kaieteur news Aug 08, 2016 News

 President David Granger announced that November 7 has been declared as the “National Day

President David Granger delivering his keynote address at the 4th Annual State of the African Guyanese Forum.

of Villages”.
The day would not be a public holiday but he said that it should be a day that all Guyanese observe.
This announcement was made during his address at the Fourth Annual State of the African Guyanese Forum hosted by the Cuffy 250 Committee yesterday.
The President said that the Guyana Post Office Corporation has already printed and issued stamps in commemoration of the National Day of Villages.
He noted that when he was Opposition Leader in 2014, he had brought forward a motion calling for the 7th of November to be declared National Day of Villages. He said that it was passed by the House, but was never assented to by former President Donald Ramotar.
Taking the audience through a bit of history, His Excellency said that the November date was chosen as it was in November of 1839, that the newly freed Africans in Guyana started the Village Movement.
The Village movement was made by the freed Africans who pooled their money to purchase plantations across Guyana that formed the very first villages in the country. Some of those villages are Buxton, Friendship and Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara, while Lichfield, Golden Grove, St. John and Providence were purchased in West Berbice. Queenstown and Williamstown were also formed in Essequibo.
He stated that the impact of the Village Movement must be imprinted in Guyanese society as he noted that as far back as 100 years ago, there were writings by people of East Indian ancestry urging their fellow East Indians to emulate Africans in purchasing lands and establishing villages.

A section of the audience.

President Granger also highlighted that from the village movement, there arose not only a free economy, but also rise to village markets which has continued to be a feature of Guyana as well as a main contributor to Guyana’s economy as a country.
He continued that the Village Movement certainly saved the freed men and women of that time from poverty and squalor as many children couldn’t live with their parents, persons couldn’t marry, and families were divided. The village movement afforded these families the opportunity to exist as one and the villages to thrive as co-operative institutions.
The President commended the Cuffy 250 committee for keeping the Annual State of African Guyanese Forum going over the years. The Forum was held at the Critchlow Labour College on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown under the theme: “African Guyanese Self Realization; Challenges for the next 50 years”.
Notable guest speakers included Mr Vincent Alexander, Eric Phillips, Norwell Hinds, Dr. Norman Ng A Qui and Ms. Estherine Adams among others while Dr. David Hinds delivered the feature address.