Randall Mohan Butisingh, loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and teacher, passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 9, 2012, shortly following his 100th birthday.
Randall was born on December 1, 1912 in British Guiana (now known as Guyana), and raised in Buxton, East Coast Demerara, where he received his primary education. In 1925, he qualified and was the first runner-up for the first Buxton Scholarship. In 1927, he passed the School Leaving Examination and became a Pupil Teacher at the age of 15. This was the start of a 45-year long career, until his retirement in December 1972. Also, throughout his teaching career, Randall was a freelance journalist for the Guyana Graphic and Chronicle Newspapers. He was always innovative and productive. He was an entrepreneur in the printing business and was one of the largest suppliers for greeting cards in Guyana. He never rested.
Randall lived his life by great example and was involved in many community activities. In addition to his illustrious teaching career, he was the Social Welfare Officer of the Lusignan Community Center, and Lay Reader in the Anglican Church for 18 years.
Writing poetry was his passion. In 1972, he published his first book of poetry, LOVE'S LIGHT, inspired by Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf. He dedicated this book to her and donated its proceeds to the Institute of the Blind. In 1992, he was awarded the Poet of Merit Certificate by the American Poetry Association.
Always willing to share his knowledge, he became a member of the Guyana Hindi Prachar Sabha in 1976, an organization which sought to propagate Hindi in Guyana. He taught the language at the University of Guyana, and also held private Hindi classes for children. He was the organization's Hindi correspondent and editor of its journal, GYANDA.
His literary accomplishments include three books of poems (LOVE'S LIGHT; WILD FLOWERS; and LOVE'S BALM), a book of Thoughts called FLASHES OF LIGHT, and several essays and letters to the press dealing with topics on education and morality. He received the Cimbux Award in 2003 for his contribution to education.
In the twilight of his years, Randall's thirst for knowledge did not diminish. He studied comparative religion and Eastern philosophy. He taught himself to read the Arabic script and learned conversational Spanish. A man of many talents, Randall completed several paintings and also played the flute, guitar, violin, and other musical instruments. Randall also learned to use the computer and even ventured into the world of social media. In October 2007, Randall began blogging to share his life experiences, philosophy, and writings with friends all over the world. He first published drafts of his autobiography, MY STORY, on his blog, and was considered the world's oldest blogger. His autobiography will be released shortly.
He said in one of his writings:
"Gold and silver have I none but such as I have, give I unto thee. If my messages can touch only one heart, I know I have not lived in vain."
Dad, you will be truly missed. May you Rest In Peace.
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Happy Birthday Daddy! I love and miss you so much. Celebrate with the angels ??'"
Your ever loving daughter
Happy Father's Day. I think of you all the time, not only on this day, but everyday and I miss you and love you so very much. All I have now are treasured memories of you that will stay with me forever.
Two years seem like yesterday. We think of you constantly and miss you so much. You'll forever live in our hearts. What a great blessing you were to us an your memory will forever live on. You were truly a great man. Rest in peace Daddy. We love you so much.
Your loving children.
I miss you so much. It's your 1st anniversary since you parted this world, but you've left a powerful impression on my life. I think that this great verse from this Holy Book which was so endearing to you, describes your life on this earth:- A life lived by example.
Whatever a superior being does, inferior persons imitate. His actions set a standard for people of the world.
Bhagavad Gita III:21-22
I recently learnt of the passing of Mr.Butisingh. I knew him very well. We had many conversations on
educational and philosophical matters when I served as Principal of the Annandale Secondary School. He
loved to do a Yisu Katha along with his friend, the
late Fred Roopchand. I still cherish his wise counsel.
My wife and I send our deepest condolences to dear
Joan, Sammy and other family members.He certainly
left his mark in the world..
My heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Butisingh. I communicated with him in 2008 through his blog. What a wonderful inspiring human. I wish I had the opportunity to meet Mr Butisingh.
My deepest sympathy to all Mr. Butisingh's family. I remembered him as the Headmaster when I attended Lusignan Govt School. I had the priviledge of meeting him again 11 years ago in Florida. May your soul rest in peace.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Teacher Randall at this time of their great loss.
I have known Teacher Randall for practically all of my life, having been one of his pupils at St. Augustine's School, Buxton, Guyana, where he taught me at a very early age, then, upon becoming a pupil-teacher, we both taught as colleagues at the same school, and later until his passing, we enjoyed a close friendship.
As I reflect on my youthful days, I cannot help but acknowledge the important role he has played in the shaping my career. He was a great teacher and, for me, a role model. Among his many notable qualities as an educator, he was very creative, innovative, and inspiring. As I remember, Teacher Randall was the one teacher who encouraged and inspired me to develop my artistic talent. For example, I remember when I was just about 9 years old, I observed him as he designed greeting cards to raise funds for the school. I was so inspired by his craftsmanship, that not too long after, I was doing the same thing right along with him, and earning a pocket money as a result.
Apart from his artistic pursuits, Teacher Randall had a great thirst for knowledge, which he sought with much enthusiasm, as well as a willingness to share the wisdom he acquired over the years with others, through his prolific writings, and speeches. His books of poetry, letters to the press, a thought for each day of the year, and essays on various philosophical and religious topics, are just a few examples.
Above all, Teacher Randall's love of people was genuine. He was a man of great humility, with an ability to relate to anyone, young or old. For this he was greatly admired by all who came to know him. As he himself once wrote, "Only what we have given in love will we take to eternity. If one has nothing but the love of children and the respect of his fellowman, he has what gold and silver cannot buy" As for me, I am indeed fortunate and grateful to be one of the many that he has touched in no small way along his journey.
May the Good Lord grant him eternal peace.
