'Guyanese are rich in generosity'
- Sue Bryante
by Nandwatie S. Klautky
February 20, 2000
Sue Bryant came to Guyana some nine years ago on Friday, September 13, 1991 - her "very lucky day." Her husband had come here for a two or three year contract with Aroaima Mining (Reynolds Bauxite) after being on the Mexican border for four-and-a-half years.
Sue is a very vivacious, dynamic and energetic woman. She is truly social and makes friends very easily. After her stint in Guyana she may know one person in every country in the world!
A natural organiser of people, Sue was elected PTA President of her son's school in Texas. She says, "It is in your blood to organise people." She has three grown sons - Brad, Trey and Craig - and a grandson from Brad. As she says, "I am already booked to baby sit in Ohio."
Sue is not looking forward to leaving Guyana; she has enjoyed her stay. "The people are warm, the climate is warm and I know everybody. Every place offers its own opportunity to meet people."
Observe her chatting with the packers who have only been at her house in Jacaranda Avenue for a few days. She shows concern for them and is familiar with their personal problems.
When Sue first came to Guyana, Mrs Anita Hilary (wife of GUYSUCO's Neville Hilary) involved her in the Spanish ladies' group which was raising funds for a project at Grove, East Bank Demerara. By the sale of hand-made dolls, they were generating income for a new building to house the disabled children who attended school at the Grove Mandir.
There was a sewing group at Judith Michelin's house in Ogle. She offered to have the sewing group at her house to make it more accessible for those ladies who lived in Georgetown. They made things on behalf of the United Women for Special Children's group for their sale of work before Christmas. Not all the ladies sewing belonged to the Club, but they were willing to work for the cause. There were about 20 ladies, not all expatriates, in the sewing group and they belonged to diverse cultures - Korean, Russian, Spanish, French, English, Chinese, etc.
Sue found the group very interesting and stimulating, and it provided a wonderful opportunity to share experiences. She has also visited with some of the English women in their country.
Her tours within Guyana include visits to Kwebanna on the Waini, the Essequibo and Rupununi, Dadanawa Ranch, Santa Mission and the Aroaima bauxite mine site. She did not get to go to Shell Beach, although she hopes to do so when she returns. She says, "Guyanese don't know how beautiful their country is, and what it has to offer."
Sue says she will miss the fresh fruits and vegetables. Most Saturdays she can be seen in Bourda market shopping and visiting with the vendors. She has learnt how to shop for fruits like the mamee apple. She likes calaloo soup and will miss the roti and curry.
Sue Subryan, as she is mistakenly called, laughs at the Guyanese expression, "Did you walk with... ?" and thinks an appropriate way to leave Guyana is to attend the Link Show. She has seen almost all of them since '92 and understands the Creolese.
Among her collection of ornaments are nibbi craft, pottery, paintings, balata ornaments and wooden sculptures. She is also taking back a wooden garden chair! She loves the Guyanese custom of giving gold as presents. When one jeweller heard that she had a grandson, he presented her with a gold wrist band for little Andrew! She says "The Guyanese are rich in generosity."
On February 8, 2000, the American ambassador, Mr James Mack, presented her with a plaque for "voluntary and dedicated service to the people and community of Guyana." She also received a gold necklace from the United Women for Special Children as a farewell present.
Sue Bryant has a degree in Nursing from the University of Arkansas and has worked with a group, Medical Care for Children (MCFC) in Virginia. The two projects she has worked for in Guyana include the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre Workshop in Carmichael Street and the Special Needs School at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. Sue has been the quality controller for all the hand-made craft produced by the "sewing ladies" and sold to raise funds for the two projects.
In this regard, she met and admired the late Miss Dorothy King (Bunny). The latter produced the most exquisite miniature dolls and other items for the sale. Sue thinks Bunny was the most influential person in Guyana that she has ever met: "She was such a marvellous lady!"
Between recruiting ladies from the expatriate community and organising them for charity work, Sue has been an avid photographer. She has built up a collection of picture albums - about two per year - of scenes, people and friends. These latter know that Sue may not be the most diplomatic person and that she may have made some enemies among the Guyanese community with her outspoken and forceful personality. However, she concedes, "I am not always right."
Perhaps it is time to bury the hatchet or to let bygones be bygones. There are many positive things to think about."