Wake for Guyanese cultural icon

A celebration of the life of the late Guyanese cultural icon Godfrey Chin will be held in the auditorium of St. Stephens’s Lutheran Church, at the corner of Newkirk Avenue and East 28th St. in Brooklyn Saturday, Jan. 21.

The Guyana Cultural Association of New York, organizers of the Annual Folk Festival, will hold a cultural presentation to celebrate the life of Mr. Chin who was a founding member of the organization.

Chin returned to his homeland after living in the U.S. for 27 years and died in his Georgetown home on Monday, Jan. 16 after a brief illness. He was 74.

GCA president Dr. Vibert Cambridge called Chin a hero whose love for his homeland “came from the creative cauldrons of Tenement Yards and the hurt of earlier dark times, but “leapt from those surroundings with complexes of inferiority and refined his commitment to teamwork in school yerds, on the playing field, as a civil servant and as a private sector manager.”

Chin, who called himself a ‘cook up fly’ had a quick wit, an encyclopedic memory and extraordinary talents, as a nostalgic writer, a carnival costume and set designer, producer and many other talente too numberous to mention, will leave an indelible mark on the Guyana landscape.

Chin’s hugely popular “Nostalgias – Memory of Guyana 1940 to 1980” sold hundreds of copies, and fueled a world-wide photographic exhibition.

His dedication to the Guyana Folk Festival as its creative director was seen in his exquisite backdrops of Guyana’s scenery, and his exhuberant spirit that was seen in his excitement at every Family Fun Day.

GCA will be working with the University of Guyana’s Center for Communication Studies, civil society, and the Guyanese journalism community to establish the criteria for an annual Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism.