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Bertrand Aaran Abrams (1929-1969). An Unsung Guyanese Patriot

Bertrand Aaran Abrams (1929-1969).  An Unsung Guyanese Patriot
“On July 21, 1954, the plaintiff was convicted by the magistrate of the East Demerara Judicial District for being on June 10, 1954, in possession of prohibited publications contrary to s. 4 of the Undesirable Publications (Prohibition of Importation) Ordinance, and fined $25 or one month’s imprisonment in default. The complaint was filed on June 30, 1954, and made returnable for July 7, 1954.” 
“As the appeal against your conviction has been abandoned and the fine paid, I have to inform you that, in accordance with the ruling of the Law Officers for the breach of the emergency regulations, you are dismissed from your post as a Cl. II Assistant Teacher in Cane Grove Anglican School as from 11th January, 1955.”
 - Joseph H. Jones, Manager, Cane Grove Anglican School.

Opinion –
I have no recollection of anyone telling Bertrand Abrams was fired as a school teacher. And for whatever the reasons offered by the colonial authorities. Such patterns of behavior was characteristic of prior generations. I never agreed with their behaviors of keeping the younger generations in the dark. I know their perspectives of the events, would be beneficial to understanding the scheme of things.
Bertrand Abrams was not the first Guyanese schoolteacher to be dismissed by the missionaries for trivial reasons. The missionaries were the school managers of the church schools in British Guiana. In 1902 and/or there about two schoolmasters, Henry Collins of Victoria and Simeon Josephus Wills were dismissed by the missionaries. The reported circumstances are illustrated as very trivial. Wills would become the beloved heroic figure, Prophet Wills. School teachers were dismissed for such crimes as being pregnant and/or impregnating while being unmarried.  Moreover, it is high time our people stop the behavior of parroting, accepting missionaries as having our best interests foremost in their every deed. Obviously, the body of evidence of some two hundred years refute such claims. John Smith was no Demerara Martyr in August 1823. At best, historically, missionaries perpetuate a program of pacifying our people. Missionaries were employed to protect the interest of the colonial authorities, and the merchant class. In this the age of access to information,  our people need to investigate  and reevaluate events from a bottom-up perspective. A number of our scholars did  and some are doing. Aurto Schomburg, Walter Rodney, Eusi Kwayana, John Henrik Clarke, Yosef Ben Jochannan and Edward Scobie and a few others have examined historical  accounts, from an African perspective..
Bertrand Abrams wrongful dismissal suit featured the following;
L. F. S. Burnham and Dr. F. W. H. Ramsahoye for the plaintiff.
J. H. S. Elliott for the first-and third-named defendants, the members of the Governing Body of Anglican Schools in British Guiana and Joseph H. Jones, Manager, Cane Grove Anglican School.
S. S. Ramphal, Solicitor-General, for the second-named defendant, the Director of Education.
LUCKHOO, C.J. (AG.) This is a claim by the plaintiff against the defendants jointly and severally for—$10,000 as damages for wrongful dismissal.  Held: (i) the second-named defendant, the Director of Education, is a Crown servant and not a body corporate; as such he is not therefore a legal person and cannot be sued;
I am very certainly I heard Balram Singh Rai defended Bertrand Abrams free of costs in the case which was political and anti-colonial in nature. I am sure it was either Albert Glen or Rampersaud Tiwari who enlightened about this experience in Bertrand Abrams’ life.
The law suit was dismissed on April 1960.  There was simply no way no how the courts of British Guiana would have given positive verdict to any individual or group regarded as being involved with or sympathetic towards  anti-colonial struggle. Bertrand Abrams paid an unnecessary price in the anti-colonial struggle. Thus Bertrand Abrams is one of numerous unsung Guyanese who were unrewarded for their contributions to the struggle of independence.  This field seems to be exclusive domain of Heads of State and other prominent political figures and technocrats.
