Georgetown, Guyana – (May 25, 2018) President David Granger, First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife, Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo and several Cabinet members, today, joined with thousands of Guyanese at the D’Urban Park to witness the 52nd Independence Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony.
This year’s event saw a break from the usual midnight tradition to facilitate the participation of the nation’s children. The adjustment in schedule notwithstanding, Guyanese came out in their numbers to be part of the celebrations, which continues tonight at the Stabroek Market Square.
The event, which was organised by the Ministry of Social Cohesion, featured a grand cultural presentation, which celebrated Guyana’s six peoples and ‘green’ development. This was followed by a military parade, led by ranks of the Guyana Defence Force, the National Cadet Corps, students from several schools across the country, Pathfinders and the Scouts. As always, the highlight of the afternoon was the 21-gun salute and the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead on the 180 foot flagpole in the centre of the D’Urban Park facility.
The fact that the event was held earlier than usual, did not temper the excitement on the ground, as at age 84, Mrs. Iris Brathwaite said neither the steep bleachers at the D’Urban Park nor the weather could have deterred her from being a part of the festivities.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Ms. Jennifer Clarke, who used the opportunity to call for greater support and cooperation from all Guyanese. “I know [that] we will go a far way if we get the kind of cooperation we need from everyone,” she said.
Ms. Bonita Mohan, another reveler in the crowd, said that she is extremely pleased at the fact that each Independence celebration is bigger than the last. Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr. Randy Soloman, who said that Guyana has come a far way over the past 52 years, but he pointed out that much more needs to be done, particularly in terms of moving towards Information and Communication Technology.
President David Granger in his message to the nation said that, “Independence is to be valued and safeguarded. Independence has laid the foundation for a more inclusive and democratic society which will guarantee the good life for the next generation. Independence is the best time to remember that children are our future. We need to bequeath to them, much more than we inherited from our own parents.”