Mayor of the City of East Orange, Lester E. Taylor III on June 10, congratulated Guyanese on their 50th Independence Anniversary on the steps on City Hall, and said it was a joy to welcome the nationals to the City of East Orange where ‘our vision is setting the standard for excellence to become a destination city.”
“I am very proud to recognize that East Orange has the second largest Guyanese American population next to queens New York, and I am very happy to congratulate all Guyanese on the 50th Anniversary of your independence,” said the politician, who joined the founders of the Guyana American Heritage Foundation Inc. (GAHFI) at their 10th Annual Flag Raising ceremony on the municipal plaza.
“We in the City of East Orange welcome and share in that recognition with Guyanese residents, including my wife Bibi, who have played a substantial part in building the fabric of this great city, along with many other employees of East Orange.”
“We embrace the Caribbean Heritage and we will continue to flourish even more so, as we work with bi-lateral partners in the City of East Orange through our economic trade initiatives,” said Taylor, who thanked GAHFI president, Ira Lewis, Allison Butters- Grant, and many others for their steadfast effort in putting ‘this program on.”
“Together we will set the standard for excellence,” said Taylor who presented the organization with a Proclamation, and Certificates of Appreciation, to members of the community. Legendary singer, Ivor Lynch was at the top of the list.
First Lady of East Orange, Bibi Taylor, was then honored with the Danny Glover Award, from CARICOM Pageant President, Monica Sanchez, and a plaque from President of the Guyana America Heritage Foundation, Ira Lewis, presented by Minister Hughes.
Ted Green, East Orange Council chairman expressed best wishes to the expatriates on the celebration of their 50th Independence Anniversary and thanked them for their contribution to the City of East Orange.
“On behalf of the entire City Council we thank you for making us a part of your celebration today, and thank you for your contribution. We love that you are here in the City of East Orange to celebrate with us,” he added.
Guyana Minister of Public Communication & Tourism, Catherine Hughes who was in New York to attend Guyana’s 50th Jubilee festivities, in her keynote address, thanked her fellow Guyanese for giving back to their homeland.
“I want to implore you to come home and visit. Now is the time to come back, to reconnect with your history, with your heritage, and family that might be there, but most importantly we want you to bring the next generation of Guyanese so that they can come and experience our beautiful county.”
“Thanks to you in the Diaspora and citizens like you who continue to do good things for Guyana. I recognize, and the government of Guyana recognizes your contribution. Many of you help your old school, churches and orphanages; and many of you help in the development of the health sector,” said the politician.
“The things that we are committed to doing in Guyana, we cannot do without your continued support and assistance, so I want to say thank you for all that you have done, and will continue do.”
The pleasant sunshine that hung over City Hall, was an inspiring gesture that helped the nationals to celebrate with pride and excitement, as the Golden Arrowhead flag was raised in New Jersey, 50 years after Guyana became independent on May 26, 1966.
Retired, Guyana Defense Force Colonel, Desmond Roberts who raised the flag at Guyana’s National Park, in 1966, passed the baton over to his son who helped the former army brass to once again hoist the flag alongside Minister Catherine Hughes, members of the GAHFI and citizens who celebrated the historic occasion.
The evening’s commemoration included folk music, a rendition by Larry’s Steel Pan, Praise Dance by the Brenda Telford Dance Group, Songs of Guyana’s Children by St. Paul & St. Agnes Church Choir, an Indian Fashion Showcase by Bibi Alli, and a display of Guyana’s six races of people, by Ismay Sam.
Pastor Julius Ceasar, (Christian) Pandit Suresh (Hindu), and Ashraf Latif, (Muslim), blessed the observance with multi-cultural prayers while talented young singer, Rkhqy, sang the national anthems of Guyana and America. YA&G donated the delicious Guyanese fare.