?t about the money, as I derived tremendous satisfaction from performing.?By Enid JoaquinDennis Parkinson, to those who don?t really know him, seems the most unassuming, unobtrusive and amicably quiet person – until he opens his mouth?to sing that is.Then he takes control. He will captivate you with his soulful renditions – his satin smooth voice, delving deep into the hidden recesses of your heart, rekindling flames that you swore had long gone out.During these magical mental excursions,Authentic Jerseys China, Dennis will woo, caress, enchant and comfort, as he transports you momentarily from the cares of this world- ensnaring you with his voice that deems nearly all susceptible to its magic- his eloquent proclamations keep you hanging on every word!Dennis Parkinson has undertaken many tasks in his life, but it is his singing that catapulted him to the pinnacle of popularity in Linden, and even abroad; and it is singing that has made him a very special person.Dennis ParkinsonDubbed, ?singer par excellence? by some, his name has become almost synonymous, with this particular art form. Little wonder, as his career in this field of endeavour, spans more than half a century.His talent was spotted, and nurtured from the tender age of seven, when he started singing in church. He would continue singing through school, and at the age of eleven was a member of a contingent from schools around Mackenzie that participated in the British Guiana Music Festival. His rendition earned him an ?excellent? grade. Later he would win the Elocution Contest in 1956 at Queen?s College.But it was the trip to participate in the music festival in Georgetown that would remain etched in Dennis? memory forever. As the trip was sponsored by Demba, the motorboat ?Polaris,? which was owned by the company, took the participating students to Georgetown.?That was one of the fastest and most beautiful boats on the river at the time, and it was only used to transport the elites of the company, and visiting dignitaries to Mackenzie; so a trip on the Polaris was an historic event for me, and I guess for the other students as well.He received his early education at the Mackenzie All-Age School (Primary) Echols High School (Secondary) and Saint Stanislaus College. Dennis later took a course of studies at the University of Guyana Extra Mural division in Personnel Management; and did Company-sponsored courses in Basic and Advanced Management.LAUNCHING OUTDennis says he owes a ?mountain of gratitude? to three persons, all of whom are now deceased, with mentoring him and nurturing his talent. They were Harry Mayers, leader of the then Demba Band, Herman Parris, organist of the Christ the King Anglican Church, who enlisted him as a young tenor, with the church?s choir, and Milton ?the Maestro? Smartt, then renowned pianist and organist.It was Smartt who would introduce Dennis to Cabarets, and provided his musical accompaniment on many occasions, both in and out of Linden.Dennis would later become a member of the Oracles singing group which comprised four other teenagers along with him, in 1961.The Oracles was at the time a group to be reckoned with throughout Guyana, as they would win the National singing competition for three years in succession-from 1962 to 1964. The group subsequently morphed into a string band, and became one of the best of that time.As the band grew in popularity, so did Dennis? vocal prowess and his popularity with the ladies. Nonetheless he is adamant that he was never really a ?ladies man?. ?But if they came on to me- well I didn?t back down?, he admits nonchalantly.Performing (fourth from left, with microphone) with the Cannon Balls in New YorkHe reflected fondly on his days with the band, especially the times they played for the then popular Mackenzie Sports Club Fair.?Those were the best days,? he said enthusiastically. ?You know they used to have these dancing rinks, and we used to play for the biggest one, which was called the El Bingo Square, and that used to draw the biggest crowd. People loved our band, because apart from playing good music, we had some of the best vocalists.Man, people used to come from all over Guyana. At the time there was no Highway, so people travelled by RH Carr, a vessel, which used to come packed to capacity; and the dancing rinks, well that was something else, people used to dance till day clean. But then, they didn?t have too much to worry about because the economy was good, and everybody wanted to come to Linden, because that was one of the biggest and best fairs in the country.?SOJOURNS ABROADDennis would be afforded many opportunities to represent Guyana abroad as a vocalist with both the Oracles string band and later, the equally popular Cannon Balls orchestra.He participated in the Suriname Trade Fair in 1979, and eight years later in the April Spring Friendship Art Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea, where he did his two renditions in the Korean language, much to the audience?s delight and amazement.He would also tour Canada and the USA with the Cannon Balls in 1987 and 1988.Dennis would remain a vocalist with Oracles until 1972, but would freelance with the Cannon Balls on occasion, especially on their sojourns overseas.It was while he was a member of the Oracles that he was afforded the opportunity of meeting and performing on the same stage with the legendary American soul singer Ben E. King, at the old Crescent Cinema in Mackenzie.Dennis (at far right) with his Oracles buddiesThat proved to be quite an experience for the group.?Now we knew we could sing, or at least we thought so, but this man with his big powerful voice literally drowned us out,? Dennis recalled with amusement.Decades later, in 1988, while on a summer sojourn with the Cannon Balls in the United States, he had the opportunity of seeing and hearing the famous Stevie Wonder perform, at the Apollo Theatre in Manhattan.?Hearing and actually seeing Stevie Wonder perform in the flesh was an awesome experience for me. It was unique. It was then that I really realized what a great artiste he is, and the profound impact that he makes on people. Many people were so touched by his performance that they were crying. I myself was much moved,? Dennis reminisced.Over the years Dennis himself has touched many persons with his singing, and in these latter years he has mostly been doing so free of charge, for various events in the mining Town.He has featured prominently at many weddings, funerals and other events.And Dennis loves it; he says this is his way of giving back to the community that has loved and supported him throughout the years.According to him, singing was never about its ?lucrativeness?, because it was never really a job that paid well. ?It was always the love for what I was doing, and making people happy, it wasn?t about the money, as I derived tremendous satisfaction from performing,? he declared.So it was that Dennis had to hold on to his day job, at first with the bauxite industry itself, and later as Administrator with the Mackenzie Hospital.DAY JOBDennis joined the Demerara Bauxite Company in January of 1960 as an ?office boy? in the railroad department. He then moved to the diesel section as an apprentice, and later to the machine shop planning office, as a clerk.In all he gave 43 years of service to the industry.During his tenure with the company, Dennis also served as Trustee to the Guyana Bauxite Supervisors? Union from 1982 to 1984.His final attachment was with the Linden Hospital Complex, from where he retired as Administrator in 2003.He is the recipient of four awards, namely “Best Pop Singer” at the SSS Musical Award Show in 1992 at the Mackenzie Sports Club, one for “Outstanding Service to the Community” from Linden Tourism Community, in 2000; another for “Recognition of the invaluable contribution made to the Guyana Public Service Union” in 2008, and the “Mayor’s Award” for Yeoman Service to Linden in the field of culture in 2012.BORN TO SINGOur ?special person? is a born Lindener and grew up in Mora Street, Mackenzie, with his aunt Nora Parkinson. He never knew his mother as she died in the process of delivering him, so Dennis became his aunt Nora?s son, as she had no biological children. He would not meet his father until he was twenty-four years old.?Aunt Nora raised me as she would her own – I never missed a mother?s love, she was like my true mother. She was a teacher and very strict, and being musically inclined, helped to instill in me the love of music and singing. Then my mother Hyacinth was also into music, as she sang and played the piano very well I was told, so I guess my passion for singing and music is kind of hereditary- something I was born to do,? Dennis reflected.Many have agreed with that declaration, especially after listening to the two compact discs, which he has produced.The first disc, ?We Give Thanks? consists of Gospel and Inspirational songs, while the second, ?Golden Memories? is filled with treasured golden oldies.?I thought that the first CD I should put out, should be one unto God, so I put together these songs, very popular ones, which I adopted. ?We Give Thanks? is my personal composition.?The CD was launched in Brooklyn, New York, at the Linden Fund USA?s annual ball in 2006, and was very well received by fans over there, while ? Golden Memories? was released in 2008 in Linden, and received rave reviews.Dennis considers the production of the two discs a labour of love, and the realization of his lifelong dream. However, he is very perturbed by the prevalence of ?bootlegging?, which is robbing artistes like himself of their financial dues.Notwithstanding, he is determined to persevere in this field of endeavour. He expressed profound gratitude to his wife Jenny, and children Sharon, Teddy, Shemeika and Sonia, for all their support, and his musical arranger Pastor Richard Mac Donald, whom he describes as both a brother and a friend, and recording engineer Lester Denny.His wife, Jenny George-Parkinson, an accomplished musician, provides him with musical accompaniment, whenever he practices at home. His hobbies include singing, reading, and playing billiards and dominoes.These days, Dennis no longer works at his day job, which gives him all the time in the world, to do the thing he loves doing best – singing. And from the look of things, it seems highly unlikely that he?ll stop doing that anytime soon!