Bertrand Abrams migrated to the United Kingdom in 1959. His occupation is listed as Farmer.  Bertrand Abrams graduated as an economist. I am pretty sure the institution is Kings College or Kingston University. It appears Abrams did some studying at London School of Economic.  While in England, Bertrand Abrams, was attracted to CLR James’s discussion groups. He met and bonded with Walter Anthony Rodney (1942-1980). Bertrand Abrams is mentioned in the introduction of the original edition of “Grounding with my brothers” It seems to me Bertrand Abrams submitted a paper and perhaps another co-written with Norman Garvin.  I have not access his writings.
I heard Bertrand Abrams was a member of the Executive Committee of PPP,  some say PPP Burnham fraction while still others say PNC.  Some also stated General Secretary, and/or Assistant General Secretary. I have no concrete evidence. 
Newspaper accounts state Bertrand Abrams was employed as a Marketing Advisor at Guyana Marketing Corporation for six months. Prior to that period he was employed at Guyana Development Corporation. 
I recall visiting Bertrand Abrams in an office at the Bank of Guyana building, on a few occasions. I am sure. It was my first experience in an elevator. Yet, when I contacted the technocrats at Guyana Marking Corporation, I was informed they have no records of such an employee. 
In this auspices month, on Monday, October 27, 2014 marks the forty fifth (45) anniversary of the transition to the realm of spiritual existence of the man known as Bertrand Aaran Abrams (1929-1969).  
Sancho, permit this Sancho to recall two Sancho females who also transitioned in October. Sancho is referring to Gwendolyn Eleanor (Ralph) Valentine (1913 -2008) and Brenda (Abrams) Brown (1941 – 2008). Cousin Gwen transitioned to ancestor on October 3, 2008. Some five days later, Cousin Brenda experienced her last sunlight on October 8, 2008. Cousin Gwen and Cousin Brenda made an indelible impress upon my up-bringing. They always treated me as their own, regardless of the nonsense, I was perpetuating. They gave it to me raw. They scolded. Cousin Gwen whipped. They loved me because I am Sancho, Muriel’s son.
While growing up Sancho, this creature heard the name Bertrand Abrams perhaps almost every day in New Amsterdam.  It seemed.  Muriel Sancho recited names of relatives to forever impress, on my mind; to recall even to the very last breathe. I and I don’t think mother would be disappointed on that aspect of my existence.  Obviously, Bertrand Abrams was someone dear to my mother. I am informed mother choose Bertrand Abrams as her daughter’s god-father.
I have no recollection of either meeting or bonding with Bertrand Abrams prior to Tuesday, April 19, 1966. In fact, I also meet Alwyn Sancho in April 1966. I also think I met Berna Abrams (1933-1970) in April 1966. I think I also shared space with Berna Abrams in October 1969. Berna Abrams departed in November 1970. Thus, the Abrams family of Sancho people experienced three tremendous blows within a fifty five month period.  I often wondered how Randolph Aaran Abrams (1895-1989) managed on a daily basis from during that period and for the rest of his natural life, some twenty years later. The human spirit can be rather resilient.
Meeting Bertrand Abrams and Alwyn Sancho, simply allowed Muriel Sancho’s accounts to morphed into my personal life experiences. The accounts took on new meaning. Finally, the accounts left no rooms for doubt. They were now beyond any shadow of doubt.  If it were not the reasons, Bertrand Abrams and Alwyn Sancho returned to the Golden Grove and Nabaclis Village District I would have been totally elated.  I recall there was no joy for me. After all, Sancho were mourning, the departures of Eileen Esme (Sancho) Abrams (1899-1966), and Elsa (Sancho) Marious (1908-1966). They are aunt and niece, and my grand aunt and aunt, respectively.  Aunt Eileen and Aunt Elsa departed on the same day or within days of each other. Their earthy remains were interred on Sunday, April 24, 1966 at Enmore front and Golden Grove. Mother and I attended both funerals. I was overwhelmed. I never recovered. The sight of grieving Sancho people depresses me ever since that Sunday, April 24, 1966. I believe from February 5 –July 31, 1966 perhaps as many as six known Sancho relatives departed.  I am referring to Errol Sancho, John Elliott, and Alfred Sharper and perhaps, a few others I missed.
