Georgetown, Guyana – (May 25, 2016) President David Granger, today, addressed the staff of the Ministry of the Presidency at an informal gathering in the Ministry’s compound and encouraged them to be grateful for the freedom that Guyana’s Independence allows citizens of this nation even as he his pride in the beauty and bounty of this nation.
“Guyana has really changed. Some of you may not know… but things were really bad before 1966. I can’t tell you how bad things were. I left Queen’s College with ‘A’ Level qualification, good recommendations from the Headmaster and I couldn’t get a job in one of the banks. My uncle was a member of the Royal Airforce during the Second World War. He came back with his Airforce uniform [and] he went into a place called Park Hotel and they wouldn’t serve him. That is how Guyana use to be,” President Granger recalled.
He also recalled places such as the National Park, which was a Golf Club at the time, as well as cricket clubs as exclusive venues. The Head of State noted that a lot of the changes that Guyanese now take for granted did not exist prior to Guyana’s Independence. He also noted that the road to independence was not one taken by one or two individuals, but that several persons contributed to the cause.
“It was Mr. Theophilus Lee who got a motion in the Legislative Council- which is now called the National Assembly- which led to constitutional change. Dr. Jagan, Mr Burnham, Steve Campbell, Peter D’Aguiar played a role… So when we look around we [all] contributed,” he said.
As such, President Granger noted that this is a special event because despite the difficulties, Guyana has become a better place.
“I would like to see Guyana continue to become a good place for our children and grandchildren to grow up in. This is a precious country… so that’s why I’m so committed to this green economy and preserving Guyana so when we come to an occasion like this it is a matter of pride that I feel when I realise I am President of this country. It’s a matter of pride to work with a team like you and my Cabinet,” the President said to his staff.
He encouraged the staff to be merry and celebrate Culture Day on the eve of our Independence but urged them not to forget the psychological aspect- that of being free from Colonialism.
“We are independent-minded… We made some mistakes along the way but we are pacesetters in the Caribbean and we will see the benefits of the things we are doing so. It’s not a matter of cost. What we are doing might cost a lot but it is very valuable,” President Granger said.