Guyana turns 50

Fifty years after the Union Jack was lowered and a newly independent Guyana raised the Golden Arrowhead, thousands of Guyanese turned out last night to witness a spectacle of song, dance and military displays as the country marked half a century of freedom from British rule.

President David Granger being escorted by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry upon arriving at D’Urban Park.
President David Granger being escorted by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry upon arriving at D’Urban Park.

They turned out at the newly constructed D’Urban Park complex to bear witness to the momentous occasion which was also attended by a large number dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart. It could have been a programme that showcased the development of Guyana over the past 50 years as well as the vibrant cultural diversity of the nation. Instead, the night’s programme was limited though this was not the fault of the artistes and performers who performed with enthusiasm under a moonlit sky.  Perhaps it was fitting as 50 years after independence, Guyana remains the third poorest country in the Americas. The programme disappointed and fell far short of the hype. It could have been 50 years of colour. Instead it was 50 shades of a particularly lacklustre grey.

Adding to the disappointing programme, there was a problem involving seating for special invitees. There were not enough seats for the PPP/C officials and they left. The crowd also overwhelmed the….