Guyana’s 51st Anniversary of Independence was celebrated against the backdrop of unity during a reception at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan on May 26. The exact date the republic celebrated its freedom from the British.
Permanent Representation of Guyana to the United Nations, Ambassador Michael Ten Pow, and Consul General of Guyana to New York Barbara Atherly, welcomed the diaspora to the General Assembly Hall which Amb. Ten Pow called fitting for the commemoration, that showcased Guyanese pride, comradery, and harmony.
Ambassador Ten Pow reminded Guyanese of the indentured laborers who came to Guyana, and inter-married to make Guyana what it is today, a rich, racial and cultural tapestry of unity in diversity, woven into one people, one nation with one destiny to mold.
“My fellow Guyanese, I must say that along with the rights, privileges, freedoms and opportunities that come with being independent, we also have responsibilities. We must use the tools and opportunities available to us to build on the foundation left us by the first two generations of independent Guyanese.”
“I am reminded of the words of our national poet Martin Carter: “I do not sleep to dream. But dream to change the world. Development begins in our dreams, in our imagination, and so this generation must dream to change Guyana in our time, and to leave it a better place for our children and grandchildren to inherit,” he said.
“Let us recommit ourselves to the development of Guyana to become better citizens in every sense of the word. Let us strive together in unity to realize the dream of the good life for all.”
The diplomat thanked guests for joining Guyanese in celebrating the 51stAnniversary of Independence and called on ambassadors and representatives of member states of the United Nations to work with Guyana.
“I invite you to join us, work with us, share with us the knowledge and expertise that come with experience, those of you who have been masters of your own destinies for far longer that 51 years,” he said.
The diplomat then asked the audience to raise their glasses to toast His Excellency President David A. Granger, and the government of Guyana.
Consul General Barbara Atherly who presided over the festivities, extended a warm welcome to guests and recalled the joyous moment on May 26, 1966, when the Union Jack flag was lowered, and the majestic Golden Arrowhead flag hoisted, stating that was a proud moment for Guyana.
She thanked the Friends of the Consulate Independence Committee for organizing the event and acknowledged the contributions made by Nostrand Liquors, Trevor Rupnarain and Ann Narine of Zen Lounge and others.
Celebrated under the theme: Unity and Diversity in a Green Economy, CG Atherly told expatriates to continue to unite and support each other as Guyana forges ahead as a young nation.
The diplomats then accepted a Resolution from Britnee Timberlake, president of New Jersey Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in commemoration of Guyana’s 51st Anniversary of Independence, and later cut a lavish cake decorated with the colors of the Guyana flag.
Guyanese-born Senator Roxanne Persaud and Justice Ingrid Joseph, members of Guyana Armed Services, and other dignitaries attended the reception, which began with the singing of Guyana’s National Anthem by Kamiyah Parchment.
The guests were entertained with steelpan music they feasted on fine Guyanese cuisine.