Georgetown, Guyana – (May 24, 2018) Guyana’s 52nd Independence Anniversary celebrations will focus predominantly on the country’s youth. The program this year places emphasis on developing a strong sense of national pride, patriotism and appreciation for the strides Guyana has made since gaining its independence. It will include a plethora of cultural dances, music and other artistic pieces as well as a two hour ‘Independence Flag Concert’ featuring popular local artistes.
Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, who paid a site visit to the rehearsals today, said that works were done at the Homestretch Avenue venue to enhance its scenery for the hosting of this national event. He also took the opportunity to encourage persons to come out and celebrate Guyana’s cultural diversity and to participate in an event which, among other things, aims to promote social cohesion. “I want to remind persons that the action moves down to Stabroek Market where we will have a flag concert with our local artistes and I would like everyone to come out and enjoy some of our local artistes,” he said
Director of National Events, Lt. Colonel Colin Henry explained that rehearsals got underway May 17. He also indicated that preparations are ongoing and rehearsal logistics are in place. “The total number of students is estimated at 1000 with 200 ranks of the Guyana Defence Force participating the in the parade as well as members of the Cadet Corps, Scouts and Pathfinders, and another 1700 students taking part in the cultural presentation. This brings the total number of participants to 3000 or there about,” he said.
During the rehearsals today, Director of the National Dance Company, Ms. Vivienne Daniel who coordinated the dance pieces for the programme explained that national patrimony, folklore and social cohesion will be exhibited through dance. “People must come out and support the nation’s children” she urged adding that youth participation is an essential part of the celebrations.
Youths of the Joint School Steelpan Group, which comprises of students from West Demerara Secondary, North Ruimveldt Multilateral School and President’s College, are set to perform hits from Guyanese music legend Dave Martins.
Many of the students who are participating in the event expressed a general sense of excitement as they shared their thoughts on the Independence festivities.
Joshua DeCannon from the North Ruimveldt Secondary School and a member of the National Cadet Corps explained why he was eager to play his role in the festivities. “Independence is very important to me because I get to see fellow Guyanese people from all different races just come together and unite as we celebrate. Come out and experience a wide variety of dances, school children marching and to witness the flag-raising, it will be very beautiful,” he said
Miss Shakira Dunn, a fourth former at the St. Joseph High School, express that the level of national social cohesion displayed during the preparation phase of the event was inspiring for her.
Meanwhile, Leroy Geer of Saint Stanislaus College who is participating in the national choir indicated that celebrations like this helped Guyanese to appreciate the steady development of Guyana as an independent nation. Geer also encouraged all Guyanese to attend the national event. “I think everyone should come out and support. As a country, we should actually come together as one people, one nation with one destiny and support our country in every way.
The active inclusion of youths in this year’s celebrations accords with the wishes of President David Granger. This year also pioneers a change in the time at which the event will be held so as to facilitate children across Guyana to fully participate and enjoy Guyana’s Independence celebrations. The venue is expected to accommodate in excess of 30,000 persons.