Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 16, 2023 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom
Kaieteur News – He did it! Ray Daggers has completed a marathon walk from Moleson Creek to Charity, a distance of 180 miles. After 12 grueling days, Ray Daggers completed his mission yesterday. He was accompanied by a large following.
It was an emotional moment, for all involved, when the walk finally ended at Charity, on the bank of the Pomeroon River. It was fitting that Daggers should have ended his heroic walk in the presence of so many persons who trekked with him along the journey. The final leg was by far the most taxing. The day started out in La Union, almost 20 miles away from Charity. But the distance seemed much longer. Yesterday, Daggers walked non-stop for 6 and half hours. How he remained standing after such an arduous final leg is beyond comprehension.
If there was more road on which to walk, Daggers could have gone much further. Despite being 65-years-old, he completed 180 miles in a mere 12 days. He averaged 15 miles per day, an astonishing feat. Had the Coast been 60 miles longer, Daggers would have eclipsed the 240 miles Salt March of Mahatma Gandhi which was done in 24 days.
Even more significant was that such a walk has not been attempted in Guyana for the past 37 years. The last person to complete such a walk was Dr. Rupert Roopnarine. Since then, no one has attempted to do such a walk. As Glenn Lall, who was with him along the entire journey, said, “It was a marvelous journey.” It was not only marvelous, it was gallant. Ray Daggers was the man of the moment not only yesterday but over the past 12 days. He had the nation’s attention for the last two weeks after it was announced he would be undertaking the walk.
Even though the mainstream media except for Kaieteur News, and many social media platforms did not cover the walk–one newspaper carried two stories when the walk started–Guyanese at home and abroad were able to see this brave effort via a live stream on the Facebook pages of Kaieteur Radio and Kaieteur News.
As a result, people all over the world saw this heroic act and people were cheering him on and congratulating Daggers on what he was doing for the country and people. It was so fitting that at the end of the walk he was joined by two school children because it is their future that he was helping to secure. Ray Daggers is now a household name. Guyanese along the way came out in their own private way and supported the walk morally and materially. And the number of persons who walked the final two days with Daggers showed that the walk had picked up momentum as it progressed.
When the history of Guyana is written – long after you and I are gone from this world– the name Ray Daggers will be featured prominently because of what he did. This walk was not for the history books, not in the sense of breaking any record. But it will end up in the history books because of the tremendous courage of Ray Daggers who was prepared to put his body through a punishing regimen in order to show his opposition to the unfair deal which Guyana got from the oil companies. Ray Daggers therefore has walked straight into the history books. When the victory for a better deal is won, Ray Daggers will receive more than honorary mention. He will be seen as an example and inspiration for others and someone who stood up when needed to.
His marathon walk has inspired tens of thousands across Guyana. He has shown the power of peaceful and orderly protest. He has shown the power of self-sacrifice. He was not only prepared to criticize what he saw as wrong but he literally walked the talk. That is the stuff of which champions are made. By his courage, super-human strength and stamina, Ray Daggers has given this nation hope. There were many who were prepared to throw their hands up in despair and frustration, unable to see a way forward in the struggle to ensure a better life for the present and future generations. People now have more inspiration to continue the fight for a better deal. People are now energized by the example of Ray Daggers. Hope has been restored to the struggle for a better deal.
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