Landmark… The Court of Policy: Guyana’s oldest non-military structure

September 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Fort Island lies at the mouth of the Essequibo River. It holds some of the most prolific and well-preserved pieces of Dutch history in Guyana. However, one that is not so well-known to many is the Court of Policy.
This building is a solid brick structure and was used as a courthouse and office during the week. It is 103 feet long and 36 feet wide with walls that are approximately 24 inches thick. The building holds three chambers and one central hall flanked by smaller rooms. It is here that criminals were once put to death.
The Court of Policy is the oldest non-military structure in Guyana and, to this day, church services are held there occasionally. It has served a number of purposes throughout the years; being a store, a church, a court, seat of government and even a sales office.
One fascinating fact about the Court of Policy is that it contains the tombs of three persons, two are said to have been Dutch officials and the third, the child of another Dutch official.
The Court of Policy was declared a National Monument by the Guyana Government in 1999. It is maintained by the National Trust of Guyana.


(Article taken from the Guyana Inc. Magazine Issue 27)

1823 Monument- An Apt Depiction Of Firmness, Strength and Perseverance

November 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1823 Monument was unveiled on August 5, 2013 by the then president of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Donald Ramotar. The monument was designed and built by US based Guyanese sculptor, Ivor Thom and is located along the Kitty Seawall Road, opposite  the Guyana Defence Force’s Camp Ayanganna Headquarters.

The monument features a bronze sculpture of what appears to be a male African slave wielding a machete and a chain with a cross attached to the end. The sculpture is mounted on a large concrete pedestal embedded with bronze sculptures, one male and one female, on both sides of the base.
Its location is ideal aesthetically since it can be found in the centre of a large plot of land, flanked on three sides by a white picket fence. The area surrounding the monument also appears garden-like in nature, thus allowing it to stand out more.
The overall outlook of the sculpture speaks for itself. The conditions of the African slaves and the harsh treatment they had to endure can be seen on the details of the sculpture. However, he stands erect with legs apart, symbolizing firmness, strength and perseverance. The chain he clings to represents the bondage of slavery, and the cross at the end represents religion.
As with most, if not all monuments, there is a great representation by the 1823 Monument which stands as a reminder of an important part of our history as a country.
The monument is attributed to the slaves who lost their lives in the 1823 Demerara Slave Uprising.
The 1823 rebellion was indeed historic as it was one of the catalysts for the abolishment of slavery. The slaves who worked in Eastern Demerara were aggrieved due to the fact that they believed that their Governor and masters were withholding their freedom from them.
They were of the opinion that slavery was abolished in parliament and so felt that they had no other choice but to rise up against those who did not obey the King’s orders and claim what was rightfully theirs— freedom.
On the morning of August 17th, 1823, a Sunday, slaves at Mahaica congregated at Plantation Success. Under the assumed leadership of Jack Gladstone, Joseph Packwood and Manuel, the plotting of an uprising began.
However, Quamina, Gladstone’s father objected to a bloody revolt and proposed that they go on strike instead. When asked if guns were necessary, Quamina said that he would seek the counsel of the Reverend Smith.
After the Sunday service at Bethel Chapel in Le Ressouvenir, Quamina and two other slaves approached Smith and asked his advice. He rebuked the idea of an uprising and told them to be patient and await the new regulations. Quamina made a promise to do just that but, despite his efforts, the slaves were determined to rebel the following evening. The plan was to take all the guns on the plantations and lock up the Whites during the night and then send them to the Governor in the morning to bring the new law.
On the morning of August 18th, the plan was leaked by one of the house slaves to his master who then conveyed the message to the Governor. He, along with a group of soldiers, rode up to Le Ressouvenir and La Bonne Intention and met with a large group of armed slaves. When he asked them what they wanted, they simply replied, “our right”. He proposed to meet them at Plantation Felicity the next morning. They bluntly refused.
After being asked by Reverand Smith to desist, the slaves ignored him and continued with their initial plan. Some slaves avenged their harsh treatment and resorted to killing their masters while the majority aimed to keep their religious nature by remaining non-violent as Quamina had asked them to.
Because of the fear held by the Whites for their lives, the Governor declared martial law. From then, the violence and killing escalated with the most prolific occurring in Bachelor’s Adventure where approximately 250 slaves were killed. After this, the uprising collapsed very quickly.
In the end, it resulted in the hanging of those instigating the uprising and an event that pushed for the abolishment of slavery.

