Easter 2002

Posted April 2nd. 2001 Stabroek News - Guyana Chronicle

GUYANESE seemingly took it easy yesterday, preferring to laze or picnic under the cool shade of a tree or makeshift tent rather than engage in the strenuous task of raising the traditional kite which has over the years come to be looked upon as the high point of the Easter holidays.

But a West Coast Berbice resident, Mr. Freddie Persaud, probably made up for the others with a 25-foot high kite he eventually got up in the air at Hope Beach.

He felt it was the biggest kite around this year and it probably was.

However, even at the regular kite-flying haunts such as the Joe Vieira Park just off the Demerara Harbour bridge on the West Bank Demerara, the National Park and the Georgetown sea wall, you could almost count the number of kites in the sky which is mighty unusual at this time of year.

People seemed to be more interested in what they had in their baskets and coolers, which came in all shapes, sizes and colours, or to be just content with catching up on the latest gossip, while the kids had a good romp in the grass or wandered aimlessly around. SHOWSTOPPER: Freddie Persaud's 25-footer.

Many didn't even bother walking with a kite.

Another departure from tradition, it was pointed out, is that persons are now coming out much later than usual, though this year it may have been because of yesterday's sweltering heat, pegged at between 29 - 31 degrees Celsius.

Things began to pick up somewhere after 13:00 hrs when it was that people began to venture into the streets in spite of the sun, but not without some sort of shelter, usually in the form of an umbrella.

Out at Joe Vieira's, it was more of a picnic mood, with cars and private mini-buses jostling for parking space on either side of the road and whole families encamped under the palm and other species of trees in the park proper.

Many families were also seen encamped outside the Continental Group of Companies head office at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, which is a relatively new development, as was the sea of marquees and tents along the stretch of seawall between Sheriff Street and just before the Ocean View International Hotel at Liliendaal, on the lower East Coast Demerara.

At the national Park. Aeroplane kites: One of the few ingenuities this Easter.

Further along the coast, things were relatively quiet except for sporadic glimpses of a few kites here and there and the tell-tale drone where families set up picnic sites.
Things were relatively lively up at Hope Beach, where a beer guzzling competition among other side attractions were set to take place later in the afternoon.

It was there we met Persaud, who challenged himself into making a 25 x 19-foot monster of a kite, which he swore was the biggest in the country this Easter.

One of the many families picnicking at the Joe Vieira Park yesterday.

Hailed from Number Four Village, on the West Coast Berbice, he said it took him about three days to make and with considerable help from friends and neighbours in the village.

He used fishing net to back it so that the paper would hold fast and the aluminum frame was donated by the Rubex firm of the Coldingen Industrial Estate, East Coast Demerara.

Patriotic to the core, he made it in the colours of the national standard, but named it 'Prince Andrew' after his youngest son.

It was not his first time rising to such a challenge

Persaud anchors himself to keep a firm grip on the kite.

One of many families which spent the day at Hope beach.

Fashion galore at Hope Beach.


Three to four years ago he said he made a 15-footer, and last year he made a 20-footer which he raised on Number Six beach, Berbice.

"I like doing the impossible; that's the type of person I am," Persaud said.

Though he wanted to, he said he did not participate in this year's kite-flying competition because the organisers were only putting up $15,000 as the grand prize.

"...and that's just pocket money," Persaud said, since it cost him more than $100,000 to make his kite. The frame alone, which he got gratis, cost about $66,000.

He got it flying with the help of some six men and it turned out to be a showstopper.

Freddie Persaud being helped by friends to raise his kite at Hope Beach.


And They Flew: These unusual kites were the unusual winners in the unusual categories of the Smalta and Vita Malt Kite competitions yesterday. Here members of the Winter family of Linden pose with their winning entries. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Fanfair)

HOPE SCENE: out for the Easter fun at Hope Beach, East Coast Demerara yesterday. (Cullen Bess-Nelson photos)

Members of the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) at the National Park yesterday. From left Lex Hogenbosch, Els Gelders (partly hidden) and Netty Hogenbosch. They told Stabroek News that they have been in Guyana for the past two years and seven months and have enjoyed the Easter festival.(Ken Moore photo)

Guyana's finest: these ranks were part of the hightened police presence during yesterday's activities. (Ken Moore photo)

Expert Entertainment: This young lady treated photographer Ken Moore to a display of her Easter-Monday expertise.

"Pretty Maids all in a row": Photographer Ken Moore caught these four beauties on their way to the Everest Cricket Club to enjoy yesterday's Easter Monday activities.

These young ladies, (from left) Prya Persaud, Stephanie Merhi and Arifa Jameer who were enjoying yesterday's festivities at the Everest Cricket Club, managed to find a moment for photographer Ken Moore.

Star Struck: This young man favoured this peculiar kite design yesterday. (Photo by Lawrence Fanfair)

A Family Affair: Photographer Ken Moore captured this family as they made their way to the Everest Cricket Club yesterday.

Anything but: This quite large entry was Orin David's contribution to the Smalta Kite competition. (Photograph by Ken Moore)

An Easter Endeavor: Works Minister Anthony Xavier along with his wife and daughter yesterday at the Everest Cricket Club. (Photograph by Ken Moore)

Industrious Friends: This group of friends from Industry were on their way to test their creation when they paused for photographer Lawrence Fanfair yesterday.

The Seaforth family at the sea-walls yesterday. Young Christopher (far left) and his father Terrence attracted and delighted many curious on-lookers with these highly original designs, which lit-up the sky while they were in flight. (Lawrence Fanfair Photo

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