‘Awakening a Sleeping Giant’ …All set for Guyana’s inaugural Coconut Festival

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The world’s first Female coconut monument was on Sunday unveiled to the public as Guyana prepares to celebrate the inaugural Coconut Festival under the theme “Awakening a Sleeping Giant”.

Lady Coco, the mascot of the festival, standing tall gracing the night’s sky
Lady Coco, the mascot of the festival, standing tall gracing the night’s sky

Lady Coco was commissioned at the entrance of the Arthur Chung Convention Centre by a small gathering.

Agro-Tourism Specialist Gemma Wenner who was tasked with providing insight into the significance of Lady Coco, stated that the first ever monument signifies “A tree of life”.

“This iconic sculpture signifies the versatility, strength and nurturing women provide in society”, she stated.

She noted that the monument was partially made of coconut, among other natural materials.

Wenner underscored the relevance of the coconut and its usefulness to mankind, noting that over 67 products can be made from coconut.

“We can use the oil from coconut, branches and every other part of the coconut,” said Wenner.

She pointed out that a coconut tree is “like a woman”, stating that the tree can weather any storm and still be fruitful.

Miss Universe Guyana 2016 Soyini Fraser, as the special ambassador of the Coconut Festival, paid tribute to the artist Gerry Gittens for his invaluable work.

The Beauty Queen stated that Gittens is no stranger to the arts industry, noting that he was awarded sometime back with the Icon of the Arts.

Fraser stated that Gittens did an amazing job over a short period and he should be recognised for his creativity.

Vilma Persaud, no stranger to the coconut industry, delivered the feature address and had the honour of unveiling Lady Coco.

Persaud, who owns one of the largest coconut farms in the country and supplies regional markets, delivered an inspiring story about how she was able to be successful.

“Firstly I was never a farmer; I was married to the farmer but what I realised in the community is that farmers only farmed for subsistence. I did not want that for my family so I decided to go to all of the forums and agricultural activities to gain knowledge to better my farm.”

She added that she encountered many challenges in her family life since she is a mother and a wife. However that never stopped her and today her family is proud of what they have accomplished.

According to Guyana’s Director General of Tourism, Donald Sinclair, Lady Coco will not be permanently located at the entrance of the Convention Centre since the coconut industry committee will be seeking a place of permanent residence, at a craft shop.

“We will be moving the monument to various locations around the country then after we will be looking to place it in a craft shop.”

Guyana Coconut Festival is scheduled for October 28 to 30 at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. The Guyana Coconut Festival was officially launched at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel on Thursday 21st April last.

 

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