Guyana’s Premier Village
Theme for 2013: Milestones to Freedom: Resistance, Resolve, Emancipation & Entrepreneurship
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Toucan II Multipurpose Club
Toucan II Multipurpose Club is a non-profit organization which strives to guide youths of the greater Buxton-Friendship area into developing exemplary lives for themselves, their families and their community.
The Club was established on 3rd August, 1996 by its founder, Yvette Herod, a teacher and prominent community activist, who has continued to work tirelessly for the restoration of cultural, social, educational and economic progress in the village. It was also an offshoot of the annual Emancipation celebrations held in Buxton.
Since there had been a “Club Toucan” in the village before, the new group decided to add the Roman numerals, “II” (2), to its name as a mark of distinction. Its Multi-purpose signature points to the broad programme of extra-curricular activities which fit into three distinct categories:
* Fundamental Literacy skills
* Information Technology
* Academic studies
* Music Lessons
* Fine Arts study
* Communication/Public Speaking/Debating
* Vocational/Technological skills training
* Craftwork—Knitting, Tie-dying, Handmade Toys Ornaments, etc.,
* Girl Guide and Majorette troops
* Drama, Poetry and Cultural Dancing
* Promotion, organization and support of Cultural pageants
* Educational Tours
* August day camps
* Planning of activities for Emancipation programme, in collaboration with the First of August Movement
* Church visits
* Outreach to the sick and shut-ins.
* Feeding programmes
* Physical Education classes and Walkathons
* Sports—Cricket, Football, Table Tennis, Karate, etc.
* Health Outreach programmes in collaboration with other agencies
* Volunteerism—Clean-up campaigns; Painting pedestrian signs. Toucan II Multipurpose Club fenced the African Emancipation Monument (AEM) with the help of Miller Construction Company, owned by Glendon Miller (now deceased), and continues to maintain it.
The Club’s uniform consists of gold shirt and navy blue skirt/trousers, while its motto is: “Together We Build, Together We Share, We Are One.”
Toucan II had very humble beginnings, starting off at the home of Brother Kwame Apata, who willingly offered a small cottage at the front of his yard, at Friendship, for the organization to conduct meetings with the following admonition: “You have your work cut out for you.” Club meetings were held initially on Saturday of each week, but as time went by it was determined that Sunday was preferred by a majority of the membership.
The membership grew very rapidly hence, members were forced to move to the bottom of a bigger house also owned by Brother Apata and in the same yard.
About six months later, the club was offered another meeting place at the Seaforth’s residence, at 51 Buxton Middle Walk, from where it operated for approximately two (2) years, after which it was forced to relocate due to needed repairs to the building. Timely approval was granted by the Chairman and Councilors of Buxton-Foulis NDC for the use of the Village Hall in 2002. The club operated from there until 2003, when the Ministry of Education allocated two classrooms on the top floor of the reconstructed Buxton-Friendship Primary School for use by Toucan II.
Toucan II has grown tremendously over the years and continues to give back to the Buxton-Friendship. Youths are offered a secure place where they can take advantage of all the services offered. The club currently has hundreds of members on roll, and enjoys strong participation by more than one hundred and fifty active members, whose ages range from six to adult.
Members come from the Buxton-Friendship and other surrounding communities such as Annandale, Vigilance, Strathspey and Melanie Damishana.
Over the years, Toucan II has expanded its contribution to make a meaningful impact on the Guyanese society through its hard work and dedication to fostering a strong and positive environment for children and young adults. It is a designated community-based organization for the execution of special programmes and projects, often collaborating with government agencies and community organisations, such as: Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports; Ministry of Labour and Human Services; Ministry of Education; The National School of Dance; First of August Movement; African Cultural Development Association (ACDA); Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council (N.D.C.), etc.,
A few years ago, the Club joined with ACDA and the N.D.C. in executing a Chicken Rearing project, underwritten by the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.). Each of forty farmers in the community benefited from the distribution of one hundred chicks, a seven-week supply of feed and a coop.
During the early years of the criminal siege, the Club collaborated with the Guyana Defence Force in hosting a two-week recreational camp for one hundred youths residing in areas most affected by the crisis.
The International Development Bank (IDB) funded a programme through ACDA for three at-risk communities, Buxton, Agricola and Albouystown. Toucan was used as the Community-based Organisation to assist with the selection process for the Buxton youths. The IDB representative visited Toucan where he interviewed the youths as well as the community leader.
The Club also successfully staged a six-month training programme in HIV/AIDS Life Cycle Management and Counseling; Entrepreneurship; and Leadership. Eighty-seven villagers benefited from the exercise.
Toucan II continues to work with groups, such as CAFRA, and exemplary individuals, based at home or overseas, to deliver lectures on topics of interest and benefit to the community. Some of those covered recently were: Youth Responsibility, Gender & Equality, HIV/AIDS, Leadership and other life skills.
