Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead flag of freedom was the backdrop for a unified, and uplifting celebration on Feb. 22, to honor the nation’s achievement of republic that took place 53 years ago.
Consul General in NY, Ambassador Michael E. Brotherson, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, welcomed expatriates to the consulate in Manhattan, for a toast and a reminder of how far the sovereign state has come since Feb. 23, 1970, and the upward trajectory it is on.
CG Brotherson urged diaspora members in New York to continue to promote the spirit of cooperation, love, peace, and harmony as “our nation continues to climb to an era of unprecedented economic prosperity.”
“All of these ideals are embodied in President Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s remarkable leadership and his progressive vision for a One Guyana. Ours is a nation on the move and today we can be proud as ever, more than any other time in our history,” said Brotherson.
“I am extremely delighted to greet you as we gather to celebrate Guyana’s 53rd Republic Anniversary. I am pleased to extend a warm welcome and to convey a happy republic anniversary to all Guyanese here and back home in beautiful Guyana,” he added.
“Over the past 53 years, the people of Guyana through their dedication, diligence, and patriotism, have built a nation of profound worth and accomplishments. Guyana is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and has achieved an estimated GDP growth rate of approximately 62 percent in 2022, alongside some of the world’s largest economies. Our nation has taken on leadership and other roles in several aspects of regional and international affairs,” said the consul general.
“Significantly, too, we are now ranked amongst the top 12 places to visit in 2023, with green tourism as an important element of our developmental objectives,” said CG Brotherson who extended a happy 53rd Republic Anniversary, on behalf of President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, and Hugh Hilton Todd, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, and the entire government and people of Guyana.
Noting with pride that Guyana became the first English speaking motherland to attain republic status, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, said the county took a bold step towards its lofty goals, and embraced its motto of “One people, One Nation, One Destiny.” She noted that despite challenges over the past 53 years, “We have persevered and here we are today a nation moving onward and upward from a country that was classified just 20 years ago, as being heavily indebted, poor, to one that has the lowest debts, in the entire region, even before oil was discovered.”
“I want to thank those countries that have stood beside us,” she said, paying tribute to former presidents and leaders who have “worked over these years to bring our country to where it is today.” She also thanked diaspora colleagues in the US and Guyana who have demonstrated their determination and resilience.
She applauded President Irfaan Ali for cultivating a better today and tomorrow “for us the future is now. We must no longer speak about potential, but utilize that potential, and be united, where equality and democracy must always prevail.”
Fazal Joe Yussuff, advisor on Investments & Diaspora Affairs reiterated, that Guyana is not what it was 53 years ago but is still guided by its strong heritage and traditions and changing for the better. He applauded the massive infrastructural development in the South American country, adding that he was pleased with the improved health services and housing sectors, and thanked President Ali for the changes taking place.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that the diaspora is included in the changes. You too can go back and live your dream of returning and be a part the ‘One Guyana’ initiative,” he said.
In a heartfelt message, R. Rondy Luta McIntosh, consul general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in New York, praised Guyana for being a leader in the region, from the beginning of CARICOM in 1973, and taking its future into its own hands to become a republic.
Present at the celebration included Mustafa Ali, non-resident ambassador of Guyana to Mexico, Sheldon Peter, Dominica consulate representative in New York, Queens Civil Court Judge Andrea Ogle, Ex-Guyana Police Force members, and members of the Guyanese Law Enforcement Association (GALEA).
The resolution paid tribute, noting in part, “to the cultural heritage of the ethnic groups which comprise and contribute to the richness and diversity of the community of the state of New York, and in keeping with these time-honored traditions of this the legislative body to commemorate the 53rd Anniversary of Guyana becoming a republic.”
Aneesha Allie, consul, emceed the event, which was punctuated by the singing of the patriotic “Hymn for Guyana’s Children” by Jevanah La Rose. A reception followed.