President David Granger: I’d be very surprised if within one year Mr Godfrey doesn’t have a little book about how the Buxtonians stopped a train. So I’ll ask him to do a little booklet so that all young Buxtonians growing up could be aware of the proud history of this community – and he’s right, I am a friend of Friendship and I keep coming back here, thanks to Jocelyn and Morris Wilson who have been conducting this exercise again and again.

Rite of spring. You know what a rite of spring is? It is like a ritual. A few weeks ago we had the Hindus celebrating Phagwah. Phagwah really is a spring festival; in addition to the religious, when everybody throws coloured powder and water on each other, they are celebrating spring when people start to plant and winter comes to an end. Before that, the Chinese had Chinese New Year again celebrating ‘the start of’, which again is a spring festival and in a way, Easter is related to spring.

Sometimes, you hear about Easter rabbits. You ever hear about Easter rabbits? Rabbits don’t have anything to do with Jesus Christ. I could tell you what rabbits do and it’s nothing to do with Jesus Christ but it has something to do with making other rabbits. So here we are in Buxton-Friendship and it is a very, very serious Christian festival. It is the most sacred Christian festival because it comes at the end of Lent, 40 days and 40 nights of fasting when Christians commemorate the passion of Jesus Christ.
When I was young, the only pictures that were shown during Holy Week were Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, the Demetrius and The Gladiators, The Passion of Christ. It was very, very solemn. So on Sunday, we come to the end of the period of fasting, we come to the end of the season of Lent. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and now comes to an end on this very weekend. So it’s a time for celebration; it’s a time for children to go out and fly their kites.

So this is very important for the Christians but for Guyanese it is a time when all of us, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, young and old can go out and have picnics and celebrate and be happy in being Guyanese. Sometimes you go to Antigua, sometimes you go to Barbados, Anguilla, Belize, you want know what happen to these people – nobody isn’t flying kites. The only people who are flying kite are Guyanese. It’s a Guyanese thing, and let us preserve this tradition, let us wait till next year when Mr Godfrey bring out his little book about kite flying in Buxton-Friendship and let us have fun.

So we are here, Minister Amna Ally, Minister of Social Protection, Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams, Pastor Philadelphia and there is another Minister, Minister Karen Cummings. Mr. Henry and certainly, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson to help you celebrate a traditional Guyanese Easter.

So let’s get busy with these kites and happy Easter to all of you.

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