Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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The Good Samaritan
(Aired 7 February 2005)

    In my bible the gospel of Saint Luke outlines the story which we Christians know as the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    The background to the story was that at the time of Jesus Christ, there was a nation called the Samaritans living in the middle east along with the Jews, now even though the Samaritans lived in the Holy Land and believed, as the Jews did, that there was only one god, their other differences with the Jews were so great that the possibility of reconciliation between the two nations seemed impossible, so these people were the enemies of the Jews.

    The parable outlined in the gospel of Saint Luke chapter 10 verses 25-37, goes like this, a Jewish Teacher in seeking to trap Jesus asked him a loaded question; i.e. you are saying that the law is that I must love God above all else and that I must love my neighbour as I love myself, who is this neighbour that you are saying that I must love as I love myself? And Jesus outlined the parable in this manner, he told the Teacher that there was once a man who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho when bandits robbed him, they even stole his clothes, beat him up and left him at the side of the road to die. a priest passed saw him lying there and did nothing, a Levite also saw him and left him there to die [now the Levites since the Exodus from Egypt were considered the most devout of Jews both Moses and Aaron were from this tribe] but a Samaritan seeing the beaten man there, attended to his wounds put him on his own animal and took him to an Inn where he left him. After giving the innkeeper money to look after the beaten man and promising to drop in on his way back to pay any additional amounts that may be owed, the Samaritan then went his way.

    Jesus Christ then asked this teacher, who was baiting and trying to trap him, who he thought among these three [the Priest, the Levite and the Samaritan] acted like the man's neighbour, and the teacher now cornered was forced to reply that the Samaritan acted like the real neighbour, so Jesus told him to "go then and do the same"

   Now in case some of you begin to wonder whether Vieira gone off he trolley and turn Bishop overnight like Edgill, let me hasten to assure you that I have no intention of becoming a preacher.

   My friend Paul Hardy left Guyana in December to be with his wife who I am sure you would be saddened to learn has cancer and was recently operated upon for it, she is doing well and the doctors in Manus are monitoring her carefully but even though Paul is going through this massive personal crisis, I called him in Manus to alert him that as a political leader, notwithstanding this personal problem, he should be here in Guyana, to my amazement I was told by his wife that Hardy was in Guyana.

    Now ladies and gentlemen this is strange, Paul Hardy and I are such close friends these days that he would not come back to Guyana without calling me to tell me that he is back, so I Called his house in Albertown but the phone rang once and cut off, a phenomena which is occurring too frequently with too many phones, the company that is claiming to be getting better all the time should look into this problem, not getting Hardy in Georgetown, I called Shirley Melville in Lethem, "yes" she me told Paul was in Lethem but he was now back in Boa Vista raising food relief for the people affected in Guyana by the flood.

   I have the scoop on this story ladies and gentlemen, it is an exclusive and here it is, it is the most touching thing I ever heard.

   Between Paul Hardy, the Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana and the Governor of the State of Roraima, they have begun the most massive mobilisation imaginable to help our people affected on the East Coast. They have sent food, truckloads of it so far, a truck with 1400 kilos of gasified Chlorine to treat our water has already been dispatched, as I am writing this commentary 40 tons of food is on its way to Guyana compliments of the people of Boa Vista not the Government of Brazil, ladies and gentlemen the residents of Boa Vista; there were fund raising festivals in the state of Roraima, one of them had six bands and was attended by 6 thousand Boa Vista residents who were donating food as entrance fees to this fiesta to be sent to what Hardy has labelled "SOS Guyana", they are collecting food [not money] for this effort at every street corner in Boa Vista the Civil Defence Commander Colonel Paulo Sergio and Colonel Leocardio the chief of the fire brigade have been collecting food for the Guyana relief effort, even the choir "The Little Canneries of the Amazon" which came to Guyana and performed for us some months ago, all 150 of them are on the streets collecting food for their Guyanese neighbours all of this is being coordinated by Hardy himself for over three weeks, the  prisoners in Jail in Boa Vista have decided to forgo their dinner every night for one week and have asked the authorities to send it to their Guyanese neighbours. 

   Last week a television station T.V Roraima which was celebrating its 30th year as a TV station with a special programme, incorporated into this programme a segment they called "SOS Guyana" to get help for their Guyanese neighbours, nowhere in any of this is money being asked for, the "SOS Guyana" drive is calling for food which is being collected by members of the Fire brigade of Boa Vista and the Civil Defence of Roraima and then sent to us here.

   TV camera crews were hired to film what was happening in Guyana to show the Brazilians, specifically the people who live in Boa Vista during this SOS Guyana programme and other programmes, all filming, editing and transporting the camera crews to and from Guyana was done at the expense of the Hardy family, Paul and his sons.  

    Paul  Hardy has asked me to thank the following persons in Roraima who have worked so tirelessly in this "SOS Guyana" effort, and it would be my pleasure and honour to do it and so tonight I want to thank the Governor of Roraima himself Seignior Ottomar Pinto, our Brazilian Ambassador Seignior Ney Prado Dieguez, the Civil Defence Commander Colonel Paulo Sergio, and head of the fire brigade in Boa Vista Coloned Leocardio, Paul Hardy has also asked me to thank, on behalf of the Guyanese people, Mariam and Carici Bloss from the "little Canneries of the Amazon" for their untiring efforts to raise food on our behalf.

   Even the Gimpaneros are conducting their own campaign to get food to our people. I have documented evidence photographs and newspaper articles from Brazil that all of this is true.

    In this time of national tragedy or Brazilian brothers across the border are showing us who our real neighbours are, compared to those who we have historically perceived as being our neighbours in CARICOM.

   And I repeat what food relief we hear that is coming from Brazil, is not just Brazilian government aid, some of it is, but a substantial amount of this food are gifts from the residents of Boa Vista themselves. Our true neighbours, Its Incredible!