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By Enid JoaquinRichard McDonald is a Pastor with a unique gift. One that affords him the opportunity to preach sermons and speak volumes without uttering a single word!He doesn’t have to speak! I mean, not always- because he has an instrument, that does a whole lot of talking for him. That instrument is the saxophone, one of the many musical instruments that he plays.Interesting,China Jerseys, when one considers that Richard McDonald never attended music classes- he is completely self-taught.If you’ve been fortunate enough to hear McDonald play that saxophone, then I’m sure you would agree with me, when I say that with such musical finesse, speech can take a back seat!This talented musician elicits many a tear,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, whenever and wherever he plays – ask our dear President and he will tell you. Many others can also attest to this man’s powerful sway over ones emotions, whenever he plays that saxophone.Some swear that such sweet saxy eloquence is unmatched in these parts.It is therefore not at all surprising that he was the one chosen to serenade the Presidents and Prime Ministers at the recent Caricom Heads of Government summit here in Guyana.Talented Saxophonist Richard McDonald is a Special Person.And it should therefore not be at all surprising to you, that Kaieteur News has chosen him as this week’s ‘Special Person’.What is surprising though, is that the saxophone is not McDonald’s most favourite instrument, it is in fact the guitar.“My first love is the guitar- as a matter of fact the first time I got close to one, I felt an instant connection, I said to myself I have to learn to play this thing.”And did he learn to play! At the time he was just 12 years old, but he was already singing in a little church at Agricola, where he lived with his grandmother.As you would probably guess, he was grandma’s baby, and because he was so close to her, he confessed that he was right beside her when she drew her last breathe.“I was fortunate to see my grandmother die. I think she wanted me to, because when it happened it was just the two of us alone at home. I was glad to be there because she had this happy look on her face, as though she knew where she was going.”After her death,Cheap Jerseys From China, McDonald said that the pastor of the church, asked his mother for him to stay with her as he was a member of the church band. His father had long died, so his mother was only too happy to oblige.Our talented musician is a voracious reader, which is really a great thing, as he was never afforded the opportunity to attend secondary school, because of financial constraints.One would however question that, after conversing with this gentleman, who is knowledgeable on just about any topic under the sun. So knowledgeable in fact, that he would put many a university graduate to shame.But where did he gain this knowledge? Simple – he just read all the books in his pastors library, including a whole volume of encyclopedia.Our Special Person delivers a stirring rendition on his saxophoneRichard and his lovely wife Cheryl.McDonald had developed his love of reading from his mother, who often, when cooking,Cheap Jerseys For Sale, had a book propped up on the kitchen counter.He and a sibling were of course tasked with going to the library to collect and return the books, not just for their mother, but for themselves.During those early years with his parents, before going to live at Agricola with his grandmother, McDonald was exposed to as much education at home, as he was in school.His mother would read to the children, and the father would illustrate what was read. He would also write poetry, which the whole family enjoyed.This was a family not rich in the traditional sense of the word, but rich in love and family values.WORK AND LOVEMcDonald confesses that he came to Linden in the early seventies where he began his working life in the clerical field with Bookers.“Work brought me to Linden, but it is love that made me stay. In fact a particular young lady, who when I first saw her I thought was an angel in white.”He further confessed that he fell head over heels in love – a fact that changed his life forever.“At the time, music was my life. I wasn’t thinking about girls or anything, so long as I had my music I was happy. But this particular young lady changed all that. She would ensure that Richard McDonald stayed in Linden.He naturally didn’t mind, because he somehow knew that he had found his soul mate.The angel was of course a young lady by the name of Cheryl Baird. Like her soon to be husband, Cheryl had also become a Christian at the age of 12.It did not take our ‘Special Person’ long to convince the beautiful Miss Baird that he was the love of her life.Ms Baird who was at the time a student of the University of Guyana, made such an impact on McDonald that he stopped returning to Georgetown every weekend just so he could see and get to know her.Soon wedding bells would ring for the two.In the company of family and church membersMr and Mrs McDonald and their family.The union produced six offspring, who came “fast and furious,” McDonald said.All this time, McDonald was very active in the church singing and playing his guitar.He only started to play the saxophone after a member of the church band left his instrument with him, when he migrated.