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By Hugh ‘Tommy’ PayneLet me be frank (for Josh, who was a ‘straight-up’ person, would have condoned nothing else), the “Swami”, as Joshua Reuben Ramsammy was nicknamed by QC students, seemed to be aptly identified.His personality combined austerity with an aloofness that made any would-be miscreant apprehensive; and his practice of peering through classroom windows from the corridor outside brought a touch of mysteriousness that stimulated a fearful respect.Dr Ramsammy’s two sons (with dark glasses) in front of the funeral pyreThen came the fateful Speech Day that saw apprehension replaced by adulation, as austerity, aloofness and mysteriousness were embellished by a revolutionary action when ‘Swami’ broke tradition and discarded suit and tie for an elegantly tailored, white Bush-jacket worn over dark trousers.It was a bold fashion statement that preceded, and may well have influenced, the post-Independence adoption of the ‘Shirt-jac’ as the accepted formal wear.  From that time until he left Q.C. in 1961,Cheap NHL Adidas Jerseys, the apprehension of the schoolboys was attenuated by a fond (though guarded) hero-worship for ‘Swami’ – the master who had boldly defied tradition.Josh Ramsammy left QC to take up the post of Principal of Tagore Memorial High School (No. 63 Village, Corentyne, Berbice) at the start of the 1961- 62 school year.I went with him, recruited as an Assistant-Master,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, as was Rupert Gobin — a now-deceased form mate.  Whatever doubts I held about the wisdom of my decision were swiftly dispelled.My form of address — “Sir” or “Mr. Ramsammy” — was, on his prompting, replaced by “Josh,” and Josh Ramsammy extended a warm friendship that totally overturned my schooldays premise of ‘aloofness’.Josh was the guardian who, conscious of the potential problems that might beset a ‘Buxton-boy’ in the post-1961 Elections Upper Corentyne, opened his home to me as a safe haven.  Josh was the mentor who led me into discussion, on an equal footing, on a wide range of subjects that included his aspirations for ‘Tagore Memorial’ and strategies for dealing with our country’s ethnic problems.His mentorship also included aiding my preparation for overseas study; he supervised my initiation into the ‘nip-and-a-pint’ ceremony; he regaled me with tales of student life that included the hazard of a two-day sleep after a particularly heavy binge.Above all, Josh proved an inspiration through his capacity for hard work, his attention to detail, and his genuine concern for benefiting the students, the staff, the environment and the wider society that fell under his purview as the Principal of Tagore Memorial High School.The “Swami” truly extolled Rabindranath Tagore’s well-known statement (which was the School Prayer) – “Where the mind is without fear; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken into segments by narrow domestic walls; Where words speak out from the depth of truth; Where the world is led by thee into ever widening thought and action; Into that heaven of freedom,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, my Father, let my spirit awake.”I, for one, am confident — as we should all be — that “the Swami”, Joshua Reuben Ramsammy, has gone, finally, to “that heaven of freedom” which he has richly earned.  HE WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.Joshua Reuben Ramsammy was cremated yesterday at Good Hope crematorium,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, following a viewing and tributes at his residence,Authentic China Jerseys, Ogle Old Road, East Coast Demerara.
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