Collaborative efforts have commenced for the 179th Commemorative Indian Arrival anniversary at Plantation Highbury on May 5, 2017.
According to a Ministry of Education press release, last Friday, a team of officials representing the Ministry of Education, the regional administration, the Indian Action Committee and the Berbice Indian Cultural Committee visited the commemorative site at Plantation Highbury, East Bank Berbice.
The commemoration “normally is a pretty big cultural and religious event with a lot of people flocking to Berbice on their own or they are trucked in from all across Guyana and some even come from overseas for the activity,” the release quoted Regional Chairman, David Armogan, who is among the organisers of this year’s event, as saying.
Delving into the significance of the day’s activities, the release quoted him as saying, “The first boat landed with our ancestors (the East Indians) at Highbury, Berbice on the Whitby and that is why we go there every year as a pilgrimage to pay homage and commemorate the arrival of the East Indians to Berbice and by extension Guyana.”
President of the Berbice Indian Cultural Committee, Chandra Sohan said, “The event itself is largely cultural where people would give presentation on the significance of Highbury with specific reference to the first set of labourers who came to Guyana.” This would include some talk about the abolition of slavery as the two occurred during the same period.
As the lead organiser of the event, the Berbice Indian Cultural Committee’s president said he welcomes the collaborative effort where the Education Ministry is more actively involved and sees the supportive move by the Culture Department as a plus to further add to the event’s success.