Independence Festival held in Toronto
May 31, 1999
THE Guyana Independence Festival, a pride of the Guyanese community in Toronto, succeeded in bringing Guyanese together, from all walks of life and ages from many parts of North America to collectively celebrate their heritage.
The four-day event of May 21-24, was organised to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Guyana's Independence and it attracted more than 10,000 Guyanese and friends.
The festival featured two major highlights - the hoisting of the Golden ArrowHead and singing of the national anthem on Saturday, and a celebrity cricket match the next day.
Conveying greetings to the Guyanese community at the flag-raising ceremony were Presidential Advisor, Mr. Navin Chandarpal; Consul General, Mr. Danny Doobay; Chairman of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corp of Toronto, Mr. Herman Lamont and Toronto City Councillor, Ms Sherene Shaw.
The flag-raising was followed by a spectacular cultural show lasting about 90 minutes and featuring top Guyanese musicians, singers, dancers and other performers such as Auntie Cumsee, the Crooner and Donna Makeeda.
Other activities of the event were items of exotic Guyanese cuisine; an art and craft display; domino competition and a soccer match and as well as a tug-o-war; three-legged and lime and spoon races; face-painting and kite-making.
The day concluded with the traditional Guyanese "lime" with lots of Guyanese music, dancing and "gaff" , a release from the Guyana Consulate in Canada stated.
Participating in the cricket match on Sunday were several national and former test players including Lance Gibbs; Roy Fredericks; Faoud Bacchus; Clyde Butts; Shew Shivnarine; Leonard Baichan; Sydney Matthews; Milton Pydanna and Clayton Lambert, who thrilled spectators with an excellent game.
The Guyana Government was represented at the festival by Mr. Chandarpal, Advisor to the President on Science and Technology and Mr. Geoffrey Da Silva, Advisor to the President on Good Governance and former Consul General in Toronto.
Their presence clearly demonstrated the high regard and appreciation of the Government and people of Guyana for the sterling contribution of the Guyanese community in Canada to nation building.
Both President Janet Jagan and Prime Minister Sam Hinds, in congratulatory messages to the Guyanese community in Canada, reiterated the need for unity and mutual respect, pointing out the importance for present generations to carry the torch lit by our forefathers as they fought for freedom.
Meanwhile, the success of the events is testimony of the continued love and commitment which Canada-based Guyanese have for their motherland and showed that Guyanese can achieve much by working together.
The coming together in Toronto in the form of the Guyana Independence Festival has not only ensured the success of the Festival, but set a new standard for our Caribbean brothers and sisters to emulate, the release said.
A © page from: Guyana: Land of Six Peoples