The Independence Arch A beautiful reminder of Guyana’s liberation

July 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The recently beautified aluminum structure that stands tall on Brickdam is a constant reminder to those who traverse the thoroughfare of Guyana’s sovereignty and of the struggles endured to attain such heights.

That structure is called the Independence Arch.  The Arch, which serves as a landmark, had a twin structure situated at Ruimveldt but that structure, also made out of aluminum, is nowhere to be found.

Both Arches were presented by the then Canadian-owned Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA) as a gift to the people of Guyana on the achievement of independence from Britain.

Work began about a year ago to spruce up the surviving arch which the new government said had been neglected for years.

It was no easy task. The overflowing and clogged drains on both sides of the arch were dug out to improve drainage especially during the rainy season. The base of the arch was also excavated with the aim of increasing its height in that flood-prone area.

Guyana Inc. understands that BK International, a major privately-owned Guyanese construction firm, contributed heavily to the rehabilitation process; while, Cummings Electrical repaired the lights that are affixed to the arch.

The Arch of itself needed to be shined. There were also some added fixtures that further beautified the structure.  President David Granger himself made several visits to the site when the structure was under rehabilitation.

Last year’s Independence celebrations were the first in years that included recognition of the lone monumental reminder of Guyana’s freedom.

A wreath-laying and flag-raising ceremony was done on the morning of May 26, 2015 at the landmark. Celebrations were shifted from Parliament Building. Wreaths were laid by representatives of trade unions, political parties, diplomats and others officials in honour of Guyana’s founding fathers such as late Presidents Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham. This was several hours before the inauguration of President David Granger at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

As part of its contribution to Guyana’s Golden Jubilee celebration this year, the Banks DIH Group of Companies has funded the creation and installation of an arch to replace the missing Ruimveldt Arch.

This is according to Banks DIH Chairman Clifford Reis. The new arch has been recently erected at Agricola, which is now the boundary of the capital city.

The Ruimveldt Arch has been missing since it was removed in November 14, 2004. At the time expansion works were ongoing on the East Bank road from the DemeraraHarbour Bridge to Ruimveldt, where the arch was located.

When the arch was taken down, the then Public Works Minister Anthony Xavier said that a new one would be set up on the four-lane road.

Four years after its removal, the then Public Works Minister Robeson Benn indicated that the damage caused during its removal and bad storage had made the Independence Arch unsuitable to be put up anywhere in the city. At the time, the government had again committed to its rebuilding and reinstallation before the 2009 Independence celebrations.

More than 10 years after the removal of the arch it is nowhere to be found.

Staff of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure said that the last they knew of the Arch was that it was stored in the compound of the Ministry on Fort Street.

The arches, which marked the former boundaries of the capital city, were on May 22, 1966 formally presented to then Prime Minister Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham by the Managing Director of the Demerara Bauxite Company, Mr. J G Campbell.

In his presentation, Mr. Campbell noted that the arches, which were designed by a Canadian architect, Mr. Edric Flack, could be described as truly Guyanese. They had been built of aluminum that was made from the bauxite from Mackenzie.



Must-visit sites while in Guyana for its Golden Jubilee

July 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Co-operative Republic of Guyana, which boasts a rich culture from its six peoples, and plays residence to the kings of the Amazon rainforest, has much to celebrate when it turns 50 on May 26, 2016.

A quick geographic lesson would tell you that Guyana is situated on the northern mainland of South America bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela.

