As per an Executive Notice issued, yesterday, by President David Granger, January 12 has been designated Chinese Arrival Day. In a second Executive Notice, also issued, March 13 has been named Rose Hall Martyrs’ Day.
According to the first notice, the President stated:
“Since January 12, 1853, when they first arrived, Chinese have made significant contributions to the growth and development of Guyana. Many of them Christians fleeing, persecution in their motherland, the Chinese integrated quickly into the prevailing Guyanese society and by the start of the 20th century had come to be regarded as earnest, law-abiding, industrious citizens. Their imprint could readily be seen in Guyanese cuisine and in their involvement in commerce as shopkeepers and businessmen. It is hoped that Chinese Arrival Day will foster a greater appreciation for their history and contributions and further enrich the cosmopolitan nature of Guyana’s citizenry.”
In the notice designating March 13, Rose Hall Martyrs’ Day, the President stated:
“The Colonial police killed 15 sugar workers on March 13, 1913, at Plantation Rose Hall in Berbice. The workers had formed a group to protest against working on days that were awarded to them for a good sugarcane grinding season.
“These martyrs whose ages ranged from 21 to 75 were Badri, Bholay, Durga, Gafur, Jugai, Juggoo, Hulas, Lalji, Motey Khan, Nibur, Roopan, Sadulla, Sarjoo, Sohan and the only female, Gobindei. Sugar workers participated in the development of the economy, the pillar of which was sugar. The slaying of the workers brought international attention to the system of Indentureship and its cruelty. Indentureship ended in 1917. On Rose Hall Martyrs’ Day it is hoped that the martyrs’ supreme sacrifice would remain an inspiration to Guyanese.”