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Guyanese celebrate independence in Barbados

from | May 28, 2013

Guyanese in Barbados ended a week of celebrations observing Guyana’s 47th independence anniversary on Sunday, Independence Day, with a Church Service and a Taste of Guyana festival.

Last week the Guyana Consulate was the venue for a number of open days in which Guyanese, Barbadians and other persons resident in

Barbados visited and enjoyed presentations on what Guyana has to offer. They sampled national foods.

Last Friday Consul General, Michael Brotherson, hosted a cocktail reception that was attended by the island’s leading politicians, members of the diplomatic corps and a large number of Guyanese including Barbados Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McLean; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington; and prominent Guyanese/Caribbean personality, Sir Shridath Ramphal.

Mr. Brotherson told the Friday night gathering, “Our nationhood had brought many challenges. Foremost among these was preserving and safeguarding our country’s rich diversity, while constructing a unity that would ensure that we took our rightful place within the community of nations. Forty-seven years later our Golden Arrowhead proudly flies as the symbol of a nation of One People, One Nation, One Destiny”.

Speaking on behalf of her government, Barbados Foreign Minister McLean addressed the matter of immigration concerning Guyanese travelling to Barbados and said it calls for management and cooperation in which a workable solution must be found. “Like all families and friends, the relationships have a tendency to often suffer some strains,” she said.

Guyana Consul General to Barbados, Michael Brotherson (second left front row) sings a hymn in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Independence Day. To his left is Consulate staff Merlene Gopaul. At far right in the front row is Guyana-born jurist, Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.

Guyana Consul General to Barbados, Michael Brotherson (second left front row) sings a hymn in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Independence Day. To his left is Consulate staff Merlene Gopaul. At far right in the front row is Guyana-born jurist, Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.

On Sunday, Guyanese representing the nation’s three foremost religions: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism attended the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on St Michael’s Row in Bridgetown to worship jointly.
There were readings by Pandit Thakoor  Prashad, and Bibi Aziz. Consul General Brotherson delivered the remarks.

In the afternoon the Taste of Guyana festival took off on the field hockey astro-turf next to the Wildey Gymnasium, featuring a blend of Guyanese delicacies, with entertainers from Guyana and Barbados providing the music.

Some of the Guyanese who joined in a religious service in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Independence Day.

Some of the Guyanese who joined in a religious service in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Independence Day.

On Monday the Daily Nation newspaper featured Vice-President of the Guyanese Association of Barbados, Samuel Legay, saying that beating of prisoners for confessions by Barbados police remains a problem for both Guyanese nationals and Barbadians.

“Persons, both local and Guyanese, have alleged that they have been subjected to police beatings to get them to say certain things,” he charged.

“I am certainly not happy with how Guyanese are treated at times,” he said, while noting that meetings with the authorities are leading to an improvement in treatment. He said that some Guyanese travel to that island and break the law.

“I believe that some of my fellow Guyanese caused some of these problems on themselves. I try telling them that if they come to a country, they have to observe and keep within the ambit of the laws, but some of them feel that they can come, commit a crime and get a slap on the wrist.”

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GABI Annual General Meeting – Saturday 23rd February at Goddard’s Sports Club

GABI AGM Meeting flyer

Guyana’s first Consular General to Barbados

Senator Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

Guyana’s first Consular General to Barbados, Michael Brotherson, has been told that his resident posting will be of great benefit to Guyanese nationals living here.

These sentiments came from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, as she welcomed Brotherson to the country, last week during a courtesy call at her Culloden Road office.

She stated that Barbados and Guyana had maintained a long tradition of “people to people relations”, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism, and stressed that the ties between both countries were amicable.

She also emphasised that she was happy Guyanese nationals now had an official on the ground who would be able to facilitate their concerns.

Brotherson said the resident posting should strengthen relations between the two countries.  The envoy further pointed out that the Government of Guyana was interested in enhancing bilateral cooperation and cultural exchanges with Barbados.

The Guyanese diplomat served in his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 20 years.  He was also Guyana’s High Commissioner to London in 2008.

The Consular General’s office is located temporarily at The Garden Room, Amaryllis Beach Resort, Hastings, Christ Church.

Guyanese nationals living in Barbados were previously represented by an Honorary Counsel, however, the post did not hold diplomatic status.

(from Barbados NationNew.com; Tue, May 01, 2012;  5:01 p.m.)

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