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Honest Thieves – A Comic Book Story of Georgetown in the 1960s – by Hemwant Persaud

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A photo of Guyana perhaps taken in the 1960s.

First Published: 16th of November, 2021

Last updated: November 17, 2021 at 0:48 am

This story, contributed by a Guyanese citizen who had migrated to the USA in his younger years and later returned to retire in his beautiful homeland of Guyana, highlights a notorious aspect of life in Georgetown, Guyana, South America in the 1960s and 70s. That is, the rampant crime rate that is still a plague of Guyanese society today – some 60 years later.

Travelers to Georgetown are often warned to be wary of pickpockets, chain and handbag snatchers, knife point and gun point robbers, etc, when walking the streets of Georgetown. And it’s true. Too frequently, numerous unsuspecting persons become the victim of these parasitic criminals in Guyana, especially in the capital city of Georgetown.

The following is a true story which has a funny twist. Why do you think the thieves returned the money? Tell us in the comments section below!

Honest Thieves – by Mr. Hemwant Persaud

During the August holidays in the late 60’s, my nani took me to Georgetown while she was selling at Stabroek market. She gave me 10 cents and told me to go and walk around and see the town. It was was early in the morning before stores were opened.

This new kid in town was carelessly cruising as though he was in Wakenaam until he ended up in front of Graphic bookstore. I stopped and was admiring the comic books in the show window and waiting for them to open to invest my 10 cents in comics.

Suddenly I heard a noise of guys singing. I turned around only to be confronted by about 8 youngsters who placed a stiffened wire into my belly and robbed me of my 10 cents. Shocked, I stood motionless looking at them walking away.

Suddenly, they stopped walking, turned around, and came back to me. They asked if I came to buy books. I replied, “yes” and they gave me back the 10 cents and told me to move from Robb Street to Regent Street until stores open.

Now this new country boy in town did not know he was in Robb Street, and had no idea where Regent Street was, and I told that to the guys who just robed/returned the 10 cents. They took me to Regent and King Streets and told me to wait there.

As I was waiting, I observed a few boys playing marbles in GT’s clean drains. I joined them and forgot about the comic books. I returned after lunch to my nani at the market who was relieved to see me.

As an adult, I keep asking myself: were those guys honest thieves or was it that splitting 10 cents among themselves was a problem for them. Whatever the case may be, the reason those youths returned my money will forever be a mystery to me.

Mr. Hemwant Persaud is a prominent Guyanese citizen who served for many years in various capacities across Guyana. He had migrated to the USA, as he put it, “for his children’s sake.” However, he returned to Guyana after retirement, along with his wife, to “enjoy his beautiful homeland.” Mr. Persaud presently resides in the beautiful border town of Lethem in Region 9, Guyana, South America.

Do you have a story to share with the Guyana, South America publication? If so, please email us at contact@guyanasouthamerica.gy or message us via our Facebook page.

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