Georgetown, Guyana – (May 7, 2018) President David Granger, yesterday, charged Guyanese to become more resourceful and to make the necessary provisions for their future generations as their fore parents had done for them. Speaking at a thanksgiving service at the Bethel Congregational Church at Beterverwagting, he emphasised the need for people to uphold the four pillars on which villages were established by freed Africans. These are the home, the school, the church and the farm.
“They [freed Africans] were thrifty people, they were people with foresight, these were not people who went to school and had Degrees and PhDs. These villages were the cradle of the Guyanese society…knock down the churches, knock down the schools, knock down the homes and knock down the farms and the society will collapse,” the Head of State said.
Speaking of the rich legacy that freed Africans has bequeathed to their descendants, the President urged the congregation to “Bring your children back into the church because this church has sustained the villages for over 100 years, make sure your children go to school…the farm has to be reactivated…and the home is not something optional or ornamental, the home is at the heart of every community.”
The thanksgiving service was organised by the 8th of May Movement in collaboration with the Bethel Congregational Church to mark the 178th anniversary of Beterverwagting Village. Chairperson of the Triumph/Beterverwagting 8th of May Movement, Ms. Latecia Stuart said that the freed Africans left a proud history of self-sacrifice, unity and determination for Guyanese to emulate. She said that today’s ceremony is fittingly held at the Bethel Congregational Church, which was built by freed Africans.
On May 8, 1940, a group of freed Africans, armed with a wheelbarrow of coins, totalling $52,000, purchased what is now called Beterverwagting Village.