Priest publishes memoir
Spending a total of 43 years on our shores, Anglican priest Fr Derek Goodrich, A.A. has certainly earned the name ‘Guyanese’ in many ways. Just over a decade after leaving here to return to his first home, England, Fr Goodrich has returned, with a book that he spent the past two years writing.
Ramblings of a Parish Priest is a special work of literature that chronicles the past experiences, enjoyment, challenges and the people that Fr Goodrich has met over the years while he served as priest at various locations in Guyana.
Born in South London in 1927, he attended National Service a few years later; then he entered seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1952 and priest in 1953 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
He traveled to British Guiana in 1957 and served as Canon of St George’s Cathedral, Rural Dean, Examining Chaplain, Principal of the Diocesan Ordination Scheme, Archdeacon, Dean of Georgetown and Vicar General.
He also served as parish priest in many parishes across Guyana, including St Phillips, St Sidwell’s, All Saints’, St Aloysius and St George’s. In 2000, he retired from priestly duties and returned to the U.K. He currently resides at the College of St Barnabas in Surrey, a residential Home for ancient priests.
Fr Goodrich has been in Guyana through the tumultuous periods in the history of the country, especially when the politics had gone bad. He endured it all. He wrote about some of these experiences, along with fond memories in the various parishes, in his book, which was published two weeks ago.
“I want to remember what I’ve done and the people I’ve met”, he said. He noted that Guyana is a very religious place. “Guyana has a sense of God. Most people believe in God. Europe has a very secular society but in Guyana, God is a reality”.
Now returning to Guyana some 10 years later, he is surprised at how the capital city, Georgetown, has changed and extended. He recollected the story behind Aubrey Barker Street in Georgetown.
He said that Barker was a Town Planner for Georgetown who designed the layout of areas such as Mandela Avenue, East and West Ruimveldt, Tucville, South Ruimveldt and Festival City—names that he vividly remembers to this day.
For his great contributions to the spiritual welfare of Guyanese, Fr Goodrich received a national award, the Golden Arrow of Achievement a few years ago. He returns to the U.K. in a few days’ time. (Leon Suseran)