The multicultural heritage of Guyanese came alive in the NYC H+H/Queens Hospital Auditorium, to celebrate ‘One People, One Nation, with One Destiny,’ in commemorate of the nation’s 50th Jubilee Republic Anniversary – An Evening of Reflection and Thanksgiving.
The thread of Guyana Together – Reflect, Celebrate, Transform, on Sunday, Feb. 16, ran through the patriotic production and filled hearts with nostalgia, during a memorable event that opened with a flag procession led by the Guyanese Association of Law Enforcement.
Consul General of Guyana, Barbara Atherly, acknowledged that it was Guyana’s time to celebrate, as it looks forward to a brighter future. She praised the country’s unique culture and religious community, which she said is sincerely respected.
Atherly urged Guyanese to find personal inspiration in the evening’s messages and reminded them of the work their forefathers had done to mould Guyana, into what it is today.
The multiethnic prayers by Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Rastafarian, Spiritual and Indigenous Peoples, demonstrated Guyana’s richness, when they commemorated, the Republic that came into being on Feb. 23, 1970.
Guyana’s Ambassador to the U.S. Riyad Insanally, Chair of the Organization of the American States (OAS), felt honored and privileged to celebrate Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary.
He reflected of how far the country had come as a Republic, and applauded Guyana for its achievement in becoming a petroleum rich state, reminding nationals of the eight billion or equivalent barrels of oil discovery at the boundary off shore Guyana, and the many other discoveries, that will amount to 120,000 barrels per day by the year 2025.
The 30-year career diplomat congratulated Guyana by saying, “Let us celebrate and see how we could successfully transform our dear land of Guyana.”
Oral Holder, consul general of Barbados to New York, and chair of CARICOM Consular Corps, called Guyana’s milestone a magnificent achievement, and stated that the nations is the most diverse in the region, adding, “Guyana’s multicultural heritage is a beacon that imbues its people with respect, dignity and proud identity.”
“Guyanese will continue to be a cohesive people in the region, onward and upward,” he cheered, adding, “when Guyana does good, the region does good.”
“We are here to celebrate Guyana and its people,” said Guyanese-born Steven Monroe, extending greetings for chief executive officer, NYC H+H Queens, Christopher Roker. He extended best wishes to Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary.
With veteran broadcaster, Hugh Hamilton at the helm, the evening’s, celebration showcased the exciting multicultural heritage of Guyanese, opening with Interfaith invocations, by Guyana’s Indigenous People (Amerindians), Praise and Thanksgiving by Spiritualist, Menes de Groit, who poured Libation with drums and song, Rastafarian Ras Zebulun, Chant/spoken words, Hindu Pandit Naro Bali and Pandita Davi Lakhnauth’s reflection. Dr. Cheryl Ault-Barker evoked her childhood memories, growing up in Guyana in prose, making way for an exhilarating presentation that began with Guyanese National Songs by Kevin Lowe on steel pan.
Expatriates sang their hearts out with patriotism and passion for the homeland. Nostalgia was heard in the voices of the Jubilee Choir that sang lustily, bringing to mind Guyana’s beauty in the words of late genius songwriter, Valerie Rodway’s – “Oh beautiful Guyana,” “Hymn for Guyana’s Children,” “Arise, Guyana,” “Guyana the Free,” and “My Guyana Eldorado,” as conducted by Musical Director, Joycelyn Hunte as she waved her baton with ardor.
Every performance was heartfelt for love of country and unity. From International Dancer Zaman’s multi-ethnic choreography, to “We’ve Come a Long Way” praise dance by Impressions Dance Theater, accompanied by Dr. Rose October-Edun’s – “And Still Rise” to Anthony Allen’s deep baritone voice, that filled the auditorium with “Hymn For Guyana’s Children.”
The audience for its part, joined in with “Let us Cooperate For Guyana,” to cement the Thanksgiving and Reflection celebration, the first of many commemorations that encapsulated the spirit and togetherness Guyanese strive for.
CARICOM Consular Corp. members Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Alison Roach Wilson, Consul General of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Howie Prince and other special guests attended the event hosted by the Office of the Guyana Consulate New York, and Guyanese in the Diaspora.