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|Rev. Calvin Clarke
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|S. Fraser-Thomas C. Barker J. Glasgow W. Smith S. Thomas L. Glasgow A. King I. Griffith B. Zephyr
Rec.Secty. Secty. Financial Secty. Treasurer Asst.Treasurer Committee Mem. Committee Mem. Committee Mem. Committee. Mem.
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STALWART RECOGNISED ON VETERANS DAY
The XGDF Association is proud to honor one of our veterans who by hard work, dedication and outstanding service has made the XGDF Association a
home away from home of both serving and ex members of the Guyana Defence Force.
Too often we take for granted those among us who most deserve our praise and gratitude and as we reflect on this Veteran’s Day. We are grateful and
pleased to feature our honored veteran of 2014. Ms Loraine A Glasgow
MY LIFE IN THE GDF - RECOLLECTIONS by LORAINE A GLASGOW
It all began in 1966 on a dare and inducement by my best friend to join her in a quest to become one of the first female
soldiers in Guyana. At that time I was an 18 years old commercial student still hesitant and undecided on a career. We both
applied, and as faith would have it I was invited to report for training and she was not. However to this day we remain very
On Monday 6th February 1967 I was one of 67 young women who made history in Guyana and the Caribbean by reporting to
the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna, at the eastern end of Thomas Lands in North Georgetown. I was
among the first female soldiers to be inducted into a regional Army; and we were destined to become members of the Women’
s Army Corps of the GDF which would soon establish itself as an integral part of the institution tasked with defending the
Firstly, we were issued our uniforms and other kit by the renowned Pte Ivan “Mackie Toe” McAllister of the Quartermaster
Stores. After an address by the then Chief of Staff Col Ronald Pope (in those days we still had seconded British commanders
and trainers) we were transported to the training base at Timehri and into a brand new way of life; it was the beginning of a
life which to this day I have not stopped living.
On arrival at Timehri we were met by our Corps officers Capt Joan Granger, Lt’s Brenda Aaron, Clarissa Hookumchand and
Hyacinth King. They were accompanied by our training instructors among whom was Hartley Liverpool. We were divided
into three squads and as faith would have it my squad leader was Brenda Aaron and my squad instructor Hartley Liverpool
who along with myself, 47 years later, are members of this association.
My initial or basic training lasted six weeks during which I was earmarked for Signals specialization. For some reason which
to this day I cannot comprehend I was sent home for four weeks after training. At the end of those four weeks I was called
up and posted to the QM Stores; I was now issuing to incoming soldiers some of the same kit that was issued to me ten
weeks earlier by my now colleague Mackie Toe. Based in Camp Ayanganna,
I served in that department for a number of years working with some memorable Quartermasters such as Chippy Graham, Major Forbes, Pat “Baba Dee”
Smith, Dennis Isaacs and Andrew Hartley. All deceased (May their souls RIP)
In 1971 with a large influx of female soldiers in the GDF, I was earmarked for training as an instructor and leader among the WACs as we were then
called. Along with another female soldier Elaine Barron, I began a series of training courses training alongside my male counterparts.
On the Trained Soldiers Course two incidents stand out in my memory. One was when Elaine slipped off her floatation pack and into the Madewini Creek
she was rescued after going under a few times. The other was when Earl Barrington Mars (Moon Dog) broke his leg during an assault on an ambush
position. The joke was, “front or back leg?”
In 1975 I successfully completed the Junior Instructors Course which was designed to hone the military and leadership skills of GDF NCOs.
Then in 1976 I did the QM Course where acquisition, distribution and accounting for property and materiel were the focus. My standout experience on this
course was the preparation, packing and air dropping of supplies to troops in the field.
I also recall the top priority the GDF placed on physical fitness in the daily routine as well as in training courses, and I especially enjoyed taking part and
competing in the six miles competition and thirty miles marches that were designed to prove our high levels of fitness.
