The versatile Dr Joseph Haynes is a ‘Special Person’
“I believe that the body heals itself, as long as you do what it takes to give the body the necessary things which it needs, you can overcome any condition. That is what I believe and that is what I teach people.”
By Enid Joaquin
Mesmeric, somehow seems the only apt word to describe my recent interview with Dr Joseph Haynes. Here is a man that candidly admits that he sometimes shed tears – an admission that many men would find totally emasculating, but not this week’s ‘special person’.
Dr. Haynes knows just how to hold an audience captive – whether talking about his life, his work, hobbies, or passionately weaving magic with his drum sticks.
I stood transfixed as I watched him play the drums recently – in awe at his dexterity with those sticks.
The pulsating rhythms captivated me to the point, where I almost forgot the purpose of my visit. I just wanted to break into wild gyrations; but then perhaps, the good doctor might have recommended an immediate mental evaluation, and you would not be reading this.
A cancer survivor, erstwhile boxer, qualified mechanical engineer, talented musician, poet, writer, businessman, doctor and one skilled in preparing many culinary delights, are I think, reasons enough to deem Dr Haynes a special person.
It takes only a brief rapport with this distinguished son of the soil, for one to recognize that here is a man imminently blessed, not only with material appurtenances, but a wealth of knowledge, which he is always eager and happy to share, not necessarily for material gain, but because of his love for humanity.
It is this love for humanity, especially for his Guyanese brothers and sisters that has kept him in the country of his birth, despite the more lucrative beckoning of the developed world, Haynes acknowledges.
He has vowed to remain here, to contribute to the further development of his hometown, Linden, using his diverse skills and resources, to ‘help make a change’.
Haynes is convinced that Linden can return to its former glory days, but people have to first of all start preparing for such change, he reflects.
He speaks of change continually – how as Guyanese we ought to change our mindset and attitudes – our behavioral patterns, the way we live, eat and even the way we think!
He constantly admonishes men, to take their roles as fathers and leaders more seriously and to stop relegating the duties of parenting to women alone.
Although Haynes credits his mother with helping him to become the successful person he is today, he asserts that his father was always there to help guide him along.
This proud, but humble Lindener, was born October 8th 1956, to Elaine and Cecil Haynes. He lived in Industrial Area, and on Parsons Road, Mackenzie, as a child. He comes from a large family of thirteen; eight boys and five girls.
“I come from a family of musicians,” he proudly asserts.
Such was the family’s love for music, that they owned the renowned Cannon Balls Band. Today, the group is no longer playing, but Haynes, who still has the instruments, is determined to resuscitate the band.
“All I need are some committed musicians and vocalists, and we’re good to go; we can have that band up and running again,” he stated enthusiastically.
Haynes himself would be a part of the band, if time permitted, but as it is he will have to be content with just beating the drums, “to relieve stress” as is now his wont.
Joseph Haynes attended the Mackenzie All-Age School and Hooper High Schools respectively. He later became a student of the Demba Trade School, presently the Linden Technical Institute, before migrating to the United States with his family.
He earned his first degree through City and Guilds of London in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. While employed at I.B.M, he attended Auburn University in Montgomery Alabama. He resigned from I.B.M. Corporation in 1985 and sojourned to the faculty of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama.
Continuing his quest for more knowledge he also attended Clayton School of Natural Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama, Ohio State University, Ohio U.S.A. and Chapman’s College in California U.S.A. He has earned the following Diplomas and Degrees ,Doctor of Naturopathy – ND, Metaphysical Sciences – PhD, Certified Clinical Nutritionist – CCN Certified Colon Therapist – CT, Ultra Sound Technologist – UST Massage Therapist – MT.
But he is more inclined to reminisce on his childhood days – when he helped his mother to ‘fetch’ boxes of haberdashery and shoes on his head to the market, where they operated their business – than on his sojourn in America.
“In those days, we used to stock the best shoes – my mother was very proud of that business,” Haynes declares with palpable nostalgia.
Being in his teens when he migrated, afforded him the opportunity to enter the United States Navy. Haynes said he opted to enter the Navy because he “hated New York”.
It was while in the Navy that he developed a flair for writing poetry.
“Lots of my poems were penned, while I sat on deck, just gazing at the ocean – it was a way to occupy myself when there was nothing else to do.
Haynes said that he was exposed to many disciplines in the Navy that he really wished a lot of the youths in Guyana could be exposed to.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Haynes went to work for IBM. It was while working there that he was struck with the most devastating blow.
He was diagnosed with colon cancer. But while his battle with the disease proved to be one of the most challenging episodes of his life, it would also change his life forever.
Haynes said he never took any of the medicines that were prescribed for his condition, as he was convinced that there had to be another way to beat the disease. He subsequently embarked on a programme, of ‘natural therapy”.
“I did colon therapy and changed my dietary habits, cutting out all meat products and by-products, and within three to four months I went back for my biopsy, where it showed that there was no trace of cancer.
My doctor at first, thought that it was the medicines that he had given me that had healed me, but I told him no, I hadn’t taken any. Then I went to my car and got the whole bag of medicines, which I had saved as evidence that I hadn’t taken any of the pills that had been prescribed. I took them to him and showed him. He was blown away, he couldn’t believe it.”
Haynes said that the physician was so ecstatic that he had beaten the disease, he told him, “Whatever you did to help yourself to overcome this condition, you need to go and learn that and master it and teach people what to do.”
That was in 1981. Haynes later took the doctor’s advice, and resigned from his job at IBM and began his education in the field of medicine, by enrolling in quite a few universities and colleges.
Today he is qualified not only in fixing engines and their components, but in helping people to heal from medical ailments.
“I’m here because of my experience, teaching people that they can overcome cancer. Now everyone is not going to be as I strong as I was, but I tell you what… I believe that the body heals itself, as long as you do what it takes to give the body the necessary things which it needs, you can overcome any condition. That is what I believe and that is what I teach people.
My main reason for switching careers, from engineering to medicine is because I believe that I can help more people in this field of endeavour.”
Dr Haynes is the proprietor of the Health and Wellness Clinics in Georgetown and Linden, and the Linden School of Excellence.
The Health and Wellness clinic in Linden, celebrates its third anniversary this year, and Haynes promises that there is more to come, including the establishment of a business complex in Central Amelia’s Ward.
The establishment of the clinic came as a surprise to many who thought that given the town’s economic climate, anyone investing that much, had to either be a perpetual optimist or a total fool.
Haynes is a perpetual optimist, who believes in the community of his birth.
“Now I could have built this clinic someplace else, but I wanted to do it here, my navel string is here, and so I had to come back here and do something. I love this community and I have faith in it, and this clinic is strategically placed, that people from all across Region 10 could have access to our services.”
Haynes currently serves as the Vice President of the Guyana Association of Alternative Medical Practitioners; the Chairman of the Board of the Consumers Complex in Linden, and Guyana’s FIFA-appointed Physical Therapist for the Guyana Football Federation.
Haynes admits that he would love to serve as mayor of the mining Town, if he had the time.
‘There is so much that I know that I could do here – this place can become a model Town.”
Dr Haynes is married to Esther Anne, and has been blessed with three sons -Joseph, Jeremy and Joel.
Today being Father’s Day, Haynes said that he will most likely spend it with his youngest son (Joel). “We will most likely go fishing and do some cooking, because the rest of the family is overseas. It will be a quiet day for us.”