The Commonwealth Tree, planted five years ago in the compound of the Public Buildings in Georgetown, was unveiled last Thursday by Speaker of the House Dr. Barton Scotland in the presence of several Members of Parliament.
According to a Department of Public Information report, the tropical almond tree, (scientific name Terminalia Catappa), was planted five years ago by former Speaker and now Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, and Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Vindhya Persaud, along with the Clerk of the National Assembly and other staff.
Speaking at a ceremony held to unveil the tree, Trotman, the report said, thanked the Speaker and the staff of the Parliament Office for ensuring that the tree blossomed and was protected with an ornate fence.
He said the tree is symbolic of the strength of the 53-nation Commonwealth and is a testimony to Guyana’s longstanding commitment and future relationship with the international body.
Minister Trotman was also quoted as saying that, “much work must be done to reinforce the symbolism it stood for five years ago.”
Meanwhile, the report said Persaud used the unveiling to call on her fellow parliamentarians to work closely together to ensure democracy is preserved.
“I do believe that the people of Guyana expect us to plant roots that will flower and produce good things for them,” she was quoted as saying.
Additionally, the Speaker said more work will be done to improve the aesthetics of the area surrounding the tree with the installation of two LED lights.
A suggestion made by Parliamentarian Harry Gill, that on Commonwealth Day the flags of each nation be placed around the tree, was welcomed, the report added.