For the overwhelming majority of patrons who have been turning out at the National Park for independence celebrations over the years, the cultural presentation is usually the most eagerly anticipated. This year was no different.
Police trainees of the Felix Austin College performing in front of a packed National Park during the independence anniversary show
Patrons young and old began filling the stands of the brightly lit area as early as 21:00 hours, arriving to live musical acts performed by some of Guyana’s top local artistes in soca, chutney, calypso and reggae.
The entry of the Joint Services Guard of Honour under the command of female Major Lorraine Foster, to perform their usual Parade March was met with loud cheers from the packed stands.
A section of the gathering of patrons in the National Park during the Guyana’s 47th Independence Anniversary
There were four guards on parade, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) males, the platoon sergeant, and the number two guard GDF females. At the centre of the parade was the Colour Party.
Seven officers and 129 other ranks drawn from the Joint Services constituted the Guard of Honour.
Children performing a cultural piece in the National Park during Guyana’s independence anniversary
A medley of folk songs by the Messengers Acapella Group and patriotic songs by the National School of Music and the National Steel Orchestra, under the control of Music Development Officer Andrew Tyndall serenaded the attendees.
Recruits from the Felix Austin College, comprising males and females entertained the crowd with a menu of acrobatic manoeuvers. A dance by the Nytrageet dancers also added flare to the list of performances.
As protocol had it, the Guard of Honour, neatly assembled in the usual military fashion, awaited the arrival of Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who was greeted by Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, GDF Chief of Staff Commodore Gary Best, Acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell, Director of Prisons Dale Erskine and Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle.
The Prime Minister was afforded the general salute clearing the way for President Donald Ramotar who was given the Presidential Salute and invited to inspect the Guard of Honour.
At the end of President Ramotar’s half hour address, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport showcased an awe inspiring performance with a group of 490 youths of different age ranges.
The performers, taking the form of contemporary and Guyanese traditional dances included costumes that depict the creativity, cultural diversity and beauty of Guyana.
Fireworks over the Golden Arrowhead during Guyana’s 47th Independence Anniversary
It was a depiction of the Guyanese identity characterised by the uniquely diverse ethnic and social backgrounds with independence as the uniting factor. It is a heritage that continues to influence the country’s youth and a force in shaping the country.
At midnight the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted with President Ramotar, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar, Minister Anthony and Disciplined Forces Officers standing beneath.
A 47th Independence Anniversary message from soldiers who climbed Mount Ayanganna preceded prayers by student of the Bishops’ High, John Edghill, the recital of the National Pledge and the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead accompanied by a 21-gun salute. A dazzling display of fireworks followed.
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