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Buxton-Friendship

Guyana’s Premier Village

 

Heralded as Guyana’s Premier Village, Buxton is a community of two adjoining villages—Buxton, in the western block; and Friendship, in the east. The natives and their descendants are called Buxtonians.

The Village was purchased (1840-1841) by African-descended labourers who were emancipated from slavery on 1st August, 1838. It was developed into the largest and one of the most efficient local authorities in the country. It lies within Guyana’s Demerara-Mahaica Region (Four), approximately 12 miles (19 kilometres) east of the capital city of Georgetown, and it is part of the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).

According to the 2002 National Population Census Report, the total number of inhabitants was 5,900, with 3,490 persons residing inside Buxton and 2,410 in Friendship. A conservative estimate of 2,000 Buxton natives and their descendants can also be found in the expanded suburbs of South Annandale, Vigilance, Strathspey, Bladen Hall and Melanie Damishana. Thousands more reside overseas.

The community shares a proud history of scholastic excellence through its many illustrious sons and daughters, some of whom were beneficiaries of the Buxton Scholarship, and who went on to serve in prestigious positions around the world. Most notable among them was Winifred Thierens-Gaskin, a remarkable women’s rights advocate, educator, politician, government minister, and diplomat. This scholarship was enacted into law by the then British Guiana Parliament on 7th July, 1923, to provide academic scholarships for the children of Buxton-Friendship.

Most of the employed villagers work in the government sector—Education, Healthcare, Law Enforcement and Public Service. Several others are employed by the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), whose administrative office is situated in the village. A small few engage in building construction, furniture manufacturing, trade services, bus transport services, food vending, beauty and hairdressing services, bars and small shops, while others employ themselves in farming livestock, sugar cane and cash crops.

The community houses a government-run Post Office. Other significant businesses in the village are a Gas Station and a wholesale Beverage Distributorship.

The Buxton Health Centre is a primary healthcare facility that provides free medical and dental services to residents. The government-run facility is staffed by a physician, pharmacist, nurses, assistants and other support personnel. Private services and routine care can also be obtained from practitioners operating in nearby areas.

Cricket, Football, Track & Field, Circle Tennis, Cycling, Volley Ball and Basketball are some of the organized team sports in the community. There are two football (soccer) clubs: Buxton United Sports Club and Buxton All Stars Club. Buxton Cricket Club promotes and organizes cricket.

The Toucan II Multipurpose Club and Buxton Developers cater to social, cultural and educational development for youths. The elderly are served by the Golden Age Club which engages in social and outreach activities. The churches in the community also have wings of spiritual, social, cultural and leadership groups.

The First of August Movement (FAM) is the group which spearheads activities for the Emancipation Day celebration every year. The event is marked with Campfire, Cultural Show, Drum Festival, Libation, Dedication to the Ancestors and Feast of ethnic foods.

The Buxton-Friendship Restoration Committee, supported by the US-based Buxton-Friendship Heritage Group, leads off the annual Emancipation commemoration with a week of activities that include Church Service; Art, Craft & Book Exhibitions; Documentary Film Shows;  Cultural Show and Fair; Queen Pageant & Gala Affair; Senior Citizens’ Party; Culture Camp for Youths; Excursion Tours to Historic Sites and Museums for Youths; Lectures and Discussions on the History, Struggles and Accomplishments of our Ancestors.

Other major celebrations in the Village are organized for the Mashramani, Easter and Christmas Holidays. “Mash” is marked with magnificent road tramps, costume parades and Soca parties. The Easter holidays bring home a swell of overseas-based villagers and grand attendance at church services. The children enjoy Kite-flying, while adults find entertainment at parties and excursions. Christmas continues to be the most extravagant celebration in the village, with indulgence in new home furnishings, lavish menus, gifts, new and fancy attire, and parties. 

Buxton is the original home of the popular Buxton Spice Mango. This distinctly sweet fleshy yellowish-red fruit, when ripe, grows abundantly in the fertile backlands of the village. The farms also produce an abundance of coconuts, sugar cane, and other fruits.

Buxton People Stop Train”: This legend goes back to 1862 when villagers, arming themselves with cutlasses, axes, sticks and other implements, laid wait along the railway line to intercept a locomotive train carrying the governor, whose audience they fiercely sought. It was the last resort in a series of efforts by them to secure the abolishment of a repressive tax that was imposed on the properties of several villagers. As the train approached the village, several men and women formed themselves into a human shield, forcing the driver to bring the train to an immediate halt. The protestors then proceeded to immobilize the engine by applying chains and locks to its wheels. This forced the governor to step out and meet with villagers. After listening to their complaint, he reportedly decided to rescind the burdensome tax. Ever since, Buxtonians have earned the reputation as a people of unequalled courage.

 

 

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1.      Thou wilt not cower in the dust

Buxton my own native land,

Thy glorious name shall never rust,

Oh Buxton my own native land.

 

2.    Remember Fredericks, yes we must,

The Buxton Scholarship his thrust.

And now he slumbers in the dust,

In Buxton my own native land.

 

 

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3       And now may every girl and boy,

In Buxton my own native land,

His heart and brain all day employed,

In Buxton my own native land.

 

4.      To add to our illustrious line

Of sons and daughters who all time,

Give of their best that you may shine

For Buxton my own native land.

The Buxton Battle Song (Anthem)

Theme for 2013: Milestones to Freedom: Resistance, Resolve, Emancipation & Entrepreneurship

The Premier Village

This anthem was developed by two teachers of the then Buxton Congregational (Missionary) School—Teacher George Younge and Ms. Jacobs. It is sung at the beginning of every public event organized by Buxtonians at home and abroad. It inspires pride, passion and personal dedication to the preservation and protection of our Heritage.

“The race of people who do not thirst with assiduity for Education is doomed. You and your children must make the sacrifice. If you don’t, then the great dreams of the people who bought and established these villages will be undeservedly squandered.”

 

The Legendary Simeon Josephus “Prophet” Wills

At the dedication of The Buxton Monument

In honour of the Centenary Anniversary of Emancipation

1st August, 1938

 

 

 

 

 

Text Box: Emancipation
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Text Box: Village Stalwarts I
Text Box: Landmarks
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Text Box: Premier Village
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Text Box: Buxton Purchase
Text Box: Friendship Purchase
Text Box: Education Pioneers
Text Box: Church Pioneers
Text Box: Social Change
Text Box: Other Ethnicities
Text Box: Village Stalwarts II
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Text Box: Poems
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