Its natural vegetation and rich history make Guyana an ideal destination in South America and among the Caribbean islands. So as the country commemorates its 50th Independence anniversary, Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora believe they have all reason to be merry.

However, if you are a first time visitor or returning home after many years and the night clubs or restaurants are not of much interest to you, please allow Guyana Inc. to be the first to give you an official insight into Guyana’s lush heritage and eco-tourism.

Be prepared for a picturesque adventure as you are warmly welcomed to beautiful Guyana.


ST GEORGE’S CATHEDRAL: Located on North Road in Georgetown, it stands at 143 feet as the tallest wooden structure. This Anglican Church reminds Guyanese of their architectural, social and cultural heritage. It was completed and blessed in 1892. The interior of the sanctuary is designed in the shape of a Latin cross, fused with elements of Elizabethan architecture. This site is perfect for history lovers.


THE BOTANICAL GARDENS: Conceived in 1877 by the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society, this Garden consists of flora and fauna and several historical structures such as the kissing bridge, the bandstand and the place of seven ponds. The history of the ponds states that its creation was in honour of the nation’s fallen heroes, Former President Desmond Hoyte among others.

Guyana also holds a renowned title as a bird watching paradise. The beautiful Botanical Gardens is one of many perfect destinations to be mesmerized by various species of birds. Take the opportunity to view these creatures at very close quarters without having to strain your neck.


STABROEK MARKET: Officially opened in November, 1881- the market covers an area of 76,728 square feet. The steel work was developed in a Tudor and Gothic architectural style. Its framework comprises of four dialed clocks which prominently stand sixty feet above the main entrance. The clock is now defunct but the market still continues to prosper economically, and is highly ranked among the world’s largest Metal Markets. So, if you are interested in savouring a local ambiance, then venture within the corridors of the market, do enjoy, but be careful!

CITY HALL: The Office of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown was opened in July 1889, with a Neo-gothic architecture design, consisting of wrought iron columns and stairs, lancelet windows, a hammer beam roof in the concert hall and a tower which rises at 96 feet. These are a few attractions that allow this building to hold the prestigious title as one of the Caribbean’s premium structures. The compound of the City Hall also houses several monuments. As recent as March 18, 2016, Guyana held its local Government Elections after twenty three years; hence a new mayor and councilor’s body now govern within these fine wooden walls.

THE SEAWALLS: Built by the Dutch in 1880, as a sea defense mechanism, the Georgetown seawall is now a local “chill spot”. It has become a popular exercising location, a spot for the old and young and an ideal recreational place for family and friends, especially on Sunday afternoons. The walls run approximately 280 miles in length along the coastline of the capital city. So there is always enough room to facilitate a large crowd.

The Georgetown municipality is filled with magnificent monuments and buildings that display an elegant combination of our Dutch, British, Spanish and French forefathers’ heritage and affluent culture.

Sounds exciting?  Are you ready for more? Then let this article continue to be your first hand tour guide.

Guyana as the land of many waters, streaming rivers and dark water creeks will entice you to splash freely and get loose at our riverain resorts. Now take the opportunity to venture out of the capital to experience the breathtaking eco tourism locations and resorts. You can also take a trip up the Linden/Soesdyke Highway to visit one of the several creeks and resorts or travel up the mighty Essequibo River, for a day away from the busy city life.

ARROW POINT:  This breathtaking paradise is situated a little further up from Santa Mission.  Officials there, take you on a walk through the rainforest, demonstrate cassava bread making, and stuff you with delicious Guyanese food.  You can swim in the lake and if you overnight and they will take you on a night-time walk to try to see creatures.


BAGANARA ISLAND RESORT:  This is another resort located on the Essequibo River about 50 miles in the interior from the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s a secluded site in the middle of the jungle with plenty of amenities at your disposal.  There, you can swim and kayak, participate in organized excursions in the surrounding areas or just relax to your enjoyment.