“I used to look at that instrument, and I said to myself that I had to learn to play it”.He admits though that his first attempts were disastrous, but he never gave up, until he was able to master the art of playing the instrument.After that, there was no turning back, as very soon McDonald was not only playing for the church, but other events in the Linden community.Soon word spread about his prowess with the saxophone, and he began receiving requests to perform at various functions across the country.To date McDonald has performed not only in Guyana but in several other countries, including the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.Apart from his repertoire of religious and wedding songs, he is also well known for his popular renditions of our national songs.“‘Nobody plays our national songs the way Richard does’,” many would often confess.McDonald who is a sports enthusiast, and loves working with young people, is currently the president of the Retrieve Raiders basketball Club.‘We have won several National and Regional Championships. We have several players who have represented us.”He was however quick to point out that though the community is blessed with talent, both in the area of sport and music, quite often what is lacking is mental resilence.In alluding to his own love for sports McDonald noted, “I love ball games, every opportunity I get, I play cricket, I also love basketball. I love outdoor stuff; I do a lot of jogging to keep fit.”In reflecting on his family life, McDonald admits that he is still very much in love with his wife as he did when they were both young.She of course had this to say about her husband,“I feel really blessed to have a husband like him. It is like this ‘you were getting biscuits, but then you got cakes, cookies and so much more’. My husband is such a loving and good person.He has always been a good husband and a great father to our children. I think we are really blessed to have him.”Mrs McDonald describes her husband as a very caring person, who not only loves people but animals.For Richard McDonald, spending quality time with the family is very important.He proudly admits that he had his house specially designed so that the television is nowhere near to the dining or living room.For him communication is key to a happy family life.“We do a lot of talking as a family at the dinner table, and there is no television to distract us. Sometimes we sit and talk for hours. It gives everybody the opportunity to reflect on so many things.”“The family would often take trips and vacation together, McDonald said.REFLECTIONSOur Special person was born in New Amsterdam, but later relocated to Agricola after the death of his father. There he spent his teenage years.It was at Agricola that McDonald became involved in the church and music. He has never stopped playing musical instruments since.Regarding his recent performance at the Caricom heads of Government, McDonald said that it was an honour.“I was able to present Guyana at a higher level and do it well. I felt good to be doing that at this time in my life. I also know that there are persons who probably play better than I do, so I was very honoured to be selected.”I take pride in being able to rearrange the national songs to suit myself and the saxophone,Cheap Jerseys Store, so I was able to arrange and rearrange them in such a way that would bring pride to any true blooded Guyanese,” said McDonald.McDonald said that most of his engagements are at church conferences and weddings- but he also plays a lot at the birthdays of the elderly.He confessed that it is mostly the more mature persons that have an appreciation for instrumental music, as the younger generation probably cannot relate to it.But that does not prevent him from being featured at most of the prestigious social events in the mining town.He has recently produced a compact disc of some of his best songs, including a few national songs, which are expected to be released before Christmas.His music was also prominently featured in two compacts disc by talented veteran vocalist, Dennis Parkinson.He pointed out that he was very happy to collaborate with Parkinson to produce the CDs as he was afforded the opportunity to work with him over the years.McDonald currently pastors the Mount Carmel Church in Amelia’s ward, Linden and is also involved in Missionary work at Malali- a remote community up the Demerara River.Before taking over the pastorship at Mount Carmel, our ‘Special Person’ pastored at the Calvary Temple Church in Retrieve.Strange enough, McDonald said that although he has been a devout Christian for most of his life, being a pastor was never part of his plans.“However it was a part of God’s plan, and I’ve been a pastor now for just about 15 years.”He holds the enviable position of being one of the few pastors that delivers sermons not only in actual words,Wholesale Jerseys China, but his powerful breathe with which he controls his saxophone.Isn’t that more than enough to deem him a ‘Special Person? We at Kaieteur news certainly think so.