What began as a kind gesture to 12 boys and 13 girls in a small Spiritual Church in Lodge Village, almost 40 years ago, has become a lavish annual event, where more than 300 children received gifts and eats, and were entertained at the Clarke’s annual Christmas party on Dec. 26 in Georgetown.
Thanks to Brooklyn-based Guyanese couple Brian and Pauline Clarke, this tradition will continue to blossom said the duo, who share their love and generosity with the children in the village where they were born, and to many others who came from far and near to partake in this special day of festivities.
“We look forward to coming home to light up the lives of these children. It is great to see their smiling faces when they receive a gift and a piece of clothing at this festive time,” said Pauline whose mother started the church 39 year ago.
In celebration of the church’s 40th Year Anniversary next year, Brian Clarke, a New York soccer referee, and former soccer player, plans to expand their ‘giving program’ to include a soccer league, but is in need of field in the village to engage the kids in the sport.
In preparation for the team too, the sportsman handed out soccer balls and jerseys at the Christmas party to inspire the youngsters to play with the Lodge Rovers Soccer League, a team Brian played for, before it became defunct more than 30 years ago.
“I look forward to engaging the youngsters in their educational pursuits while providing a recreational space for them to play the sport of soccer, that would help them to live a disciplined life,” said Brian Clarke, president of the Flanks — a boyhood group from the village — who is willing to help establish the team.
“I am calling on the community to get more involved, especially in helping Brian to secure a ground for the soccer club. We have friends in New York who are willing to back us up with gear and moral support. If we don’t get the community’s help and land from the Guyana government for the field, then the youths will loose out,” said Mrs. Clarke.
The parents of three boys, who played Pee Wee soccer in New York, know very well how important sports are in shaping children to live a disciplined lifestyle and pleaded with those in authority to get on board to help Lodge village youth.