HURAKABRA RESORT: Situated on the western bank of the mighty Essequibo River, this resort is known to be yachter’s paradise. Hurakabra is home to various animal and towering trees such as the Kabakali and the imposing Silk Cotton Tree, known as the king of trees. It is also a bird watching paradise so take the chance and be one with nature.


ARUWAI RESORT WHITE H2O: Located in Region Seven, in the Mazaruni River, this establishment was opened in 2015, and is named after one of the many waterfalls found in Guyana. The luxurious resort is built on an island which is approximately one quarter of a square mile and houses a fifty room hotel.  Perks of visiting the resort include boat rides, visitation of several falls and the use of the water slide trampoline.  A spa and gymnasium is also readily available for you.

Are those bathing suits ready for a fantastic trip? Are you set to relax as you watch the sun dip behind the horizon of the rivers? Or are you thirsty for cold local beverages chilled to delight, as you unwind in one of the locally made benabs found on several of our creeks along the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway?


One such place to do so is at the PANDAMA RETREAT AND WINERY. This is the first retreat found up the Linden-Soesdyke Highway. The retreat caters as a “get away” from civilization. It offers a unique blend of culture and mesmerizing scenery as it is home to one 128 species of birds. And if you are a wine lover, Pandama offers an extravagant selection. The retreat also caters for outdoor camping. Refresh, rejuvenate and relax as you are nicely tucked away in private cabins with all amenities.


SPLASHMINS ECO ADVENTURE PARK AND CAMPING GROUNDS: This resort, also located along the Linden Soesdyke highway, provides adventure parks which give you the opportunity to indulge in a grass roots’ ambiance. The 25 acres of lush vegetation will make you indulge in a full Guyanese lifestyle. Treat yourself in climbing trees, picking fruits and take the chance in a bush cook or BBQ on the grounds.


The riverain resorts will not be your last stop as IWOKARMA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR RAINFOREST CONSERVATION is a prime tourist hotspot. It offers a canopy walkway at 100 feet high and gives visitors a view of the forest. If you are not fond of heights, we advise you not to walk the canopy but visit the Atta Rainforest lodge which rests among the towering trees and grassy lawns. The conservation’s purpose is to preserve values between nature and the local people who reside within the community. In Iwokrama, there are estimated to be over 200 different species of mammals, 50 birds, 420 fish and 150 reptiles and amphibians.


Last but not least, try not to leave Guyana without making an effort to visit the infamous, longest single drop water fall in the world – Kaieteur. Situated on the Potaro River, Kaieteur Falls ranks with Iguazú, Niagara and Victoria in scale and beauty. This is especially a show stopper for first timers. Meanwhile, its national park is situated on the Guiana Shield, a flat terrain that is one of the world’s oldest and most remote geological formations located in a bio-diverse rainforest.

As you decide your ultimate destination, we do hope we have been of significant assistance to make your stay worthwhile in Guyana. Be sure to jungle trek, indulge in wildlife spotting, visit an Amerindian village, ski the rapidly flowing waterways and sample our delectable local dishes.




