Pomp and ceremony mark Guyana’s 56th Independence Anniversary in Georgia

A member of GAOG carries Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead flag, at the organization’s first official flag raising ceremony in Lithonia, Georgia.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The Golden Arrowhead flag was hoisted with pomp and ceremony to commemorate Guyana’s 56th Independence Anniversary, the first such occasion hosted by the Guyana Association of Georgia, (GAOG) on May 26, the day the country became free.

The 1970 Panola Road headquarters of the group showcased, Guyana’s multicultural heritage, during an exhibition of artifacts, followed by a cultural presentation, depicting its six races of peoples paraded by youths in costumes, fitting the tribute, that continued with a salute of African drumming performed by Oba.

Emceed by the first Guyanese to be elected to the Lawrenceville, GA. City Council, Counselman Austin Thompson, the celebration was highlighted with the singing of patriotic songs “My Guyana Eldorado,” “Let Us Corporate,” accompanied by a pre-recorded music by Guyanese pianist, Paul Cort. The narration of late, famous, Guyanese poet Martin Carter, by James Paul (Pablo), was part of a short program, that acknowledged the contributions made by Guyanese.

GAOG member, Gillian Davis, left, poses with youths dressed in costumes of the six races of the people of Guyana, at the first official flag raising ceremony in Lithonia, Georgia. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“We Welcome Independence to Guyana” recorded by late singer Terry Nelson, brought back memories of May 26, 1966, when the first flag of freedom was raised to declare Independence from the British colony.

This was followed by beguiler Guillermo Warner, who heralded the call to raise the flag, before ROTC members of Redan High School, entered the room, followed by the raising of the flag by Douglas Prince. The melodious voice of Felicia Andrews, then filled the room, singing Guyana’s National Anthem.

Merlyn Osborne, president of GAOG, in her remarks, acknowledging how tremendous by the coronavirus impacted the group. noting, “we are cautiously making our way back. I am extremely pleased that I am given the opportunity, to welcome you to the first official flag raising ceremony organized by the Guyana Association of Georgia.”

“Today we are not only celebrating the 56th Anniversary of Independence we are also celebrating our 31st anniversary as an organization. Thank you for joining us at this historic moment as we prepare to raise the flag.

Drummer Oba performs at the first official flag raising ceremony at GAOG headquarters in Lithonia, Georgia.Photo by Tangerine Clarke

She recognized past presidents of GAOG, the Guyana Defense Force veterans, executive members, board members, and distinguished guests, such as diplomats representing Trinidad & Tobago, and Haiti. The president also observed a minute silence for deceased presidents and other citizens.

GAOG is involved in the community and every year awards up to 12 scholarships locally and internationally.

This year, the focus is on the expansion of our building at 1970 Panola Road, Lithonia GA. The plan is to add extra parking spaces and modify the facility to accommodate 250 – 300 guests for meetings, conferences, banquets and much more.

The closing remarks were done by Gillian Davis before the singing of Guyana’s patriotic song “Born in the Land” was sung by the audience to end the evening of tributes to the Republic of Guyana.

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