More than 30,000 Guyanese packed the stands and parts of the grounds of the newly constructed D’Urban Park in Georgetown before midnight on May 25, to witness the historic hoisting of Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead flag, 50 years after the British Union Jack flag was lowered on May 26, 1966, to make Guyana an independent nation.
The crowd roared as nationals captured the moment the giant flag unfurled against the night’s breeze, and the backdrop of national pride and achievement. The celebration began with musical tributes by the National Orchestra, the National Woodside, the Bishops High Choirs, and New York songwriter, Courtney Noel, who performed his tribute to Guyana’s flag — Golden Arrowhead.
President David Granger and First Lady Sandra Granger, along with First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo and wife Sita Nagamootoo, who arrived against the backdrop of loud applause, enjoyed the momentous occasion which was attended by scores of diplomats, as well as, TV star of the hugely popular show CSI, Guyanese-born, CCH Pounder.
Retired Guyana Defense Force Brigadier Desmond Roberts, who raised the flag on May 26, 1966, was also present at the ceremony.
Several students dressed in colorful costumes, celebrated Guyana’s beauty and culture with dance performances, while the joint services were applauded for their outstanding precision ceremonial march.
During the evening’s proceedings, Guyana’s National Awardees were announced. Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Jerome Stuart, Senior Counsel Rex McKay and Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland received the country’s second highest award — The Order of Roraima. Dr. Vibert Cambridge, a professor at Ohio University was honored with the Golden Arrowhead of Achievement Award.