‘Education is the Yardstick’

BANKS DIH Chairman, Clifford Reis hands over a cheque to a student of the Ithaca Primary School, West Bank Berbice, for the funding of a school project, as the Berbice Branch Manager Reginald Matthews looks on (Photograph by F.Q. Farrier)

BANKS DIH agrees

By Francis Quamina Farrier

ONE of my all-time favourite Guyanese songs is, “Pass it on” by the late celebrated Guyanese singer/songwriter Eddie Hooper, who hailed from Fyrish on the lower Corentyne Coast, Region Six, Berbice. With lyrics in that song which state, “Education is the Yardstick,” one can say that Eddie Hooper’s song which was composed over 50 years ago, is as timely and relevant to the present focus by the Government of Guyana, on the importance of having a well-educated nation. Equally, BANKS DIH Ltd has been very focused on supporting aspects of education over the decades.

Company Chairman Clifford Reis gives quality time to three shareholders and BANKS “family members” at the end of the Linden Branch Shareholders Meeting, 2020 (Photo by F.Q. Farrier)

One of the ways in which the company has been “putting its money where its mouth is”, as the saying goes, is to make tangible financial donations to worthy and deserving candidates, as well as to schools in Guyana on an annual basis. Financial contributions are also made out of season, so to speak. At the company’s annual Shareholders Meetings which are held at Thirst Park in Georgetown, and at four of their branches, two schools each received cheques for the financing of projects which were identified. On this Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary Jubilee Year 2020, BANKS DIH Ltd., has the theme, “Let’s Celebrate Education,” and traditionally, 10 schools were presented with cheques.

As promised in my previous article on BANKS DIH Shareholders Branch Meetings, I have to say that there was a moment of relative sadness at the Linden Shareholders Branch Meeting on January 31, when Company Chairman Clifford Reis announced that Branch Manager Ms Shaundell Easton had resigned as she was migrating shortly. Shaundell was the first female Branch Manager of BANKS DIH Ltd. and had consistently increased sales over the years.

“Shaundell, if you ever return to Guyana, know that you have a job at BANKS DIH,” Company Chairman Clifford Reis tells resigned Linden Branch Manager, Shaundell Easton, who is migrating (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

Expressing his satisfaction with her ongoing sterling performance, and that he was going to miss her, the chairman stated to the gathering of shareholders that, “Anytime Shaundell returns to Guyana, she has a job at BANKS DIH Ltd.” That is the kind of BANKS DIH family atmosphere on which I reported in my previous article which was published in last Sunday’s Pepperpot Magazine section. The focus was on the Shareholders Meetings at Airy Hall, Essequibo Coast, in Region Two and at Bartica on the Essequibo River, in Region Seven.

Last Sunday was the final of the four 2020 Shareholders Branch Meetings. It was held at New Amsterdam, Berbice, and once again the family atmosphere was evident. As is customary, the chairman mentioned that he is happy to be back in Berbice among the shareholders there. He also mentioned that his wife Colleen is from Berbice, which is always greeted with a measure of pride by the shareholders of the Ancient County.

BANKS DIH Berbice shareholders Torionton Murray and his wife as they arrived at the Berbice Branch Shareholders Meeting in New Amsterdam last Sunday (Photo by F.Q. Farrier)

Once again the Berbice Branch Manager Reginald Matthews had good news regarding the performance of that branch which supplies products to sections of both Regions Five and Six. While praising the performance of the New Amsterdam Demico outlet, the issue was raised regarding the loss of revenue to Demico House on Brickdam in Georgetown, whenever there is a sitting of Parliament. Streets around the Georgetown Demico outlet are usually closed to vehicular traffic, resulting in a financial loss of one million dollars every day while the Parliament is in session.

The chairman informed the shareholders that he had raised the issue with the government, suggesting that in future Parliament sessions should be held in the night. The hope is that this impasse is settled before the next Shareholders Meeting. BANKS DIH Ltd and the subsidiary Citizens Bank had another successful year, and according to the chairman, the company will be increasing its operations to the marketing, not only of their prize-winning rums and Guinness, but their new venture of marketing vehicles. With the current traffic situation in Georgetown, the company is already constructing a parking facility at its Thirst Park location and hopefully, that would be an example and the catalyst for others to follow – an education, if you will, with the BANKS DIH 2020 Theme, “Let’s Celebrate Education.”