A tranquil, kind,generous man.He has not abused or hurt anybody,even when others have railed at him.He did not respond with sharp,cutting words.He has helped many,and he never would tell you that he did this or that for A,B,or C .He did not want to be repaid in kindness or demanded reciprocrity.Known him for over 30 yrs.Never heard him swear.A fine, gracious,graceful man.
Two score and ten years ago, through then legend in his own rite, Mr. Chris Blackman, education officer (Guyana), I met Mr. Randall Mohan Buttisingh,headmaster, Lusignan Govt. School. Said Mr. Blackman to him,"Mr Buttisingh, put this man to work.." Mr Buttisingh, gracious as he was,smiled and greeted me with the warmest handshake I had ever received from anyone. He looked me in the eye and said " teacher Chowbay, welcome to the family" wrapped his arm around my shoulders so kindly it sent chills down my spine.At that very moment, I realized how privileged and fortunate I must be to have met a man of his magnificent caliber.
His politeness, generosity and humility are exceeded only by his genuine love for life itself. Randall was an accomplished poet, teacher and historian and simply put, he was a people person. He served as interim social welfare officer at Lusignan Community Center where I met Philomena Peters,who was the resident female social welfare officer and who later became my wife.
My wife and I are humbled to have been acquainted with such a great man and we will miss him greatly.
Mr Buttisingh, you have touched the lives of many and we pray that your great soul attains its ultimate destination.
My deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Butisingh. He was a family friend of my family and Head teacher at Lusignan while my mom taught there and I attended. He certainly was an inspiration to all. I remember an email exchange he and I had about two years ago and when I told him who I was I was pleasantly surprised that he not only knew who I was but was also able to repeat the names of other members of my family. He will certainly be remembered by many for the person he was and I hope that brings you peace. He lived a long and impressive life. RIP Mr. Butisingh.
From Buxton, Lusignan, Guyana in general and the USA
Mr Butisingh left a trail of works and an example for all to follow.His reminder of Love, Kindness and Unity is one for us to note. My sincere condolences to his children,
grandchildren and other relatives. May his soul rest in peace.
Our deepest sympathy to the Butisingh family.
Experiencing the death of a loved one is so personal that very few of us can understand the grief involved. Perhaps it will help to ease your sadness if you know that your dad will be greatly missed by all of his friends, and that we all share in your sadness.
Mr. Butisingh was one of the most charming and warmest men We have ever known. We will never forget him. Our love is with you Joan, Judith and the others.
This heart felt sympathy is coming from the Belle's family of Buxton Village May he rest in peace
I knew him for a short while but he was a great son of our soil
My deepest sympathy to the children, grandchildren, relatives and friends of Mr. Butisingh.
I taught with him for a few months at the Lusignan Government School, served with him on the Council of the Lusignan Community Centre, and taught his children Joan, Frank and Jasmin at the Annandale Government Secondary School.
He was a true "renaissance man" and I vividly recall the beautiful hand-made cards and calligraphy works he produced, in addition to his inspirational poems.
In the 1980s, he taught Hindi to children at and my uncle's Hindu temple in Annandale and, a some years ago while working on his autobiography, he shared with me his experience on his early years in then British Guiana.
He was a fine gentleman, a good friend and a respected elder. May his soul rest in peace.
Dear Mahashri ... I want to say what an honor it was for me to know you and to share wonderful times together, chanting, praying, laughing, meditating, eating, talking, living ...I was marveled over and over again at your amazing lucidity and presence; your elegance and beauty even as an elder; I now can see the pictures of your youth and you certainly were a most handsome gentleman; however, we all know that kind of beauty vanishes with the years, but the beauty that was inside of you, the beauty of your soul, touched so many. Dear Mahashri; I thank my lucky Blue Star that I was fortunate to meet you; you became from the first moment my inspiration to take advantage of life, to seize the moment; to be curious, to be interested to enjoy and to share. Every time I met you during those 12 some years, you had something new you were learning and every time I was amazed and impress. Dear Mahashri, you lived life the way we are all supposed to; thank you for all the wonderful memories, the love and light you imparted to all who were privileged to know you; may all the Holy Men and Women accompany you as you leave this worldly realm; may all the saints and wise men and women from all cultures and religions that you so openly and generously embraced, now surround you and support you.
Until we meet again ...
Gloria Shortt from Friendship (ECD): living in London-England
My deepest sympathy goes out to the Butisingh family, especially Joan, Judith, Jasmine and the rest of the Busitingh family. May he rest in peace.
My heartiest condolences go out to the Butisingh family.
I have known Mr Butisingh for 50 years. He taught me at Lusignan where I myself became a teacher and where his sisters in law Ena and Olive taught. He was an educator and was always interested in people. His involvement at the Lusignan Community Center was effective and far reaching. He always called me and we talked about a wide range of issues. He has made a tremendous contribution and has left an impressive heritage. He worked with all religions but I know at heart he was a Christian and looked forward to meeting His Lord and Savior Who has welcomed him with "well done my good and faithful servant". I know now he could not be happier.
My sincere condolences on the passing of a beloved human being and my neighbour back in Guyana, whom I have known since my childhood. Memories go back to the days when I would hear him singing religious songs in his yard. He sent me a beautiful email which I will always cherish. May his soul rest in peace. The world has lost a great man! Sincere condolences to the family.
What a stalwart! Every word he uttered or penned was inspiring. Respect due...My deepest and most sincere sympathy to his family!
Mr. Butisingh translated Christian Hindi bhajans for me when I needed that (translation) desperately - in the early 1970's.
Always respected, and respectful!
Teaching my family to sing India's National Anthem. His zeal and love for traditions, poetry and music is contagious. What a blessing he's being to us all!
He loved the song , I got peace like a river and I remembered him teaching us how to sing it with heart. It has been such a blessing to know him , he will stay a great inspiration in my life.
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