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?as efforts are intensified to address unsavoury practices in schoolsBy Sharmain CornetteIn order to combat the prevalence of unsavoury practices found within some school environs, the Education Ministry has introduced a Guidance and Counselling Unit.Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh,Cheap Jerseys Store, said that his Ministry is currently selecting the most suitable applicants to manage the new unit.?We are bringing in initially 11 Guidance Counsellors to work in some of the areas where we have problems to help to counsel the children,? Baksh noted. However, plans to expand the Unit are already apace by way of a ?training of trainers? programme, the Minister divulged.In addition, he disclosed that the Ministry is currently designing a special training programme to complement the work of the Schools Welfare Department.According to Baksh,http://www.soccerpro.us.com/Arsenal-FC/, the Ministry has observed with much displeasure that students in the public education system are engaging in unacceptable activities both inside and outside of the schools. In recognition of this fact, Baksh said that efforts have been made to address the question of staffing in the Schools Welfare Department.?Never before has the Schools Welfare Department been better staffed. We have 50 staffers and we are to appoint some additional staff. We also have plans to promote some already on staff to Senior School Welfare Officers,? Baksh related.With the boosted capacity, he revealed that the Ministry has been able to conduct many truancy campaigns throughout the school districts. He noted that at the moment there are statistics to prove that a number of children have been interviewed and efforts have been made to get them back into the school system.Earlier this year, Chief Schools Welfare Officer,Air Max 97 Silver Bullet Mens, Reverend Banmattie Ram, had disclosed that more than 200 cases of truancy were addressed by the Welfare Department as at the previous academic year. She related that several of the cases were linked to poverty and parental negligence. It was against this background that the Ministry had sought to intensify its campaigns.Ram had disclosed that a total of 87 truancy cases were found in Region Three, 57 in Region Four, 203 in Region Five, 276 in Region Six,Cheap Jerseys, 22 in Region Seven, 16 in Region 10, and 89 in Georgetown, following several campaigns.Once found to be truants, students are usually referred to the Department of Education within their respective regions through which an investigation commences to determine the root cause for the truant behaviour.According to Ram, it has been observed in many cases that poverty has been the main reason that some parents are unable to send their children to school.?Reports have come in that children stay away because their parents cannot afford to send them to school. So we have looked into collaborating with social welfare services and other persons in communities who would want to assist these children.?Having detected truancy cases,Soccer Jerseys China, Ram disclosed that follow-up programmes are employed to ensure that students remain in school.The chief official highlighted that since the Welfare Unit has major emphasis on bringing back children into the school system, efforts have been made to investigate and take action as it relates to children not attending schools.?From time to time our school welfare officers will engage in home visits and visits to schools. For this year, every month our officers are going to engage in one major ?Operation Care? campaign along with mini campaigns, where we target hideouts and visit certain communities from which we get calls from citizens.?According to Ram, the care campaign which is expected to be robust will target several areas known for encouraging the practice of truancy. She disclosed that during the month of January, four campaigns were conducted in Berbice, during which time approximately 175 students were picked up and processed.Ram disclosed that letters were given to some of them to be re-admitted to school while others were assisted with getting their birth certificates and they have been exposed to counselling sessions which are ongoing.Recruitment for additional officers, Ram noted, will be made possible through a two-year training programme for new officers. However, before the formal training starts,World Baseball Classic Jerseys Outlet, officers already on staff will be exposed to developmental training.This, Ram said, is needful since some officers may not be fully aware of how to deal with certain social issues they encounter. And because the social problems cannot be addressed at the level of the child only, Ram said that welfare officers will also be tasked with working closely with parents as well.?We realise that we cannot do our job to the fullest extent without collaboration from other social entities and the parents. Education is both parent and teachers. They also have to collaborate with the schools? welfare service. We are realising more and more that trying to just counsel children is not enough, we need to engage more in parental seminars.?According to Minister Baksh, schools as well as parents must not abdicate their key roles in helping to keep students in the school system. He speculated that more could be achieved in this regard if the Ministry continues to embrace the notion of going into communities, as was done during the observance of Education Month.Meanwhile, Minister Baksh though concerned about the spate of mysterious activities in some schools, noted that intervention on the part of his Ministry is practically impossible.?This is beyond my area. I know it is happening…Communities have been dealing with it, religious organisations have been dealing with it,Wholesale Jerseys Authentic, but I don?t think that there is much that the Ministry can do,? Baksh said.