By Sean Devers
Growing up in the Amerindian Village of St Cuthbert’s Mission on the Mahaica River and 57 miles from Georgetown through the Linden Highway, National Volleyball player Cassie Junor is changing concept that sports is not for girls in her 240.00 square mile Village she calls home.
In a community of just over 200 households, St. Cuthbert’s is regarded by many people in Guyana as the “cultural capital” for Amerindians.
A quarter of St Cuthbert’s titled communal village lands are in Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice), with the other three quarters lying in Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica).
“Sports is not such a big thing for girls in Pakuri since girls are expected to be at home doing chores or helping out, looking after younger siblings,” informed Cassie, who played football in Secondary School, participated in Track and Field and took part in swimming at the National School’s Championship in 2016.
Before Saint Cuthbert’s Day in 1889 when the village was renamed St. Cuthbert’s Mission by the first Anglican missionaries who arrived there, the Village was named “Pakuri” after the Platonia trees that were then plentiful in the area.
Cassie was born on December 19, 1999 in St Cuthbert’s Mission to Raymond Junor and Loleta Simon, she has four brothers and a sister.
She attended the St Cuthbert’s Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools and graduated in 2016 from Secondary School.
“Growing up in Pakuri is the best thing that ever happened to me, swimming in the Mahaica river, climbing trees, picking fruits and going fishing up and down the river. My grandparents are farmers and I would go with them on weekends to help them plant. Everyday there was something new and exciting to do,” the 20-year-old informed.
“I became interested in Volleyball when I first started Secondary school, back then only boys would play Volleyball.
I used to sit and watch them play every day after school, hoping that one day I could play and be as good as them,” said Cassie who made her debut on the National Volleyball team in 2014 for the Inter-Guiana Games in Suriname.
Cassie has a multitude of talents and the strikingly pretty young lass got involved in modelling when she won the 2017 Miss St Cuthbert’s Heritage pageant and then went on to represent Region 4 at the Miss Indigenous Heritage pageant in Georgetown.
“I love sports …any sports, but most of all I enjoy spending quality time with my family in St Cuthbert’s which is still called Pakuri by many. I also relish Indigenous food of course…. like the famous Cassava bread and pepper pot with some cool fly,” added Cassie who last represented Guyana in Volleyball last February in French Guiana.
Cassie informed that the Corona virus has affected the entire Village. Persons are scared and mostly staying indoors, the roads are empty and the playfield, which is mostly sand but has a mud cricket pitch on it, is also empty.
“The playfields, which was highly populated in the afternoons with boys and girls, men and Women playing all types of sports, are now empty.
Villagers are scared to go to Georgetown to buy their little groceries. They have to shop right in the Village for items costing twice as much as in the City,” Cassie lamented.
She explained that the Council formed a task force to create and oversee precautionary measures to combat the spreading of the COVID-19.
“No visitors are allowed into the Village and a gate is under construction to prevent persons from traversing in and out of the Village. When the gate is completed persons who wish to enter the Village would have to seek permission from the Toshao,” informed Cassie, who is a final year student at the Cyril Potter College of Education pursuing an associate degree in Education.
“Sadly I can’t play any Volleyball or any other sport since Villagers were asked by the Village Council to practice social distancing,” the Castrol Strikers player revealed.
She is one of the characters featured in a commercial for E-Networks Cable service in remote areas.
“I ended up in the E-networks commercial after being in a GBTI commercial some months before. They wanted to do a commercial in my Village and was seeking persons to be in it and our former Toshao Lenox Shuman (Presidential canidate-LJP) told them about me,” disclosed Cassie who is presently in St Cuthbert’s.
Cassie, who usually resides in Georgetown due to her studies to become a qualified Teacher after which she intends to return to serve her community as a Teacher, pleaded with the Guyanese people to help in the fight against the Covid-19.
“I would plead with them to comply with the instructions and guidelines given by the WHO and the Ministry of Health. Let us continue to wash and sanitise our hands and practice social distancing and let’s express love by staying that 3 meters away. Remember if you stay at home you are not only protecting yourself but others also,” Cassie concluded.
May 31, 2020By Sean Devers Thirty-four-year-old fast bowling all-rounder Guyanese Tremayne Dequette Smartt has played 57 ODIs and 58 T20 games for the West Indies Women’s Team but none since March 2018 when...
May 31, 2020
May 31, 2020
May 31, 2020
May 30, 2020
May 30, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]