By this time I was promoted to a Sergeant and in 1974 /1975 I was attached to the Guyana National Service as an instructor for the first batch of Trainee
Instructors. This attachment afforded me a first hand view of the value and benefits of the GNS to Guyana in general and to the youth in particular.
I have always been an avid sports fan and participated quite a bit in sports in the GDF. I was the champion female athlete at the GDF sports meet in 1968.
As a veteran player in the WAC hockey team I was selected for trials for the national team in 1969. I was a dedicated supporter of cricket, soccer, boxing
and rugby, and was elected Secretary of the Guyana Rugby Union under the presidency of Col UB Pilgrim and toured with the national team to the
Caribbean Championships in Barbados in 1983
One of my proudest memories is when as a Sergeant I was appointed to the rank of Warrant Officer of the first all female Guard of Honor and Trooping
of the Colours in honor of Indira Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who was then on a State Visit to Guyana. Other members of that illustrious
Colour Party were Lt Cheryl Pickering and Cpls Marva Nedd and Lynette Smith. The Parade Commander was Capt Brenda Aaron.
To summarize my life in and around the military I say I was born into it. My father served in the South Caribbean Forces during WW2, my younger
brothers served in the Guyana Youth Corps and the US Army. I resigned from the GDF after thirteen years of service but continued to be intimately
involved with soldiering since my husband and most of our friends were still in the Army. I became a big sister figure to most of my husband’s
subordinates and their families. I remember soldiers approaching me to speak to my husband whenever they needed a break of some sort whether for being
absent, wanting out of border service, or wanting extra time off etc.
It was an exciting, rewarding, challenging but very educative period of my life. It equipped me for life as a civilian and took away that career indecision I
alluded to in my opening remarks. I thank the GDF for formatting my early adult years and the XGDF for the friendship and comradeship in the years after.
A church service honoring and remembering veterans was held at the association hall on Sunday 9th November. Attended by a large gathering of members
and friends the service was conducted by the organization's chaplin Rev Calvin Clarke who delivered a stirring message of service sacrifice and
The association also took the opportunity to unveil its newly designed emblem which now features its motto and a ribbon with the organization's name and
year of formation. This new emblem is now embroidered on members blazers
The opportunity was also taken to present a wheeled walker to ex Sgt Randolph Lewis who is ill and visiting from Guyana. His son Mr Roger Lewis. who
is also an ex GDF soldier received the walker and thanked the association on his father's behalf.
Submitted by J Glasgow
XGDF Association NY hosts Black & White Evening Of Elegance
It was all poise and style at the evening of elegance hosted by the XGDF ASSOC at Antuns in Queens on Sat 15 Nov 2014. From 9 pm until 2am
members supporters and friends all dressed in various combinations of black and white dined and danced in an atmosphere and ambiance befitting the
theme of the occasion
Surrounded by members of the executive and the committee directly tasked with overseeing the function the president of the association Ms Cheryl
Tappin addressed the attendees thanking them for their support in making the occasion a success.
Among those attending were Mr Lyndon Williams county legislator at West Chester county and Ms Williams. Mr and Ms Larry Morrish.Mr Leon
Gibbons president of the ex Guyana Police Assoc. Mr Errol Lewis president of the APGI Ms Genevieve Prince- Klein president of GNS Assoc of
North America and Mr Allen of the ex Soldiers Association of Canada
While thanking the committee for the wonderful effort of organising the event president made special mention of member Kingsland Felix head of the
association's community outreach activities for his sterling contributions to this and our other community related activities. .
Thank you all
Submitted by. J Glasgow
The XGDF Association NY regrets to announce the passing of 1170 Sgt. Herman Gray, formerly of Head Quarter
Company who passed away this afternoon at his residence.
No further information is available at this time. I will keep you updated when I receive more information from the family.
Members of the XGDF Association of NY extend their sympathy to the family. May his soul rest in peace.
This information was submitted by Members Julian Richmond & Lennox Pyle.