Georgetown has been reclaimed after two decades of citizens being disempowered and the city must never suffer such neglect again, President David Granger said yesterday at the unveiling of the 50th Independence Anniversary Arch, at Agricola, East Bank Demerara.
The President declared that Georgetown is remaking itself, and will never again be known as the “garbage city,” but will reclaim its accolades and prestige as the “garden city.”
This, he said, could only be achieved with good management and collaboration among civil society, the business community, foreign investors and citizens.
The Golden Jubilee of Independence Arch, which was constructed in association with Banks DIH Limited, is intended to mark the city’s entrance and identify the southern boundary of the city. Granger explained that the newly erected arch would not only serve as a delineation, but just as importantly, as a gateway to a “movement to urban renewal and to the development of our capital towns.
“Passing under this arch today and in the future must mean more to us than passing into a different jurisdiction…This arch, moreover, will not only separate the city from its surrounding area, but… the past from the future. It defies the disappointments and setbacks of our history, it defines our identity, it denotes the victory of our people’s independence after 350 years of colonialism.”
Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson addressed any questions that might have been lingering about the arch’s function. “For those questioning the purpose of this new arch, I will assure you it is a practical one…We thought it would be fitting to let the public know when they were entering the famous garden city,” the minister stated.
He also informed the crowd, out in their numbers regardless of the rain, that there is a proposal to erect a second arch on the East Coast Demerara, to mark Georgetown’s northern boundary.
In the President’s delivery, he painted a vision for the city’s future; one that is safe, where citizens are unafraid to enjoy public spaces, and a city that is equipped with the amenities that guarantee security and better quality of life.
“Citizens should not have to shut themselves in their homes on weekends afraid to venture forth because of unlit streets. Georgetown must become a walking city where people, in the evening, can stroll with their family to enjoy the outdoors, can jog, or simply hang out with friends in our numerous watering holes. Safety and security are essential to enjoying the good life,” the President stated.