As Visiting Guyana Gov’t Delegation Headline Series of Events in New York and New Jersey to Commemorate Guyana’s 52nd Republic Anniversary
The Guyana Consulate in New York recently hosted several events in the New York and New Jersey area for the Guyanese diaspora. The events were headlined by a visiting Guyana Government delegation led by Prime Minister Mark Phillips.
These events were put together by Fazal (Joe) Yussuff, Advisor on Investment and Diaspora Affairs, and Neera Dukhi from the Guyana Consulate.
The Guyanese delegation was headed by Prime Minister Mark Phillips and included Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag, Minister of Local Government Nigil Dharamlall, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud and Head of Diaspora Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rosalinda Rasul.
Guyana’s 52nd Republic Day was celebrated at a gala event that was organized by the diaspora in conjunction with the Guyana Consulate at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
Prime Minister Philips was the keynote speaker, representing His Excellency of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali. Also in attendance were Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS Samuel Hinds, Guyana’s Representative to the United Nations Caroline Rodriques-Berkitt, New York State Senators Roxanne Persaud and Jenifer Rajkumar along with representatives from the Mayors Office, New York Department of Correction DESI Society and other public officials. In person attendees were limited because of COVID19. This event was streamed live and was viewed by thousands in Guyana and throughout the diaspora.
On Monday February 21, 2022, the delegation did a walkabout on Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill Queens. Just within a few hours they visited several businesses on Liberty Avenue and stopped along the way where Guyanese on the street were elated to meet the Prime Minister and other members – taking pictures to share with their family and friends. Because of the packed schedule they were only able to complete about one quarter of their walk about on Liberty Avenue. On the same day, the delegation met the Federation of Hindu Mandirs at the Surya Narayan Mandir on 172nd in Jamaica Queens. This meeting was arranged by Pandit Ram Hardowar. The delegation wrapped up their busy day with a meeting that was hosted by Uriel and Marlon Seenarine from US Realty / CARIB Media which was attended by several local business owners and supporters.
The theme of the Republic Day Celebration “An Evening of Culture” which demonstrated President Ali “One Guyana” concept was showcased with cultural dances, music and poetic recitals. The crowd was entertained by our very own “Guyana’s son of Chutney Music” Terry Gajraj and soca singer Adrian Dutchin. The program was indeed breath taking with attendees dancing to the rhythm of local songs by Gavin Mendonca. There were also performances by the Sanasani Cultural Organization, Menes de Griot and Jeggae Hoppie just to mention a few.
Beyond the Republic Day Celebration in Queens, the Guyana Consulate put together a pack agenda for the entire week for several meet and greet events for the Guyana Delegation. In Newark New Jersey Molly Etwroo, Debbie Singh, Lady Ira and Vidya Gangadin hosted a townhall meet and greet on Wednesday February 23, 2022 at Briana Enterprise where a large number of the Guyanese diaspora attended. Proclamations were presented to various individuals on behalf of the Mayor and City Council of Newark.
On Thursday February 24, 2022 in Brooklyn there was a meet and greet held at the God’s Battalion of Prayer Church on Linden Blvd hosted by Reveren Cookfield. This event was well attended by the Guyanese Diaspora in Brooklyn. Earlier in the day Prime Minister Mark Phillips, Minister Sonia Parag, Minister Nigel Dharamlall, Ambassador Samuel Hinds, Advisor of Investment and Diaspora Affairs Joe Yussuff had a walk about where they visited several Guyanese owned business and interacted with many Guyanese they met on the streets and at the Restaurants. The receptions from the Brooklyn diaspora was very well received where many of them openly commented “this is how we should live as Guyanese, it is nice that the government officials took the time to meet with the people, we would like to see more of this happening and hope this will not be the last visit to Brooklyn”. There was a small group of protestors out the God’s Battalion of Prayer Church. The visiting delegation took the time out to interact and talk with the protestors.
The delegation started off their Friday – February 25, 2022 with a morning Breakfast at Hacks Halal Restaurant hosted by Romeo Hitlall and a few supporters in Richmond Hill. The Muslim community was indeed delighted that the delegation was able to visit Masjid Ar-Rahaman on 211 street in Queens Village and Masjit Al-Abadin on 127th Richmond Hill Queens. The Prime Minister addressed the devotees at both Masjids. President of Masjid Ar-Rahman and Shaykh Safraz Bacchus from Masjid Al-Abadin both thanked the delegation for taking time out from their busy schedule to visit their Masjids.
The delegation wrapped up their week-long outreach with the Diaspora in grand style with a Receptions that was hosted by the business community at CODE Lounge second floor which was attended by approximately eight five individuals. The crowd was able to mix and mingle with the delegation. The Prime Minister is his speech encouraged attendees to go back to Guyana and invest. Specifically – the Prime Minister said the transformation in Guyana is not only for the benefit of Guyanese living in Guyana but also for Guyanese in the diaspora. He emphasized that the PPP/C government represent all Guyanese and do not discriminate against anyone because of the color of your skin, their political affiliation or their religious belief. The Prime Minister and the other government officials who spoke all reinforced their commitment to the diaspora and their continued engagement with the diaspora going forward.