The Mighty Orinduik Falls: A Natural Wonder to Behold

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

While many of the local waterfalls carry their own mesmerizing beauty, the natural exquisiteness of the Orinduik Falls is certainly a wonder to behold.
Stretched out beautifully on the border of Guyana and Brazil, this falls lies on the Ireng River, which is an important highland tributary that thunders over naturally formed steps and terraces made of red jasper before meeting with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River.
In fact, the name of the falls is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name given to an aquatic plant found in these falls.
This natural landmark is also sheltered by the undulating, grass-covered hills of the enormous Pakaraima Mountains. The magnificent Orinduik Falls is a wide, multi-tiered series of cascades which makes it an ideal waterfall for swimming unlike many others.
What makes it absolutely conducive for this exercise too, is the fact that the falls gives way to numerous, natural jacuzzis that are showered by the tumbling falls. The Orinduik Falls in all its glory is approximately 25 m tall and more than 150 m wide.
There are of course, other waterfalls along the Ireng River, such as the stunning Kurutuik Falls, which is approximately 100m tall and is located more than 40 km to the north. But due to how difficult it can be to access these falls, they are rarely visited.
But the unique wide structure of the Orinduik falls is what always manages to captivate its visitors and as a result of its enchanting characteristics, it has been deemed to be one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana’s hinterland. It is also one of the few waterfalls that you can actually get up close and personal with. In fact, many tourists make maximum use of the opportunity to bathe in the enthralling waterfalls.
The Ireng River (or Maú River), upon which it lies comfortably, is also another interesting component of the falls. This tributary forms part of Guyana’s western border with Brazil. It flows through the valleys of the Pakaraima Mountains for most of its length. It is the only major river in Guyana which flows from North to South and it is one of the northernmost tributaries of the Amazon River system.
The larger part of the Ireng River basin forms as the frontier between Brazil and Guyana. The Ireng’s main branches are the Uailan and Canã rivers on the Brazilian side and the Cacó, Dacã and Socobi rivers on the Guyanese side.
These rivers merge with the upper and middle sections of the Ireng which gives the Orinduik falls a gorgeous enclosing effect by these tributaries snaking around it. Their courses are through magnificent formations of sedimentary rocks formed by tectonic movements in ancient times. The Ireng River’s waters are dark, bearing a striking resemblance to that of Rio Negronear Manaus, in Brazilian state of Amazonas. As such, it is considered to be the most picturesque of Guyana’s many rivers.
The Ireng River brings much interesting wildlife to the Orinduik falls as the region is teeming with wildlife. The area is home to such reptile species as the Antilles Leaf-toed Gecko(Hemidactylus palaichthus)and Rainbow Whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus); amphibians such as the The Sapo Dorado(Bufo guttatus)and Leptodactylus bolivianus; birds including the The Muscovy Duck(Cairina moschata), The Black Vulture(Coragyps atratus), The Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), The Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)and numerous other; mammals include The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris),jaguar (Panthera onca) and the red-rumped agouti(Dasyprocta leporina).
But the journey to this falls can sometimes prove to be a tricky one and is often advised that first time travelers be guided by one of the country’s most popular day trip, explorers: –The Wilderness Explorers.
The trip to the exotic falls starts with a two to three hour flight from the Ogle Airstrip which can be followed by one to two hours of trekking which would truly satisfy the cravings of nature lovers.
The Wilderness Explorers has been the most active facilitator of trips to this falls and for nearly 20 years; it has been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism locally.
The agency enjoys organizing the journey, specifically as it relates to getting patrons the best local lodges, prioritizing the activity list, and setting the stage for an unforgettable getaway to the splendid Orinduik Falls.

