This week we asked the man/woman in the street whether they had attended the flag-raising ceremony, the float parade or any of the other Jubilee events and what they felt about the event/s they attended. Their comments follow:

Earletta Weekes
Earletta Weekes

Earletta Weekes, teacher – ‘I went to the flag-raising ceremony and I think it was a great one, one of the best I’ve attended over the years. But for some reason when

Daniel Frank
Daniel Frank

the flag was being hoisted, that was the first time I felt a true sense of patriotism. I felt my skin grow when we sang the national song “Guyana The Free” and the National Anthem. However, compared to years ago when I was a child, in [former president Forbes] Burnham’s time, the event was held at the Park and there was more on the programme. For example, the Guyana Fire Service used to be on display. They would come in with their fire engine and drive around the National Park. It was really good and I was looking forward to more things like that. For the float parade, as I shared with a few of my colleagues, the 23 years that the PPP were in office the revellers were lawlessly dressed, like the previous government. This year, they were well covered with the exception of about one group. Now, in this administration, the President is dignified and decent and the revellers reflected such. I admired them, the way they dressed. Some children that I know didn’t want to attend the float parade because they said they didn’t want to see what they expected to be, almost nude revellers. If they can look at that and not go we as a country need to look at how we sell ourselves as a nation. Most of the floats

Patricia Henry
Patricia Henry

depicted something about our country which I liked. I just hope that they keep up the good work.’

Daniel Frank, UG staffer – ‘I attended the flag-raising ceremony and the float parade and it was an enjoyable and unique experience. I enjoyed listening to folk songs and other

Marlon Bascom
Marlon Bascom

songs of cultural significance. I particularly enjoyed the use of the steel pan and the marching of the uniformed parties. I expected more floats during the float parade but it was a good event nevertheless. I enjoyed mostly the flag-raising ceremony. When the flag was raised feelings of national pride built up within me. I was impressed by the size and the beauty of the giant flag.’

Patricia Henry, GGMC staffer – ‘I attended the family reunion that was held in the Promenade Gardens, and I also went to the flag-raising ceremony and float parade. The reunion, to me was really good, I enjoyed it particularly because of the music, the people and the setting. I

Apostle Balgobin Ragnauth
Apostle Balgobin Ragnauth

enjoyed the flag-raising ceremony the most, especially the military display, the children that did their piece, the hoisting of the flag and the fireworks. Those activities in particular really aided in me enjoying it. The entire ceremony appeared to be well organized and well attended. The number of people who showed up really surprised me. I’m really happy for those that fought so that we could gain independence and I’m happier to be born on these shores. The float parade was great as well, I didn’t expect so many floats or that the stands at D’Urban Park would be as full as they were during the flag raising. The floats were creative and I was able to learn something from them. I’m happy that there wasn’t any violence or casualties at any of the two main events.’

Latrice Monah
Latrice Monah

Marlon Bascom, security officer at Giftland Mall – ‘I went to all the parties. I wasn’t able to go to the flag-raising ceremony, because I had to work. I enjoyed the party they had on the 26th, it was good except for the fight that broke out at the Banks show. Everything else was wonderful. I saw a lot of persons that I haven’t seen in a long time. I felt very patriotic. I’m happy that I was able to be a part of the 50th celebration because I don’t think I’ll be around 50 years from now. This was wonderful for Guyana. I’ve never experienced anything like it.’

Herbert Brathwaite
Herbert Brathwaite

Apostle Balgobin Ragnauth, Life Spring Ministries – ‘I went to the main event, the flag-raising. I’m 50 years old and 50 means a lot to me. I supported it because it’s about time we come together as one people and as one nation with one destiny and acknowledge where we are, where we could have been, why we are not there and how we could be there. When I stood and looked at the raising of the Golden Arrowhead, what made me emotional was thinking about the lowering of the Union Jack. Although I wasn’t there, I pictured the significance. The programme was great. I think it was overwhelming. I watched from the main stand as people removed the barriers from the stands and filled the entire area. The only underwhelming part about the programme was the sound.’

Latrice Monah, student – ‘I went to the jubilee parade and I loved the floats. They were very colourful with the colours of the flag. I enjoyed watching

Christopher France
Christopher France

our flag flying in the sky. I enjoyed seeing the Amazon Warriors float especially.  I’m really glad I was here to experience this celebration, it was great although I was unable to attend the flag-raising ceremony.’

Lillawattie Basra
Lillawattie Basra

Herbert Brathwaite – ‘I was present when we got our Independence. I was around 15/16 then and now I’m here for the 50th. This meant a lot to me. I enjoyed the flag-raising ceremony especially, it brought tears to my eyes. It’s been a while since I’ve seen some marching but I think that in February when they had the first show, the mixture of the Police and the GDF band, that to me was a better show than this one. The float parade was good. I saw the six races, but what I would want to see is the improvement of the quality of costumes. Also to me both the parade and the flag-raising, were well attended and that was really good. I’m just happy to have experienced it.’

Christopher France – ‘The flag-raising itself was, in my opinion, an embarrassing display. It was poorly planned and the execution was even worse. There was very little forethought in the seating and the general setup of D’Urban Park as regards hosting the event and the programme itself was unoriginal, uninspired and just plain boring. The jubilee celebrations in general for the most part seemed to have a recurring theme of poor planning, lack of forethought and tired uninspired ideas. I personally feel the events that they did have were not properly advertised. People seemed to constantly have issues keeping track of

Fareez Yassim
Fareez Yassim

what events there were. That includes me, and I’m on the internet every day.’

Lillawattie Basraj, vendor – ‘The independence celebrations were okay to me. I wasn’t able to attend any of the events but they had a little something here in Mahaica and I was a part of that. I watched the flag-raising on TV and loved it. Here they had little dancing and a set that played some music with people dancing behind it. They enjoyed themselves.’

Fareez Yassim, fruit vendor – ‘The jubilee celebration was a very nice thing. Myself along with other vendors actually benefited from the outcome of the celebrations because a lot of foreigners passed through the area and we recorded good sales from them. My family couldn’t go and participate in the events because of the distance and for security reasons. We watched the celebrations on TV and it was a very nice occasion, but it was not as enjoyable as it would have been to observe it in person.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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