The ‘Gallery of Presidents’, which showcases Guyana’s succession of leaders, was yesterday unveiled at the Public Buildings.
The gallery so far contains nine portraits, depicting Arthur Chung, who served from 1970-1980; Linden Forbes Burnham, who served from 1980-1985; Desmond Hoyte, who served from 1985-1992; Dr Cheddi Jagan, who served from 1992-1997; Samuel Hinds, who served from March to December of 1997; Janet Jagan, who served from 1997-1999; Bharrat Jagdeo, who served from 1999-2011; Donald Ramotar, who served from 2011-2015; and current President, David Granger.
The portraits of all those who have served as president of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana are hung on the eastern wall of the main stairway in the Public Buildings.
At the unveiling ceremony, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, called the ceremony an exceptional event, as the country recently celebrated its 53rd Independence anniversary. Scotland told the gathering that the Gallery of Presidents is a presentation of the people of Guyana, in tribute to all the presidents that would have served the country.
“The idea of a Gallery of the Presidents, which would add adornment and great lustre to the National Assembly, was born out of a number of discussions with my personal assistant, the Clerk of the National Assembly, and other members of staff,” Scotland stated. The speaker stated that the gallery also serves as a reflection of the hard work and dedication each president would have put in during their time.
The photographs were unveiled by Miracle Miller and Jordan Kellman, Best Speaker and Best Debater of the 4th Annual Youth Parliament.
Former President and Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, took to the podium to express his gratitude for the recognition. Hinds told the gathering that as the country steps into the production of petroleum, he hopes that Guyana will find itself among the groups of countries that managed to do well with “the fortune that comes their way”.