Castellani House: A Sanctuary For Guyanese Art

December 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Castellani House has stood the test of time and, today, it stands as a safe haven for some of Guyana’s most thought-provoking pieces of art and craft.
With many of its 19th century features still in place, this landmark still exhibits much architectural appeal and continues to serve as a platform for the growth of imaginative and artistic ingenuity in Guyana.
The Castellani House, which can be found on the corner of Vlissengen Road and Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown, once served as the official residence of government officials, pre- and post-independence.
The edifice was actually designed and constructed between 1879 and 1882 by the Maltese architect, Cesar Castellani, after whom it is named. Cesar Castellani was considered one of the most prominent and prolific architects of the colonial era in British Guiana.
The Castellani House was originally designed as a residence for the government botanist, George Samuel Jenman, who occupied it in 1882. He was transferred from Jamaica to British Guiana to supervise the conversion of the area into a botanical garden and to beautify Georgetown via landscaping.
After he died, Castellani House was used as the official residence for Directors of Agriculture. In 1942, the house was extended with the addition of a third storey to the original two.
In 1965, further changes were made to the structure of the house by the Guyanese architect, Hugh McGregor Reid. From then to 1985, Castellani House was the official residence for Guyana’s first Executive President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham and First Lady, Viola Burnham. During this time it was known simply as “The Residence”.
For Burnham, it was the perfect, huge wooden house, bordered by the country’s National Zoo.
Years on, after a major refurbishment, Castellani House was re-opened as the home of the National Art Gallery in 1993. The Gallery’s first curator was Everley Austin, whose tenure ended in 1996. She was followed by Elfrieda Bissember. Ohene Koama is currently acting in the capacity of curator.
Since 1993, the National Art Gallery has seen been the home of priceless Guyanese art and it stands ready to serve as a platform for new comers in the industry and even old friends.
After ten years, the Art Gallery saw for example, the return of selected works by one of its dear friends, Bernadette Indra Persaud, under the theme ‘As New and As Old’ which happened to be one of the poems written by renowned Guyanese poet Martin Carter.
Her paintings are bursting with life, filled with vibrant colours and exhibit allusions to her East India heritage. The Guyana Women Artists’ Association’s (GWAA) have also had its members’ work on display at the location.
Over the years, the former Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, which has responsibility for the Castellani House, hosted exhibitions there too.
In fact, the former Ministry last year opened in grand style its “Spirit of Revolution” expose. It was said to be in keeping with the intellectual aspect of the Mashramani celebrations. Each year, the exhibition focuses on a different aspect of Guyana’s Republic status, and for 2014, attention was on the resistance and revolts by slaves.
Based on the numerous art exhibitions it has hosted, the then Culture Ministry had observed that “Resistance” in Guyanese art has been quite evident and is seen in a number of ways. It noted however that the depiction of physical conflict is not a popular motif.
The Castellani House has seen from the former Ministry’s exhibition, paintings and sculptures by notable artists such as E.R. Burrows, Stephanie Correia, Stanley Greaves, Phillip Moore, and Winslow Craig.
The art gallery has also played home to contemporary displays from emerging artistic groups such as Bravo Arts. Their displays included eye-catching body art models.
There are still many more who continue to benefit from the use of the art gallery whether it is to showcase their work or to observe the astounding beauty of Guyanese art. Either way, the Castellani House, remains a cherished landmark as it continues to capture hearts through the exhibition of untamed art.

New Amsterdam Heritage Trail: About The Publication

November 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

T he National Trust of Guyana, the state agency with responsibility for the preservation and promotion of the nation’s monuments, has produced another new heritage publication titled, “New Amsterdam Heritage Trail.”
This publication aims to inform visitors, tourists, researchers and the general public about the history and development of New Amsterdam and the various heritage sites, both past and present, that have helped to shape the townscape.
It consists of historical descriptions of many sites, with accompanying images as well as a guide map which is laid out in a trail-like format offering an easy route for anyone wishing to tour the country’s oldest town.
The pocket booklet is easy for users to carry while they explore and it offers space for personal notes and observations. Being a new design, it is a very important and outstanding piece of heritage and tourism resource.
In addition, the pocket booklets are expected to revive and spark an interest in safeguarding and promoting heritage sites and historic properties. Through featuring past sites like the old New Amsterdam Hospital, it is hoped that focus will be given to the important concept of adaptive reuse as a medium through which we can breathe new life into our historic buildings. It emphasizes the importance of preserving them as part of our legacy and tangible heritage which can proudly be passed on to future generations.
The Trust printed 2000 copies of this booklet.
Our heritage is an irreplaceable and inspirational source of our lives. Thus, what we do not protect and preserve, we will lose.
Like all new publications, it is subject to criticisms and the Trust, which falls under the auspices of the former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, appreciates feedback. We acknowledge there is always room for improvement and editorial corrections but these should not diminish the aims and objectives of this new and original publication.
It is our hope that this publication will be widely accessed, read and cherished by local and international visitors and all Guyanese, especially the residents of New Amsterdam and Berbice.
This publication was officially launched on April 28, 2015 at the Office of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region 6. This timely and necessary publication aims at strengthening the heritage sector while raising awareness about our unique heritage among the people of Guyana.