Bertrand Abrams was birthed at Nabaclis on May 4, 1929. He is the second child. The only son in a family of eight siblings.  Lammy Tuckness Sancho and his spouse Anne Elizabeth Benn, reproduced a family of one son, Joseph Thomas Sancho and six daughters. Thomas Arthur Archer and Catherine Sancho also reproduced one son Eldad Thomas Archer and seven daughters I often wondered what their experiences were.
According to Cyril Whyte’s accounts, Bertrand Abrams, Willy Steward, Bonny Benn, Winston Cosbert, Alwyn Sancho and Oswald Sancho were extremely close.  During the early 1940s, the five youngsters often accompanied Michael Harry, Patrick Harry, Thomas Harry, Cyril Whyte, Oswald Sancho and others as the played for the same cricket club from Nabaclis. It seems to me. Bertrand Abrams was well aware of T. Anson Sancho in the district. However they seemed to have had rear if any contact at all with each other.  Oswald Bland was a close early friend of Bertrand Abrams. Another early and lasting friendship developed with the man who would later became known as Eusi Kwayana. When and where Bertrand Abrams and Eusi Kwayana met initially is perhaps narrowed down to either Buxton or Golden Grove. Both men would frequent those locations prior to as far back as could ever recall. Kwayana and Abrams has ancestral connections to both districts.
Bertrand Abrams was a Pupil Teacher for several years. Bertrand Abrams later became second-class certificated assistant teacher. He was employed at St. Andrew’s and Cane Grove Anglican Schools. In fact, on January 10, 1955, Bertrand Abrams was a second-class certificated assistant teacher at the Cane Grove Anglican School. His salary was $95 per month. He dismissed from serving as a school teacher, on January 11, 1955...
On October 27, 1969, Bertrand Abrams resided with his spouse, Faye Abrams and two daughters, Bertanne Abrams and Alero Abrams at what is currently considered 39 Collins Street, Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara. Bertrand Abrams also reproduced four sons, with three mothers. They are Aubrey Abrams, and Roy Abrams, with Miss Aileen Thomside, and Miss Weatherspoon of on the East Coast Demerara and Selwyn Pieters and Gary Pieters in the United Kingdom.
Aaran Abrams departed probably still believe Forbes Burnham played a significant role in the transition of Bertrand Abrams. Very close relatives believe Bertrand Abrams unwittingly consumed slow acting poison which was targeted for him. A few members of the Sharper family, a group of Sancho people and a few others offered Bertrand Abrams departure was the result of injuries he sustained to his head in an accident some period prior to the final event of his sojourn. Gossipers had it, Burnham’s response to Aaran Abrams’ inquiry, “why you kill my son?” was simply, “the boy won’t listen.”  I stand with Uncle Aaran. In fact I miss Aaran Abrams more than I do his spouse, and his son. I used to imagine Uncle Aaran being tired of my mostly unannounced presence. I would try to sneak up on him. I wished I knew he was a singer at Friendship. Aaran Abrams was kind towards me. I have no recollection of him being crossed with me.  My fondest memories of Bertrand Abrams are him telling me the importance of and euphoria of acquiring university training overseas and returning to apply that training in every effort to improve the lives of our people.  Also every time I experience the word humanities I think of the bonding with Bertrand Abrams, for he spoke to me using terms like humanities and social sciences. I think he was preparing me to be aware with the language of higher education in foreign lands. Bertrand Abrams (1929-1969) PBUH Long Live the Abrams family, Long Live Sancho people who ever they are.  Long Live Sanko/ Sankoh/ Sonko people everywhere
 Source: Abrams versus the Members of the Governing Body of the Anglican Schools in B.G. and Others [Supreme Court (Luckhoo, CJ. (Ag.)) January 12, 15, 21, February 3, April 23, 1960]
Bertrand Abrams Dies Suddenly October 1969


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