If the Georgetown City Council has its way, Guy-ana’s Botanical Gardens will be renamed after Forbes Burnham-the man who led Guyana into political independence from Britain almost 50 years ago.
“I had public consultations and there was a proposal for the renaming of the Botanical Gardens, that whole square for that matter to be renamed the Forbes Burnham Square,” Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green told Stabroek News yesterday.
A public consultation was held on Tuesday at the National Library which saw persons from the diaspora, business community and civil society groups meeting to discuss plans for the city in anticipation of Guyana’s 50th Anniver-sary celebrations.
The municipality also heard proposals to rename a part of Carmichael Street, the eastern half between Middle and New Market streets, in memory of activist Courtney Crum-Ewing who was gunned down in the months leading up to general and regional elections earlier this year. The said street is where the Attorney General’s Office is and where Crum-Ewing held most of his protests against then AG Anil Nandlall.
Burnham’s political friend and later foe after the split of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – Cheddi Jagan had the Timehri International Aport renamed the Cheddi Jagan International Airport by the then PPP/C government amid much controversy back then.
Nonetheless, Green said that proposals were also made to have streets named for Jagan.
The Mayor informed that by the second week of December, at the Council’s next Statutory meeting, a decision on the proposals will be made.
“The meeting was a very useful meeting we had a number of persons showing interest…but you know we can’t just see a street or building and rename it like that. It is a process and consultations were held to hear what the public wants,” Green explained.
Chairperson of the meeting, Ron Robinson, told Stabroek News that attendees at the meeting proposed over 50 names for several city streets and all were in honour of notable people past or present in Guyanese society.
However, he said the list will be shortened to 50 given that only that amount is needed.
“We had Dave Martins, (late President) Desmond Hoyte, Edith Pieters, Bill Rogers, Martin Carter, Lynette and Celeste Dolphin, Andre Subryan, Dr Yesu Persaud, `Six Head’ Lewis, Stephen Campbell …the list was long I cannot remember all at this time,” he stated.
The proposals state that North Road be renamed for late President Hoyte who lived there and whose home remains there. East Street, Georgetown be renamed for Subryan who lived on it and who contributed to the development of the arts in Guyana.
Given that veteran broadcaster Robinson spent his childhood years growing up on Hadfield Street, the renaming of it in his honour was also suggested.
If the City Council accepts the proposals a renaming will be announc-ed, each day for fifty days prior to May 26th 2016.