African Monuments and Museums in Guyana

September 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In recognition of the struggles of some of the greatest freedom fighters pre and post Emancipation, several monuments were erected around Guyana. There are also museums dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of Africans. Here is a look at some of those African monuments and museums.

Damon Monument
This monument represents the brave African domestic labourer Damon who was executed for his role in the protest against a new system of apprenticeship. Labourers went on strike on August 3, 1834, declaring that they were free and would only work for half a day.
Damon, who was their leader, raised a flag to represent the labourers in the Trinity Church Yard at La Belle Alliance, which they had occupied during the protest.
He was hanged at the Parliament Building at noon on October 13, 1834. He was indeed an icon and will be remembered for his quest for freedom.
His monument is located at the Anna Regina Car Park on the Essequibo Coast.

The 1763 Monument
This monument was unveiled by former President L.F.S. Burnham on May, 23 1976. It commemorates the 1763 slave rebellion; the first revolt that came close to success.
Cuffy, as the leader of this rebellion, is known to be one of Guyana’s greatest freedom fighters. Situated at the Square of the Revolution, Georgetown, the monument which is popularly known as Cuffy stands 10.1 metres (33 feet) high and weighs two and a half tons. It sits on a plinth and showcases a fountain that creates a picturesque effect. Five plaques surround the plinth, each representative of an aspect of revolution from slavery. The plaques represent seeking inspiration, uniting the people, destroying the enemies, ‘control and praise’ and thanksgiving. The statue was erected by renowned local artist Dr. Phillip Alphonso Moore (now deceased) in 1976.

Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow Monument
The Hubert N. Critchlow Monument on the lawns of the compound of Parliament Building was unveiled on December 2, 1964 by the then Premier, Dr. Cheddi Jagan. It is a tribute to Critchlow, known as the father of the trade union movement in Guyana. The bronze sculpture of the late trade unionist by Edward Burrowes, is mounted on a two-metre high pedestal.

The 1823 Rebellion Monument
This monument pays respect to the slave rebellion of 1823 which took place across villages on the East Coast of Demerara. It was designed and sculpted by renowned Guyanese sculptor Ivor Thom. The monument features a man standing tall with a cutlass in one hand and a large cross attached to chains in the other hand, mirroring a rosary. It also features small figures representing women slaves to its sides.

The Museum of African Art and Ethnology
This museum was founded in 1985 with the purchase of the collections of African art of Mr. Hubert H Nicholson and Mrs. Desiree Malik. These collections were annotated and accessioned through UNESCO by Dr. William Seligman, Curator of African and Oceanic Art, Brooklyn Museum. The museum was declared open in 1992. Since then donations from the local community have continued, including art and craft brought from African communities here in Guyana. The museum has collected pieces from the Burrowes School of art and other day-to-day artefacts from local community.
In 2001, the museum was renamed the Museum of African Heritage in order to open their doors to a wider audience and begin to fully address the African experience in Guyana. This new mandate or mission statement allows the museum to explore research and solicit donations from a wider cross section of the local and international community, as well as to begin to provide programmes that will educate visitors to the activities in African lives. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.

The Walter Roth Museum
This is said to be the oldest such museum in the English-speaking Caribbean region. It was established in 1974, but not opened to the public until 1982. It is a non-profit institution created by the Government of Guyana to collect, exhibit and conserve artefacts relating to the ancient cultures of Guyana, to conduct anthropological research and disseminate knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana through its in-house and out-reach programmes.

The African Liberation Monument
The African Liberation Monument was unveiled on August 26, 1974 by former President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham outside the Umana Yana benab “in memory of all of those who have struggled and continue to struggle for freedom from human bondage”.
The monument consists of five polished Greenheart logs encased in a jasper stand on a granite boulder which represents the strength of the freedom movement. The pebbles around it signify the millions of people involved in the Freedom fight.

