Georgetown, Guyana – (June 8, 2019) Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe commended the 16 winners of the Art and Logo Competition, at a glowing prize-giving ceremony hosted on Friday at the National Gallery of Art, Castellani House, Georgetown. Dr. Bynoe encouraged the finalists to “continue to aspire for greatness” and to boldly pursue their goals as they may soon be able “to enter professions that we have not yet contemplated”.
The Energy Director reminded the gathering that the nation’s resources belong to all its people and that transparency and inclusion are among the Department’s mandate in managing the sector. “These resources belong to all Guyanese and I want to reinforce that and whatever we, as a Department, do we are seeking to ensure that we involve, encourage and inculcate an attitude whereby you can feel comfortable and confident that your resources are being looked after for your present and your future,” he said.
The Department received 64 entries in the Logo Competition and 11 in the Art Competition, which opened in February to coincide with Guyana’s Republic Day anniversary celebrations. The Department scrapped initial plans to only host a Logo Competition targeting teenagers and young adults from ages 14 to 25 and expanded the competition to include an Art Competition for youth ages 6 to 18 years, with the view of stirring greater interest in the sector.
“We are keen to ensure that Guyanese are invested in the sector and feel as though this belongs to them. Thus, you have an opportunity possibly for years, if not decades, to be able to say I had a hand in what is reflected as the logo for the Department. This logo may well outlive some of you. It may even be something that goes way beyond our wildest imaginations because oil and gas is not a fly by night industry. We’re looking at an industry that will be here for at least 40 to 50 years, if not longer,” Dr. Bynoe said.
In this vein, the Director cautioned the youth to guard against vices such as greed and corruption and the desire to “become rich overnight”. Instead, he encouraged them to pursue education, cultivate discipline and work hard to achieve their goals, noting that that there will be opportunities in the sector for persons with these attributes. Dr. Bynoe noted too that in addition to the Competition, the Department has also advertised for interns as it recognises that there is a dearth of opportunities for persons without job experience.
“We do recognize that there has been an outcry that if no one ever employs me how I would ever get the necessary experience and expertise. If you’re an enthusiastic young person, I trust that you would have taken the opportunity to apply for one of these internships because the Department wants to ensure that we are not continually hiring expertise from outside of Guyana when we Guyanese will ultimately take control of this sector in years to come,” he said.
In keeping with this, he said, the Department has sought partnerships with sister institutions, with the Ministry of Education, University of Guyana and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) council. “Why is this necessary? Because we cannot do it all ourselves. We require you to partner with us and ultimately to feel comfortable that we are not just talking the talk, but we are walking the walk,” the Director said.
Petroleum Geologist at the Department, Ms. Marissa Foster shared similar sentiments. Ms. Foster noted that the Department is in its early days yet and it continues to seek ways to engage the public. “It was this ‘newness’ which triggered the need for a logo, with the aim of creating a sense of ownership for the sector among the young people,” she said. While noting that the response to the competition as overwhelming, Ms. Foster said, “we were impressed with the level of creativity many of the pieces showed. We were even more pleasantly surprised by how many regions were represented.”
The winners of the Logo Competition, from first to third place are Ms. Abiola Lewis, Mr. Albert Narine and Mr. Dillon Craig. Mr. Akesi Cave and Mr. Kester Hernandez both received a commendation for their efforts. A Facebook prize, for competitors who received the most ‘liked’ entries, was awarded to Mr. Michael Morrison.
The winners in the Art Competition were also announced. These participants were tasked with creating works of art under the theme “Guyana’s oil and gas: transforming our nation, in unity – One Guyana”. The winners in the 6-10 age category, from first to third place are respectively; Master Sajid Amin, Miss Damiana Jaigopaul and Miss Malianna Mentus. In the 11-14 age range, from first to third place respectively; Miss Assika Kunath, Miss Jessica Mentus and Master Jairam Thakurdyal. In the 15-18 age range, from first to third place respectively: Master Arnie Edwin, Miss Britney Bovell and Miss Keishana Samaroo. The Facebook prize was awarded to Master Sajid Amin, Miss Kairie Persaud and Master Arnie Edwin in their respective categories.
The competitions were judged by a panel of five persons including Legal Advisor to the Department, Ms. Joanna Simmons; Ms. Alvina Naughton, Mr. Andrew Dos Santos, Administrator of the E.R. Burrowes School of Art, Mr. Ivor Thom and Visual Arts Co-ordinator, Ministry of Education Unit of Allied Arts, Ms. Regina Torrington. Ms. Torrington served as the Chief Judge.
The celebration also featured a dramatic Spoken Word item by Ms. Carlene Gill Kerr and a dance performed by a troupe from the National School of Dance. The prizes were presented by Ms. Verlyn Klass of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the University of Guyana; Ms. Volika Jaikishun, Principal Education Officer of the Ministry of Education; Ms. Gillian Frank, Youth Officer at the Ministry of the Presidency and Ms. Sharon Patterson, Office Manager of the Department of Energy.