Fireworks lit up the night’s sky just after midnight on May 25 as Bartica joined country-wide celebrations to mark 50 years as an independent nation. Just seconds before, the large crowd that had gathered at the Bartica Community Centre Ground would have witnessed the Golden Arrowhead being hoisted by Corporal Orwin Corlette and Private Alex Sofleigh.
Similar to what has been taking place in all ten Administrative Regions, events to celebrate Guyana’s Golden Jubilee of Independence started in Bartica months ago. Last night’s event started with a route march around the community by several community based organisations.
Among the organisations taking part were, the Guyana Defence Force, the Bartica Police Station, the Bartica Community Policing Group, Guyana Prison Service, Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders, St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Bartica Regional Hospital, Regional Education Department of Region #7 and the Regional Democratic Council.
The parade was coordinated by Chief Inspector Compton Williams and the salute was taken by Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Anette Ferguson, in front of the Bartica Police Station.
Delivering the feature address at the Bartica Community Centre, Minister Ferguson honoured some of Guyana’s political heroes who led the struggle for Guyana’s independence. “Tonight we pay homage to our fallen heroes who fought for our independence. We remember Guyana’s first Executive President, Forbes Sampson Burnham, late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the late Peter D’Aguiar and the late Stephen Campbell. They all had their respective roles and purposes during Guyana’s preparations for Independence,” she said.
The minister quoted statements made by President David Granger and Former President, Forbes Burnham, to remind the more than one thousand persons present of the important opportunities provided by Independence. She called on them to work towards the achievement of Guyana’s full potential.
The minister also extended wishes for a happy independence and long life on behalf of the President and Prime Minister.
Other officials in attendance were, Regional Chairman of Region Seven, Gordon Bradford; Regional Executive Officer (ag), Derek Persaud; Divisional Commander of “F” Division, Ravindradat Budhram; Cpt. Harold Fraser of the GDF and; Officer in Charge of Mazaruni Prison, Alexander Hopkinson.
In his address to the gathering, Regional Chairman Bradford spoke of the impact the flag raising ceremony of 1966 which was held at the same location, had on him. Bradford said it is perhaps his proudest moment and urged the attendees to be proud of all past and present presidents. “Take up the mantle and work together to make a better Guyana and leave a great inheritance,” Bradford urged his fellow Barticians.
Awards were presented to various organisations and individuals for participating in independence anniversary competitions that were organised by the Regional Administration. (GINA)