By Michel Outridge
THE Benab Post Office located at #63 Village Benab, next door to #64 Village Babylon, Corentyne, Berbice has an extended service offered to the general public which includes the payment of bills, payment of pensions, the sale of stamps and of course the postal services.
This post office serves several communities along that corridor and it is managed by Post Master Elizabeth Moore and three staff members
Although she is fairly new to the community, she has been in the postal business for many years.
She is from Skeldon and has been at the location since May this year and described her experience as good, since the people are cooperative and very understanding.
Moore told the Pepperpot Magazine that things are orderly around there and people maintain their distance from each other and sanitise and wait their turn in a civilised manner.
She stated that all COVID-19 protocols are observed and they are still offering services to the public five days per week.
Outside, there is a newly constructed shed with seating accommodation for those waiting their turn and it seems comfortable.
Moore reported that since the pandemic things have become a bit worrisome for a lot of people, but they have a crowd only when it is pension-payment day.
She disclosed that no one is allowed entry to the building without a face mask and they have to sanitise their hands, as well.
On pension-payment days, two policemen are there to ensure that things are in order and the people are protected.
Moore, who was at the counter dealing with customers, said it was a slow day but a few persons were trickling in to do business and they do not waste time and ensure that people get the service they came for in good time.
“I commute daily from Skeldon to here but it is no bother; and it is a nice community to work because the folk are good people,” she said.
Next door to the post office is the nursery school, down the road are other government buildings and nearby is the roundabout.
The castle in Babylon
Meanwhile, the Pepperpot Magazine met Haresh Budhram, a local miller who is from #64 Village Babylon, Corentyne, Berbice.
Opposite the large mill, there is a castle his father built in memory of his deceased mother; it is an interesting edifice unlike any other in its unique design, but it is unoccupied.
Budhram said his mother passed away 15 years ago and his broken-hearted father wanted to do something to leave a lasting memory and he designed and built the castle brick by brick.
Budhram added that his father is ailing and he had to take control of the family’s rice mill, which was also designed and built by his father, Totaram Budhram.
He disclosed that the castle represents the three religions in its design and it is a fantastic structure which goes way up and has become a sanctuary for birds and the children in the community would go and play.
Budhram explained that the place where the castle is was once a pond and it was filled with sand reefs, because construction of the building started.
He related that the rice mill was also a swampy area with a canal and it was developed by his father, 86, who designed and engineered everything from scratch.
“This business has been in operation for the past 23 years and it is my father’s pride and joy and I am keeping it operational, but with a reduced staff, but villagers bring their paddy here and I mill it,” he said.
Budhram revealed that all his four siblings reside overseas and he returned to Guyana to work and live here after spending years abroad.
The father of five stated that the castle was his father’s dream and vision he made a reality, but it is unfortunate that he didn’t get to complete it; but maybe the building will one day be restored to its former glory.
Budhram is also a resident of #64 Village Babylon and is working side by side with his wife to keep the doors of the rice mill open.