International Day for Monuments and Sites celebrated in Guyana

August 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

International Day for Monuments and Sites dates back to more than 30 years ago when the idea of establishing a special day to celebrate the diversity of heritage throughout the world was suggested by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, (ICOMOS) Tunisia on April 18, 1982 on the occasion of a symposium they had organized. The result of the event was the recommendation to designate International Day for Monuments and Sites to be observed every year on April 18. This was approved by the Executive Committee who provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to celebrate the day.
Subsequently, the concept was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] General Conference at its 22nd session in November 1983 through the passage of a resolution declaring April 18, each year International Monuments and Sites Day. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the awareness of the general public concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability.
Each year since its establishment, ICOMOS a special expert heritage body, selects a global theme and suggests that countries through their various heritage agencies and local ICOMOS committees devise their own national themes for observing the day throughout the world; highlighting the importance and promotion of aspects of the world’s cultural heritage. The aim is to encourage local communities and individuals to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities and communities and to move beyond the world heritage sites with specific focus on national and local heritage sites which are equally significant.
This year Guyana celebrated the day through the efforts of the National Trust of Guyana, Ministry of Culture, the state agency charged with the responsibility of preserving the nation’s heritage under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. A special thematic out-door exhibition and day of fun was held on April 16 under the national theme ‘Celebrating Guyana’s Patrimony: A trail of our Built Heritage’.
This event was officially opened by the then Honourable Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony in the historic Promenade Gardens, Georgetown specifically targeting school children and the general public at large and providing the opportunity for them to learn more about Guyana’s monuments and sites, the main focus of this year’s exhibition and the significance of this international day.
The Trust also launched five heritage information signs which were also part of its on-going public awareness efforts to educate citizens about the country’s heritage. Specifically, the signs are in recognition of the 1823 Demerara Revolt and were placed in five of the many villages involved in the historic event along the East Coast Demerara, Turkeyen – Mahaica. These were unveiled by the Minister and CEO of National Trust Ms. Nirvana Persaud.
The day comprised tours of the exhibition and heritage related games from which numerous students and adults benefitted in terms of the expansion of their knowledge on monuments and sites and heritage related interactive games for which many won prizes.

The Indian Heritage Monument

July 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Indian Monument Site, which was built to commemorate the arrival of the first indentured East Indians who arrived on 5th May, 1838 on the coolie ships “Whitby” and “Hesperus,” is located at the corner of Church Street and Camp Street, opposite to St. Rose’s High School.
During the presidency of Hugh Desmond Hoyte (1929-2002), it was decided to commemorate both the 150th anniversary of the end of the Apprenticeship System and the 150th Anniversary of the Arrival of East Indians in 1988.
In August 1987, Mr. (now Dr.) Yesu Persaud was unanimously elected the Chairman of the 150th Anniversary Committee, which included Roy Prashad, Ishmael Bacchus, Fazia Bacchus, Ronald Alli, Hemraj Kissoon, Patrick Dial, Ayube Hamid, Dr. Iris Sukdeo, Dr. Fred Sukdeo and Lloyd Searwar.
In May 1988, Mr. Yesu Persaud met privately with the then Vice President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, who was in Guyana representing the Government of India and conveyed to him the fervent desire of the Committee to build a monument to commemorate the arrival of East Indians in Guyana. Dr. Sharma was of like mind and promised that the Government of India would commit itself to this project.
The committee, having identified a suitable site opposite St. Rose’s High School on Church Street, approached the Mayor of Georgetown, Compton Young, who advised that the site chosen was topographically low and would be susceptible to flooding. The Committee solved this problem by filling the site with about 1000 loads of dirt and sand.
A countrywide competition was then held for the design of the monument and hundreds of entries were received by the Committee, most of which included a sailing ship in the design.
The winning entry was that of a sailing ship, which was then cast in India and now forms the centerpiece of the Monument Gardens.
Since then, other additions have been made to the Monument Gardens, especially the permanent stage. The Heritage site is managed by the Indian Commemoration Trust which succeeded the 150th Anniversary Committee.

Menu Title