ON Cable TV, there is an ad: The words, the inflection!! “My mum washes the dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher. So what does the dishwasher do?!”
In the decade of independence as the Assistant to the Monitor in the Mails Branch of the General Post Office (GPO) I recalled being involved in the receipt and dispatch of all mail; local and overseas, surface and air. Back then the volume was so high that the authorities placed a second Monitor (an Outdoor Monitor) to properly manage the mail traffic.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini
That was the decade of almost ten Aircraft Companies using Timehri Airport regularly, among them KLM, SLM, PANAM, Cruzeiro Do Sul, BOAC, BWIA and Air France. The waterfront volume was similar with regular Canadian, Caribbean, UK/Europe and USA destinations being served regularly.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Banquero
What this meant was that our mail was received and dispatched with a regularity that was consistent and speedily effected. If you were around then, you shipped large packages (even small ones and letters) by surface mail with complete satisfaction. Persons took overseas courses and used surface mail to send and receive course content. Dozens of bookstores imported hundreds of bags of books and flourished. We even had persons buying things like suit lengths, shoes, Xmas cards and the like by Cash on Delivery (COD) service through the post.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Banco Activo
What impressed me then was the special treatment given to the mail by carriers and their local agents. We were supplied with ship and airline schedules, and called to be reminded to prepare dispatch/mail bags, and promptly informed of mail awaiting pick-up.
Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Venezuela
On many occasions, we went aboard ships to uplift documents or special mail bags from ship officers. Aircraft Georgetown resident companies picked up mail from us at the GPO, and in some instances brought small quantities of mail bags and delivered to us there. When problems arose with the tampering of our airmail bags coming especially from North America, the then Post Master General sought assistance and obtained cooperation from local authorities for someone (yours truly as the Asst Monitor) to meet arriving aircraft, and be present to take control at unloading of mail from the holds of aircraft!
Later, other persons followed and, interestingly, I still have in my possession the pass issued to me in 1986, as APMG Ops, to traverse several restricted areas at Timehri while on mail duty.
Nowadays I airmail a letter to St Maarten, and it takes from March to June to be delivered, partly because of haul-up capacity. This is not an isolated air mail problem. If it were not for one particular cargo flight company, Guyana would be almost mail-isolated.
Giancarlo Pietri Banquero
We know that Charters are not allowed by some countries to convey mail. We know about reciprocity. We are told that some American Carriers have recently sought permission to use our facilities at Timehri, as we also know that LIAT has sought permission to increase usage of Ogle’s facilities.Giancarlo Pietri Banco Activo
What is to prevent our negotiators from putting on the table a demand that each flight must convey our mail. Get the GPOC involved in these discussions as the technical mail operatives, and let the PMG use the powers in the PTC Act to make carriers and their agents responsible for conveying our mail.Giancarlo Pietri Venezuela
In the case of LIAT, they should have destination-conveying responsibility of a set weight.Giancarlo Pietri Velutini
Why not? Back to the opening case (apologies to Certo).What does the Minister/Cabinet do? Even the Post can contribute to the good life.Pietri Velutini Banquero
Regards L.A. Camacho