It was a great day for British Guiana when, sixty years ago on 5th October 1957, the People’s National Congress was established.
It was a great day when, happily, Comrade Forbes Burnham, our founder-leader, together with Comrade Joseph Prayag Lachhmansingh, our founder-chairman and Comrade Jane Phillips-Gay our founder of the Women’s Movement, set out on a mission to change colonial conditions of life in fundamental ways.
Forbes Burnham, Joseph Lachhmansingh and Jane Phillips-Gay erected an institution aimed at encouraging and empowering poor and powerless men and women to combine their energy and talent to transform a backward plantation economy into an independent nation.
Our Party, at the cultural level, enhanced social cohesion and integration, fostered respect for each others’ religions, celebrated the history of our peoples and promoted patriotic pride and national unity.
Our Party, at the political level, rejected colonial domination, strove for fair representation, struggled for Independence and steered the colony of British Guiana into nationhood.
Our Party, at the social level, introduced social protection, improved access to public housing and public health, expanded public education and extended the provision of public services to the people.
Our Party, at the economic level, initiated major drainage and irrigation and sea defence works in order to augment agricultural production. It improved public infrastructure in order to promote more efficient land, riverine and aviation transportation and communications.
Our Party, at the international level, defended Guyana’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, initiated actions which, with other states, led to the liberation of colonial possessions and the establishment of organizations among African, Caribbean and Pacific states that conduced to making the world a freer and safer place.
Our Party, the People’s National Congress, as part of a coalition administration with its partners – the Alliance For Change, Guyana Action Party, Justice For All Party, National Front Alliance and Working People’s alliance – celebrates this anniversary with a sense of satisfaction with the success of its efforts to make Guyana a better place for everyone.
We are the heirs and successors of the unsung and uncelebrated ‘heroes of yore.’ We pay homage to our founders who established this proud, principled Party. We honour those who, today, inspired by our founders’ vision, continue to contribute to our country’s development.
We thank God for sustaining our Party for sixty years.
May God bless the People’s National Congress! May God bless Guyana!
5th October, 2017