Message by Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion on the occasion of Guyana’s 51st Independence Anniversary

Georgetown, Guyana – (May 26, 2017) Fifty-one years ago, our beautiful country; Guyana finally broke free of the chains of British rule by gaining political independence, allowing us to manage our own affairs. This day, each year, remains one of our most significant observances.

Guyanese throughout the length and breadth of the country stand in solidarity today in observing this milestone, which was only attained through the hard work and sacrifices of our forebears.

It is important that we remember and recognise all those persons, who played a role in fighting for our Independence, including the late former Presidents Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Mr. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, Mrs. Janet Jagan, the first man in British Guiana to formalise labour negotiations, the late Mr. Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, late trade unionist, Mr. Jocelyn Hubbard, the late Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, former Minister of Agriculture.

It is because of their hard work and that of many other persons that we are able to chart our own destiny.  However, with this right, as is widely expressed, there are responsibilities. Our main responsibility as a people is to continually move Guyana’s development forward with the same resoluteness as our ancestors.

Guyana has come a long way and we have even further to go. If we tackle head-on the challenges before us in unity we can overcome them sooner. We cannot have greater unity if we do not respect each other, embrace our diversities and demonstrate tolerance when confronted by our differences.

The Ministry of Social Cohesion endeavours to take the lead in this vital process of nationhood by nurturing individual and community relationships towards building a more unified country.

As we celebrate the 51st Anniversary of our Independence, let us reflect on our achievements to date and resolve to move forward with all others in a spirit of shared nationhood as we endeavour to further realise our national motto: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny”.

Let us also use this celebration to display, as best as we can, our national pride, as we must be proud of who we are as a people.

Happy 51st Independence Anniversary to all of Guyana!

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