Welcome to Little Guyana Signs Unveiled

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RICHMOND HILL, QUEENS, NY — Two plaques bearing the inscription “Welcome to Little Guyana” were unveiled on Friday March 22nd at the Lefferts Blvd Subway Station in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, in tribute to the neighborhood’s vast Guyanese population and vibrant culture.

The sounds of Tassa drumming greeted dozens of residents at the Lefferts Boulevard A Train Subway Station in Richmond Hill, where Businessman Romeo Hitlall, Senator Joseph Addabbo, the Richmond HIll-South Ozone Park Lions Club and Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled its much anticipated ‘Welcome to Little Guyana’ sign, on Friday, Mar. 22.
Around the same time in 2021, the corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard was co-named Little Guyana Avenue with a similar purpose — to recognize the people within Richmond Hill.

Demetrius Crichlow, the senior vice president of the New York City Transit Department of Subways, joined Queens elected officials and community members to celebrate the history-making signage unveiling.

“This is the perfect time, the perfect place to recognize Little Guyana,” said Crichlow. The MTA vice president went on to mention how the community is a reflection of their transit options and how the addition of the signage brings a sense of communal ownership of their train station.

Joining the MTA at the announcement was Senator Joseph P Addabbo Jr, who Crichlow said was a vital part of bringing the signage to the neighborhood. Addabbo reconfirmed how the addition to the neighborhood reflects years of cultural heritage.

“That sign is a symbol of the early immigrants who came here,” said Addabbo. “So while that sign will welcome visitors, new visitors to little Guyana, we have to be reminded of the immigrants who have been here over decades.”

Romeo Hitlall, Ist Vice District Governor for Lions Brooklyn & Queens and past President of Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Lions Club , recognized by Addabbo, Crichlow and other elected officials for advocacy and community service, said now people will feel especially welcome when visiting little Guyana.

“This means this is where the Guyanese community is,” Hitlall said.

Richmond Hill elected officials, including Council Member Lynn Schulman and Assemblyman David Weperin, were also present to celebrate and expound on the importance of the street renaming. MTA VP Crichlow also acknowledged Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar.

Participants at the unveiling walked up the Lefferts Boulevard station stairs where the “Welcome to Little Guyana” sign was shown to the public for the first time. The addition to the station doesn’t change its name, but train conductors will be encouraged to acknowledge Little Guyana in their announcements, according to Crichlow.Crichlow told attendees that while the station’s name is unchanged, conductors will be encouraged to acknowledge Little Guyana when arriving at the station. “That is one thing we will be encouraging our conductors to do — show some love for Little Guyana,” he said.

“I am deeply honored to witness the installation of signage welcoming visitors to ‘Little Guyana’ at the Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd Station train station,” Hitlall said in the MTA’s press release. “This initiative is a testament to our community’s rich tapestry of cultures and serves as a symbol of inclusivity and diversity.”