May 27, 2016 News
The 50th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising Ceremony at Linden is being described as, “the most well attended” for the town.
Delivering the feature address at the ceremony, Minister within the Ministry of
Communities, Valarie Sharpe-Patterson urged residents of Region Ten to celebrate the Golden Jubilee as a national occasion. “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, to recognise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people,” she said.
The minister, who is a native of the mining town, noted that there are some valuable lessons that the nation should reflect on as we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
“The first lesson was that Independence was a collective effort. It was a ‘we thing’ and it required effort. It wasn’t given on a platter. We had to fight for it,” she said.
“As President David Granger points out, political independence was neither the work of one person nor one party nor was it a sudden event. It was a process that took place over a long period of several decades. It was the climax of a popular movement. Legislators, workers, ex-servicemen and ordinary people agitated to achieve political independence. We are heirs of their efforts, successors to their struggles and, now, possessors of their patrimony,” Sharpe-Patterson added.
The second lesson, the Minister proffered was that independence was a promise for the future. “It was just the beginning. It was the birth of a living organism with the potential to grow and develop”.
The third lesson, Sharpe-Patterson identified was that independence opened the door of opportunity. “Independence gave us the opportunity to create the life (country) we want. We didn’t have to wait on another to build it for us. Independence gave us the opportunity to build our nation,” she said.
Minister Patterson recalled that upon gaining independence the nation toiled to repair a country that had been damaged by disunity and division.
“We strove to create a community of comity and unity. We sought to satisfy the needs of our people by expanding public education, health, communications and transportation services. We erected an airport, bridges, highways, housing schemes, schools and a university. We established new national institutions such as our Ombudsman and our own Court of Appeal. We created a credible Foreign Service and cemented international friendships and alliances to secure our territory from external aggression. We contributed to the establishment of CARIFTA, CARICOM and the ACP. We took our place in the international community,” she reminded the gathering.
Identifying the fourth lesson as responsibility for territory and the environment, the minister called on all Guyanese to guard the country’s territorial space, to be custodians of national patrimony and to protect and care our portion of the earth and its attending environs.
The final lesson Minister Sharpe-Patterson sought to impart was that of the ‘Element of Accountability’.
“With responsibility comes accountability… We are accountable to our collective selves. We are also accountable to the next generation. We will be judged by the next generation as either being responsible or being reckless with that which was bequeathed to us, what we did with it and what we, in turn, bequeath to them,” she said.
Brief remarks were given by the Deputy Director of the Community Development Council, Sandra Adams and Mayor Carwyn Holland.
The Chief Citizen noted that the occasion of the Golden Jubilee was more than just about a time for celebration. He said that despite the numerous difficulties faced since independence it was, “our will and resolve that kept us going, and will keep us going forward into a bright and prosperous future”.
The Linden Flag Raising Ceremony also featured cultural performances by the Regional Choir, a song by Melanie King and a rendition on saxophone by Pastor Roland McDonald.
Congratulatory messages were given by representatives of Linmine, Guyana Water Inc, Ministry of Agriculture,, National Insurance Scheme, National Communications Network and Linden Utilities Utility Services Co-op Society.
The event concluded with the raising of the Golden Arrowhead in front of the Regional Democratic Council Building followed by a fireworks display.
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