Retired Col. Larry London recently restored the Independence Arch in Georgetown, shortly after newly elected president David A. Granger, appointed him head coordinator to restore heritage sites in the garden city.
Located on Brickdam, in the shadow of the Square of the Revolution, the arch that was presented to the nation from the Demerara Bauxite Company Limited was unveiled by then Prime Minister Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham four days before Independence on May 26, 1966.
However, due to more than 20 years of neglect, the president put in place the restoration initiative to coincide with the celebration of the country’s 49th Anniversary of Independence.
In addition to the restoration, London felt it was important to also clean up the environs around the arch, and applauded corporate Guyana, such as BK International Brands, the Stanley Ming Organization, SA Nabi, and others, for their quick jump into action, cleaning clogged drains and sluices that have caused major flooding unsightly, unhealthy conditions in the city.
Royston Bacchus of RB Mining donated Guy$1M to help with the clean-up effort.
London says the length and breadth of the thoroughfare is now cleared of overgrowth, making the former D’Urban Park racecourse, that overlooks the site, a now clean open space in the community.
“We have worked hard to make Georgetown the garden city again,” said London, who thanked the mayor and City Council for providing the necessary technical direction to get the job done.
However, he praised the public-spirited citizens as the driving force of the initiative who he said were excited about being a part of the significant achievement. He is hopeful that they continue to up-keep the city.
One such citizen, Doreen Chance, donated two celestial palm trees from her plant business and was given permission to sow and look over the flora as it flourishes.
“We hope this arch will become a tourist attraction,” said London, who admitted that a large part of the population does not know about the historic site because it was buried in overgrowth and muck.
During the restoration, London was seen posing for pictures with young Guyanese who never knew the arch existed until the restoration began.
He hopes Guyanese make the arch one of the centerpieces of Georgetown.