Mayor remembers slain officer at Guyanese Independence Reception

Mayor De Blasio stands with the Master of Ceremony, James Richmond, at Guyana’s 50th Independence Day Reception, held at the Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan.
Photo by Louise Wateridge

Mayor de Blasio celebrated Guyana’s 50th independence with members of the Guyanese community Thursday, for an event filled with awards, singing, storytelling and food.

The South American country, celebrated its May 27 day of independence for a milestone event at New York City’s Surrogate’s Court, in a ceremony honoring some 50 honorees of Guyanese origin and descent.

“It is such a pleasure to be here. I have real great appreciation for what this community has done for this city,” said de Blasio. “New York City works because we are a group of communities that come together and we are more than the sum of our parts. Therefore we have to appreciate each part that makes us great — and appreciate further what matters to each community.”

Also at the event to accept an honor award on behalf of their son, were the parents of slain NYPD officer Randolph Holder, who was shot and killed in Harlem late last year. De Blasio commended Officer Holder and his family for bringing their families tradition of serving on police forces.

“His family was police officers, so that tradition learned there was brought here to protect us,” said De Blasio. “I have to tell you I wish New York City had gotten a different opportunity to get to know the life of officer Holder, who was a heroic man — wish we had come to know him for so many other great things about him, and not because we lost him,” said De Blasio.

Members of the Guyanese community watch as a performer sings at Guyana’s 50th Independence Day Reception at Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan.
Photo by Louise Wateridge

The mayor praised the Guyanese community for its contributions, and encouraged the members to continue advancing to build a strong New York City.

“We commend your homeland for its 50th anniversary golden jubilee, and we know so much good is to come in the future, and we know the community here will only grow stronger, and as you grow stronger, New York City grows stronger,” said De Blasio.

Afterwards doctors, judges and journalists alike, were all presented with awards for their contributions to the Guyanese community here and abroad.

The event concluded with a reception to the sounds of the steelpan, and a feast of popular Guyanese dishes including doubles and curry chicken.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.
Mayor De Blasio poses with the 50 honorees at Guyana’s 50th Independence Reception at New York City’s Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan.
Photo by Louise Wateridge

More from Around NYC