Front Page
March 18, 2005

Earl “Ole George” Daniel remains adamant that his novel idea of walking in excess of six days without sleep will be recognised by the Guinness World Book of Records.

Daniel set about to etch his name in the record books March 8, by walking non-stop to March 14, with allowances for “bathroom breaks.” This he did, ending his sojourn at 6:44 p.m., to a hero’s welcome at Heritage Square, fittingly on National Heroes’ Day, last Monday 14. {{more}}

However, the news broke the following day, that the Guinness authorities were not accepting Daniel’s efforts. They cited uniformity of terrain, rest periods, mileage, as well as the pace of the walk, for their non-acceptance.

With a touch of absurdity, a release from Guinness spokeswoman Laura McTurk stated: “Individuals often walk at different speeds; some individuals may choose a more demanding course, the time people take for necessary breaks may vary.”

The release further alluded that because of those, it was “impossible to compare.”

In response, Daniel contends that what he did was never attempted before.

He further advised that if there was no category for such a walk, Guinness should create one for his efforts.

Daniel in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday night, said that he was yet to make a formal submission to the relevant Guinness authorities.

Undaunted by the adverse outcome of the event, Daniel is stomping on the grounds of the positives that were borne out of the entire affair.

Accompanied along the course of his record attempt by Vermont resident, Joel Butcher, Daniel said their historic walk brought “hope and touched lots of lives.”

He recalled instances when the response of the populace was “overwhelming.”

“Miracles happened, persons threw away their crutches and walked with us,” Daniel recollected.

He reiterated that those scenes engendered new purpose for living for many Vincentians.

“We saw the fire in the eyes of the children; it was not about self, it was selfless,” Daniel quipped.

Recounting that he had covered in excess of 400 miles, setting foot in almost every village on the mainland, Daniel began his escapade at Richmond, on the North Leeward side of mainland St. Vincent, to little fanfare.

By the third day, the nation was alerted that Daniel was on course for international acclamation. The walk was being carried through live reports from two radio stations.

As the days passed by, interest soared on the home front and in the diaspora while Daniel and Butcher battled the changes in atmospheric conditions and keeping their focus on the task at hand.

He recalled the way he and Butcher were greeted along the way by throngs of people from rural villages as they passed through. This gave tremendous encouragement to the duo.

The last hours of the walk saw thousands lining the route from the Windward side, to Kingstown.

The capital took on a carnival-like atmosphere, with a sound system following the entourage blaring some often inappropriate music at deafening decibels, as Daniel and Butcher made their descent into Kingstown.

Joined by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace for the final trek, traffic from Calliaqua to Kingstown almost came to a halt, as the duo took centre stage.

Last Monday 14 celebrated as National Heroes’ Day, took on its greatest significance for Vincentians, since its inception in 2002.

Daniel, fittingly was venerated on that day, the occasion set aside to pay tribute to Joseph Chatoyer, the country’s first National Hero.

Daniel, like Chatoyer before him, defied his critics, many of whom questioned his motives for such an attempt. Others showed total indifference, while some wished for his eternal demise during this quest.

Now that he has accomplished what he had set out to do, Daniel has one other hurdle to climb. But he soldiers on, just like Joseph Chatoyer became a thorn in the side of the colonizers from Britain, so he intends to be, until the Guinness officials finally give credence to his heroic feat.