… but says more care needs to be taken of the environment
By Enid Joaquin
An overseas-based Lindener, who recently spent nine days in his hometown with his family, is convinced that the place where he was born and bred for the first 17 years of his life, is any tourist’s ultimate dream, with its black
water creeks, blue lakes and rich history.
However, he is of the opinion more emphasis needs to be placed on care of the environment.
Lennox “Soul” Haynes, a qualified respiratory therapist, currently resides with his Jamaica-born wife, Michelle, and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. However, a part of him still lingers in this mining town that always conjures up nostalgic memories of his early life, growing up on Parsons Road, in the Linden Constabulary Compound, and later in the Industrial area, where his parents built their home.
Lennox, according to his sister Dr. Esther Haynes-Tross, played an integral role in helping to build that house, even though he was only a teen at the time.
For Lennox Haynes, things have come a far way from the days when he lived with his parents and 12 siblings in “Constab” and the Industrial area.
“Now there are more houses. As a matter of fact, there are a lot more beautiful homes, and a whole lot of cars; back in those days there weren’t so many cars and a lot of persons lived in range houses, which the company had built for the bauxite workers.
“The houses in the constabulary compound were also built by the company for its security personnel.”
Lennox said that he was pleased with this development, because it shows progress in some areas. But he expressed disappointment that the Town is not aesthetically kept as it was in those early days.
“I do believe that Linden was the cleanest town in Guyana – all the drains were clean and yards and lawns were well kept, so I think we have to return to that level of cleanliness, because it’s important if we are to attract tourists and keep them coming back.”
Lennox cited the mobile phone, which he said that tourists would use to good effect to broadcast images of the sites they visit. “So if we don’t take care of our environment, all of that ugliness would be broadcast all over the world, and those are not the type of pictures we want to go out there.
“We want to showcase our beautiful Town and by extension the country in a pristine state, so we have to pay more attention to how the environment is kept.
Lennox said that boosting tourism in Linden would be easy, as long as basic infrastructure such as roads and proper drainage are maintained.
“There is a lot here that tourists from all over the world would want to come and see. We have our rich history in mining with some of our famous relics still intact. There’s the Alumina Plant which could be showcased as it stands, with the corresponding history as to how it would have played a pivotal role in World War Two.
“Some people might not know that a lot of the alumina that was produced here was shipped abroad and used to make airplanes and submarines that helped to fight the war. That’s history that has impacted the world, and not just Guyana.”
Lennox also spoke of the bauxite ore cars, locomotives and other relics which he posited should be preserved and used as engines of growth in the tourism sector—-one which would be unique to Linden and by extension Guyana, as one of the most prolific bauxite and alumina producers in the world, in the early days.
With a genuine love for his hometown, returning to share his expertise and knowledge with fellow Lindeners is definitely a move that Lennox views optimistically.
Should this become a reality, this would certainly prove to be advantageous to Lindeners whose susceptibility to respiratory diseases is high, because of the dust in the atmosphere.
Lennox Haynes is a qualified respiratory therapist, who practices in Atlanta. He has been there for the past ten years.
Having migrated to the United States over 40 years ago, Lennox said that his first job was as a factory worker. But he soon grew tired of that, as it was not his calling. So it was that subsequently, after a short stint in the banking sector, he enrolled at St Frances College, Brooklyn, New York.
During the same period he also landed a job at a nearby hospital upon the advice of a friend, who told him that studying in the medical field would always guarantee one a job. There he was trained as a respiratory therapist, for two years. He later registered at Long Island University where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in that field.
Lennox would meet his wife Michelle Brenda Lee Shand, who was recruited as a nurse from Jamaica, and was working at the Long Island College hospital, where he was working.
Having grown up in rural Jamaica, Michelle says that she loves Guyana, because it is so much like Jamaica. Reflecting on her recent vacation here in Linden, she said it was a blast, and that she felt like a celebrity, because of the way she was treated by the people, whom she described as extremely friendly and courteous.
She is a qualified pediatric nurse practitioner, and currently works at the children’s hospital in Georgia, in the United States. She also works in the Intensive care unit of the hospital.
They are the parents of two boys, Bradley and Brandon.
Lennox also has a daughter here in Linden, whom he had fathered before migrating to the United States.
Last Father’s Day was a first for the family in many ways, and according to Lennox, the most unique. It was the first visit back home with his family; his wife and children’s first visit to Guyana; and for Lennox the first time meeting his daughter that he had fathered so many years before.
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