The current slate of educational activities includes classes in Computer Literacy and Electronic Information Processing. Through the generous donations of several computers by various charitable organizations and government agencies, the Club offers free classes to residents. The programme caters to students, teachers and parents. By appealing to single-parents, Toucan seeks to equip these household heads with increased skills to better provide for their families. Other activities on the agenda include sewing, craft and a reading club.
Toucan II Club has a unique organizational structure when compared to typical youth clubs. It has an Executive body as well as a Board of Elders, which is tasked with the overall management of the organization.
The body of elders, in collaboration with the Executive Committee, oversees the Club’s day-to-day operations and offers policy advisory when needed. Many are of the opinion that this may be the reason for its many years of existence. Brother Eusi Kwayana is one of the Founding Elders of the organization and continues to play a vital role. Brothers Kwesi Nkofi and Hector Lee as well as Sister Molly Browne, all now deceased, were also elders of the Club.
Toucan II executes its mandate by way of donations from public/community-spirited individuals and donor agencies, as well as proceeds earned from fundraising events. The Club takes this opportunity to express its sincere gratitude to all who have contributed to, and supported, its efforts to establish a model youth organization for community development and character building.
The Club’s most recent undertaking is the erection of a club house to accommodate its growing list of members and essential programme of activities. Construction of the Youth & Community Centre, which was started in 2007, has been on hold for quite some time now, due to the lack of available resources. The organization will gladly welcome financial, or any other mode of assistance from government, non-government organisations, corporate and private donors to complete the construction of the centre.
The members also take this opportunity to extend a special note of thanks to the Board of Elders, executives, teachers and friends who have kept and continue to keep the club alive for fifteen (15) years.
“The measure of a man is not the number of servants he has but the number of people he serves”
Contact Person: Sister Yvette Herod
Mobile Phone: 592-610-4339
Buxton United Sports Club
In 1981, two altruistic Buxtonians, Lorna Campbell and Roderick Huntley, came together and founded the Buxton Sports Club, a forerunner of the Buxton United Sports Club.
The Buxton Sports Club was formally established on 29th March, 1981 with the express purpose to enhance the social development of youths in the community through sports and cultural programs.
The honorary chairman of the organization was Mr. John Abrams, who gave the club precious guidance and invaluable moral and financial support. Today, Mr. Abrams is sadly no longer with us, but members, both past and present, will forever cherish his dedication and generosity to the entire community.
The first general elections saw Mr. Burchnell “Far” Abrams elected as president. Also elected to serve on that executive committee were Mr. Clayton Quintin Bacchus-Vice President, Ms. Lorna Campbell-General Secretary, Mr. Roderick Huntley-Organizing Secretary, and Ms. Carol Goodman-Treasurer.
In subsequent elections, Dr. Montague Hope, Mr. Theodore Morris, and Mr. Harris Azore also served as president of the organization.
The Club attracted members from all specters of the community. Some, whose names quickly come to memory are: Ruth Abrams, Stella Abrams (deceased), Neil Andrews, Aubrey Assanah, Carl Austin, Handel Austin, Diane Bathersfield, Orrin Bathersfield, Trevor Bharratt, Basil “Simba” Blair, Denise Booker, Patrick Byrne, Andrew and Camille Carmichael, Charlton Carter, Brian Chester, Mortimer Chester (deceased), Brian Connell (deceased), Max David, Rennison David, Lyndon France, Colin Garnett, Cheryl Donna Glen, Hazel Glen Abrams, Dawn Gonzalves-Andries, Marcel Gonzalves Grant, Allison Goodridge (deceased), Godfrey Harry, Aubrey Isaacs, Gavin and Margo Isaacs, Stanley Laundry, Remington London, Dawn McRae, Gordon McRae, Jenny McRae, Luther Miller, Brian Moses, Handel Moses, Wayne Newton, Orrin Newton, Patrick October (deceased), Rennison Parris, Debbie Phillips, John Phillips, Donna Reid, Vibert Rutherford, Andrew Simon, Cecil Simon, Patrick Springer, Delroy Sullivan, Carol Sutton McRae, Clive Thomas (deceased), Rudolph Thomas, Roxanne Trotman, Ronald Willabus, Lennox “Mboya” Wood, Rudolph Wood, Bayard Zephyr and David Zephyr.
After several years of existence, persistent migration began to threaten the survival of Buxton Sports Club. This led to a merger with another fledgling club in the community-Royal Sports Club, and the resulting birth of the Buxton United Sports Club in 1995.
The president of the Buxton United Sports Club is Mr. Lyndon France, one of the stalwarts of the old Buxton Sports Club. He is also a national Football coach, and has led the Buxton club to success in many competitions around the country. Mr. France is ably supported by Mr. Eton Moses, Secretary and Ms. Mary Wright, Treasurer.
Today, BUSC boasts a roster of more than one hundred members, most of them teenagers. In addition to a rigorous training program, members must agree to adhere to a strict code of discipline. The Club also serves as a vital network for members seeking educational training and gainful employment.
BUSC continues to make a notable difference in the lives of many youths in the community. With the generous support of friends like you, we can all make greater strides in returning Buxton to the premier village for culture, education and economic independence it used to be.
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