Cleaning up after a function Viewpoint by Joyce Sinclair
Guyana Chronicle
April 2, 2004

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IN September of last year three questions were addressed. One was the number of blind corners causing traffic hazards because of the growth of shrubs, trees, gardens and uncut grass on the parapets. For example, Duncan and Sheriff Streets, South Road and Oronoque Street, Crown Street and Vlissengen Road for motorists turning south into Vlissengen Road and many others.

Another was the absence of a white line on Vlissengen Road between Homestretch Avenue and Hadfield Street indicating where the road ends or begins and where the Square of the Revolution is. This is particularly critical in the evening and for motorists wanting to turn east into Hadfield Street.

The third is this question: Why don't the planners of public functions build into their activities, a plan for clean-up immediately after the end of these functions. The value here is consideration for others and national pride. This constitutes a significant part of the War on Bad Manners.

I cannot help reflecting on what some of us learnt at school about planning functions. We were in different houses and had different celebrations for our house days. We had school fairs etc. There was a committee responsible for invitation, another for food, another for decoration, music, another for the gate, but the one that is indelible in my mind is the committee or group to clean up afterwards. We always had a group of persons who turned on to work at the end of the function in order to clean up. We were never to walk away from the venue leaving a dirty environment. We had to remove all bottles, drums, sanitary ware, pack up chairs and tables and arrange for the place to be swept, washed or whatever was needed before we went home to sleep. We dared not leave this to be done the next day. The operative reason here was Consideration for Others. We were forced to think of all those who on the following day would be arriving for some kind of service or activity. Was it good manners for them to walk through the mess we would have created and left? This became part of us. We always planned for the cleanup.

Why don't we at the national level plan after-functions cleanup? Not cleanup the next day or two days after ... cleanup immediately after the end of the function. This is the job of a special crew and not necessarily those who will have been working throughout the function. It is all the more to do this at the national level because we are now demonstrating our civic pride to all. On Tuesday morning after Mashramani celebrations we woke up to an absolutely dirty city especially along the parade routes, ie, Vlissengen Road and the streets leading thereto. Could the Council not have expended a few extra dollars to have this done the same night? Could there not have been some incentive programme for special groups to do this? I have seen this happen before in this our much maligned city. It was beautiful to wakeup the next morning and not have to drive or walk on broken bottles or to wade through Styrofoam food boxes and plastic bags and straws. It is possible Guyana! It has happened before! It can happen again! Let us show more consideration for our fellow Guyanese. Let us take the War on Bad Manners to a different level.

Thanks to those private citizens with a sense of pride in their surroundings who instinctively do their own clean up of parapets after functions nearby. Congratulations.

EDITOR'S NOTE: THE Viewpoint entitled, "Many 'unbeaten' children come out quite good," appeared in yesterday's Chronicle as being authored by Ms. Joyce Sinclair. That's not so. The viewpoint was written by Dr. Steve Surujbally. We thus apologize to both Ms. Sinclair and Dr. Surujbally for the error and for any embarrassment and/or inconvenience caused.