Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Semona Broomes joined a Guyanese contingent on Eastern Parkway on Monday, Sept. 4 and waved the Golden Arrowhead flag with nationals to the 50th Anniversary of the Caribbean American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).
Minister Broomes said she was happy to celebrate with the Guyanese Diaspora, adding that the Guyana government felt it was necessary for a representative from the administration march with nationals to show unity, and in support of WIADCA.
“This is the biggest event in the Caribbean community and we are happy to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, said Broomes, adding that the government cares about Guyanese in the Diaspora, and reminded them of their newly acquired wealth.
“Your country has oil and gas. We are the richest people in the Caribbean, and we will transfer that wealth to educating Guyanese, as we develop our country,” she said, while calling on the expatriates to work together in unity for the betterment of their homeland.
The nationals made history; since this is the first time a group headed by Guyanese-born elected officials joined the parade on Easter Parkway. This was to say thanks to WIADCA, who last year, celebrated Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence by inviting Guyana’s Consul General to New York, Barbara Atherly to join its festivities as a Grand Marshall to honor Guyana’s achievement.
Scores of Guyanese, in yellow tee shirts affixed with the Guyana Coat-of-Arms emblem and the words “Guyanese Celebrate [email protected], marched along the parade route singing patriotic songs.
The Guyana Celebrates WIADCA @ 50 banner, led Senator Roxanne Persaud, Justice Ingrid Joseph, Consul General, Barbara Atherly, President of the Guyana Unity Movement, Sherif Fraser, and members of other organizations as they marched to the beat of Master Drummer Menes de Griot and the Shanto Rhythms. A group of creative dancers performed a choreographer by Verna Walcott-White, to showcase Guyana’s indigenous heritage.
Acting Supreme Court Justice, Ingrid Joseph in an invited comment, said it was important for her to march, because she is a born and bred Guyanese, and was very proud to celebrate her culture with her compatriots.
“I would not be here were it not for my Guyanese roots,” said Judge Joseph.
Senator Roxanne Persaud in turn, thanked nationals for marching together, saying, “The next time we do this, let us encourage more people to come out to showcase the six races of Guyana. Too often this is what we see, said the politicians, adding that on-lookers, questioned if Amerindians (indigenous people) were Guyanese. People in Brooklyn see only one segment of the Guyanese community.”
“Thank you for coming out to showcase Guyana. Let’s do this again, but on a larger scale,” said Senator Persaud.
Consul General Barbara Atherly also thanked Guyanese for their participation, and reminded them that the consulate is there to serve them, noting that the consulate will start its Saturday service from Sept. 16. www.guyan
Jonathan Locke, a world-renown sculptor from the land of Pepper Pot, Cook-up rice and Roti and Curry, said many don’t know the value of Guyanese living in America, and the Labor Day parade was the place to showcase their culture, while Eric Joseph of the Guyana Unity Movement, said, “more than anything else, we are here to support WIADCA on its 50th Anniversary because very few institutions have stood the test of time, so it was imperative to honor this organization, and at the same time, display our Guyanese pride in the diaspora.”
Mickey Harte, who travelled from New Jersey, said he was proud to be in the parade and is committed to supporting events that benefit the Guyanese diaspora.
Passionate about preserving the Guyanese culture, GUM member, Kay Gray said, “It is important that we preserve and protect our culture,” while bringing attention to the noticeable lack of vending on the parkway during the carnival.
“We must fight for our culture, and community organizations must mobilize towards this effort,” said Gray.
The Guyanese contingent ramped up their “Guyana Nice” song, penned by Menes de Groit, as they passed the Brooklyn Museum, and later gathered to sing “Oh Beautiful Guyana, Oh My Lovely Native Land in a crescendo, to end their historic participation.