Hard-won rights

Election season is kicking into high gear, and covering it has brought back fond memories for a Beaconite. She remembers the first time she cast her ballot in November 2012, which was particularly exciting because it included a presidential election. Her father drove her to city hall, where she made her choices and walked out with the iconic “I Voted” sticker. She was so proud to have participated, especially after her parents explained the importance of making her voice heard at the polls after so many women and men worked to give her the right to do so. While covering elections for her university’s student newspaper, she took the steps to vote early because she knew she’d be at the office most of election day, typing away and eating the classic election night pizza consumed by newsrooms worldwide. While living in Washington State, she ran out of time to vote early and almost called it null. But she took to heart what her parents said about the importance of voting. If everyone says, “I’m just one vote: It won’t make a difference or be missed,” then entire demographics can easily go underrepresented. So, with only an hour or so left before the deadline but with a fortunate lull in reporting (and her editor’s blessing), the reporter drove the 30 minutes to the neighbouring county where she lived and cast her ballot before rushing back to finish covering the results. Now, she is committed to doing her best to provide balanced, accurate campaign coverage over the next month so voters are prepared to support the leaders they chose at the polls. Life can get busy, but the reporter hopes registered voters make it a priority to show up for this election. She also hopes that parents do what her mom and dad did for her — explain the importance of voting while letting their children make their own selections. The best elections are the ones with the greatest representation from the people, and successful candidates will ideally take that show of support seriously when representing those voters for the next four years.

Pig dreams

Since in his childhood years, a Beaconite heard from multiple sources, including his mom, about greased pig competitions. They were a key attraction at fairs and other community social events in the countryside areas of his native Guyana. But since he had never seen one, the Beaconite always wondered about the event. Then, it finally happened on Saturday. Three piglets were let loose in a ring at the Farmers and Fishers Week event at Paraquita Bay. The crowd was hyped by the sight, and cameras were everywhere. The Beaconite felt like he was back in his pre-teen years amid the excitement. He watched anxiously as the ring gates swung open and the children scampered off to catch the piglets. The Beaconite was amused to see such a highly anticipated event of his youth — which had disappeared from his thoughts since then — come back to reality in his adult years. Snorkeling is next on his list, but first he plans to master swimming.

Circulating news

A Beaconites has noticed how political news (and rumour) has been circulating on WhatsApp groups and among her friends. She saw how a billboard came crashing down onto a car, namely one that she suspects was put up in a rush for a campaign. She later saw the same image used as a meme for a local restaurant. In her WhatsApp groups, she’s noticing more posters and flyers about people announcing their candidacy and hosting campaign events across the territory. This reporter remembers the 2019 election season well, and she sees many similarities. But there are stark differences as weel. The past four years included the arrest of the then-premier, the pandemic, and the Commission of Inquiry. It’s uncertain what the next four years will bring, but whoever is stepping up to the plate should ensure they have the leadership skills required to handle almost anything.