BY EMILY SINGH
Guyana’s official motto is one people, one nation, one destiny. On May 26, 2016 this beautiful country will be celebrating its golden jubilee of independence. On May 26, 1966 Guyana officially gained its independence from Britain. As Toronto gears up to celebrate these fifty beautiful years of independence it is important to acknowledge just how far Guyana has come as a country.
American flag historian Whitney Smith created the design for the flag, which was officially adopted on May 26,1966. As we raise our beautiful golden arrowhead proudly for the world to see, let us not forget what each colour signifies. The green represents the lush forests and agricultural nature of Guyana, the white represents the many flowing rivers and water potential, the golden symbolizes its rich mineral wealth, the bold black is a sign of endurance and finally the red represents the zeal and dynamism of the beautiful people of Guyana.
Many exciting events will be happening here in Toronto to commemorate this momentous milestone. On May 26, 2016 come out at 11:30 am and watch as our beautiful flag is raised high outside Toronto City Hall. On May 29, 2016 the Golden Jubilee Awards and Show will be taking place at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts. This evening will showcase the beautiful culture and talents that Guyana has to offer. On July 2, 2016 commencing at 6 pm will be the Golden Jubilee Gala at Le Parc Dining and Banquet Hall. The very next day on July 3. 2016 will be the day everyone has been waiting for, the Guyana Festival! This is a fun filled day the entire family can come out and enjoy. This year the CNE Bandstand will be host to the festivities. The annual cricket and soccer match will be taking place east of the city in Scarborough and the celebration will make its way to the downtown core. In the spirit of promoting health and wellness in the Guyanese community a walk-a-thon will be taking place on September 10, 2016. Make sure to visit www.guy50canada.com for more information on the location of the walk-a-thon which is yet to be determined. Finally, we will wrap up the grand celebrations with a symposium. This will serve as an opportunity to discuss race relations and touch on pressing issues pertaining to Guyana.
“I belong to the Berbice Children Resource Network Corporation, every year we put on the walk-a-thon which is part of a fundraiser to help pay for kids to write the CXC examination in Berbice. This year we hope to have the walk-a-thon happening simultaneously here in Canada, Guyana and the US,” says Pam Joseph, Assistant Secretary.
As we celebrate together as one people, one nation and one destiny it is important to reflect back on the history, but it is equally if not more imperative that we plan for the future. Young people and the up and coming generation are the future. With this in mind there is a special competition called “Express Yourself Guyanese Style”, spearheaded by committee member Valerie Dye.
“One of the things we hope to gain from the activities that we have planned is to create awareness amongst young people of Guyanese heritage. One way we think awareness can be created is to get them involved in a competition where they will express themselves. There is an essay competition, poetry competition, song writing competition, artistic piece and a video submission,” says Valerie Dye.
These amazing plans would not be possible without the dedication and determination of the Honorary Consul General Consulate of the Republic of Guyana, Mrs. Sattie Sawh. As chair of the 50th Independence Anniversary Committee, Sawh has been working tirelessly along with her team to make this a historical event here in Toronto. As plans start to unfold for the momentous celebration make sure to visit www.guy50canada.com for updates and more information. Fifty years is surely something that deserves a grand celebration as we share with the world the beauty, diversity, culture and rich history that is our Guyana.