Georgetown, Guyana – (July 15, 2015) Friends of H.E. Brigadier David A. Granger pulled out all the stops today, with a grand celebration in honour of The President’s 70th birth anniversary. Having just returned from his trip to Addis Ababa, Africa, the Head of State took a few moments to enjoy his special day and mingle with over 400 guests, who turned up at the event held at Base Camp Ayanganna, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Head Quarters on Thomas Lands.
The President was especially pleased to receive his birthday gift, 40-seater school boat, complete with a 200 horsepower engine, a shed and life jackets to transport children who live in the Pomeroon. Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, explained that this is one of the key areas that caught the President’s attention during his travels around the country. As it is, one child has to spend a total of $5000 per week to travel to school from Pomeroon to Charity.
The boat was donated by members of the business community and a group of friends of the President. It will be handed over to the residents of that area before the commencement of the new school term.
In his remarks, the Head of State said that for him celebrating his birthday is more of a thanksgiving and rather than expensive gifts, he simply asked that people consider donating things like speed-boats to transport students in hinterland and riverine areas to school. “This is a very practical gift, so hold the frankincense and hold the myrrh, let’s have the school boats instead…so that every Guyanese child can get to school,” the President said.
Speaking of his role as President of Guyana, the retired army brigadier said that, “I have been trained for this position, I don’t say this immodestly; I came into this compound at platoon commander and I am back here as Commander-in-Chief, but as you heard it took me 50 years to travel that distance.”
He spoke of the six-party coalition Administration which he leads and said remains committed to national unity, inclusionary democracy, and giving every single Guyanese regardless of race, religion or place of origin, a good life.
Humorously admitting that that he is happy to be Guyana’s latest septuagenarian, the President shared some fond recollections from his earlier years and of his family whose support he said, has made his journey easier.
Notwithstanding the celebratory tone of the event, the President had some strong words for Venezuela. He said, “Let me make this clear when I use these remarks, because sometimes things don’t translate well into Spanish. Decree 1787 is like a fish bone in my throat, I’m not calling people fishes now and I would like to thank my colleagues in the Caribbean Community for helping to remove that bone. It has been replaced by a smaller bone but a bone nevertheless… it is worse than a nuisance; it is hindering the development of our beautiful country.”
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, in his congratulatory remarks, said that at age 70, President Granger has taken up the mantle as the exemplar of a disciplinarian and a leader and has what it takes to take Guyana forward.
Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Norman McLean and Mr. Roy Blackman, a close friend of the President and coordinator of the event also spoke of the event, reminiscing on their years in military service.