PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Thursday, August 12, 2004

The National Congress of Women (NCW), the women’s arm of the People's National Congress Reform, hosted its annual Commemoration Ceremony on the 19th death anniversary of the Founder Leader of the People's National Congress and President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, O.E.

Highlights of the afternoon’s programme, which was chaired by the National Chairperson of the
NCW, Ms. Cheryl Sampson, included African Drumming by overseas based Guyanese Art Broomes, jnr, musical renditions of “O Danny Boy” and “My Way” by Mr. Paul Cort, the Georgetown District Quartet’s performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and the Guyana Police Force Steel Band’s rendition of “Where are your heroes Caribbean?”.

Reflections about Burnham’s contribution to Guyana’s development were presented by Professor Dr. Joycelynne Loncke, A.A., Dr. Ramesh Kissoon, former Councillor on the Region 10 RDC and one time Deputy Mayor of the City of Georgetown, and Mr. Vincent Alexander, M.P., Chairman (ag), PNCR.

Dr. Loncke, who reflected on many aspects of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham’s contribution to the emergence of a distinctive Guyanese Culture, spoke of his foresight in encouraging the Caribbean Writers to a Conference from which evolved the first CARIFESTA in 1972; she recalled the introduction of Dance when Haitian Dancer Lavinia Williams was brought to Guyana to set up the National School of Dance; the origin of the National Cultural Centre; the introduction of National Holidays to celebrate the religious festivals of the major religions in Guyana among a wide range of other cultural aspects. Professor Dr. Loncke highlighted Forbes Burnham’s love for the Steel Band, his encouragement of the development of steel band music and how he made certain that every official reception hosted by the government was entertained by steel band music.

Dr. Ramesh Kissoon, in an excellent complimentary presentation, spoke of his personal experiences on the life of Forbes Burnham and the monumental contributions he made, evidence of which abound all over Guyana. He emphasized the fact that the People's National Congress Reform must tell these stories to the young people so that they will know and be aware of the new interpretations being placed on our History. Chairman of the PNCR, Mr. Vincent Alexander, M.P., retraced a visit to the Mainstay Resort and recounted that it was under Burnham’s administration that the development of that Resort was started. He reminded that the Parika to Vreed-en-Hoop highway, the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the Linden / Soesdyke Highway, the Canje Bridge and the Corentyne Highway, to name a few, all still visible monuments were all built during the Burnham era.

The programme concluded with the laying of floral tributes at the Bust of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday, August 12, 2004