Queen's College mainly benefited the sons of planters in its first 20 years
Stabroek News
February 6, 2004

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Dear Editor,

I fully supported the perspective on the deviant use of the resources that were to be truly designated for Africans at Emancipation in the name of "compensation for the planters', when I launched my QC Book of Records publication in August 1994 in Georgetown. Some of these funds, as you correctly point out, were used for building Queen's College from which Guyanese of all ethnic persuasions have over the years since benefitted. At that time I also made the point that not only were these funds denied the rightful owners, African ex-slaves, but also QC then in 1844 when it was set up, was essentially for the sons of these very planters, who were by then looking for a local equivalent grammar school for their offspring, instead of having to send them to the UK. It was not until the 1860's/1870's that the "creoles" (read Africans essentially) were allowed to meaningfully benefit in any way from this new and elite educational institution, partly funded by funds that were denied their ex-slave parents.

While I am on this subject, I might also reiterate another point I made on that occasion, which was that the very Buxton Village that is today the object of much ridicule, if not vituperation, was the first Guyanese village community, which since the late nineteen teens (before 1920) was pooling each year the meagre resources of its villagers to send one of its brightest young people to Queen's College on a Buxton Scholarship. What was particularly interesting about that was that although the villagers of Buxton at the time, as now, were overwhelmingly of African descent (well over 90%), Buxtonians never discriminated if an Indian student among them ever emerged as the top student in a given year. That student was paid for even and straight that year and subsequent years of the tenure of the scholarship to Queen's College. One particularly well known name of a student of Indian descent included among those winners was Dr BBG Nehaul, illustrious Guyanese physician , who died only very recently in the UK., and who won the Buxton scholarship in the early 1920's

History plays some very strange tricks, that's why we really should take the time to bare the truth and facts, as you guys are doing.

"A luta continua...a vitorria e certa"..as we say out here in Angola .

Yours faithfully,

Laurence Clarke