The People’s National Congress Reform extends greetings to all Guyanese as we celebrate the significant Republic Anniversary in the life of our nation – this body of land with many rivers, valleys, lakes, mountains, forest and savannahs called the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Today, 23 February 2010, we have accomplished forty years of Republican status consolidating our political independence and forging a future from the foundations that our Leaders crafted.

As with any milestone, some reflection on especially signal moments in the life of our nation is critical to experiencing a celebratory mood and spirit on this Republic Day. When we ushered in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in 1970, the mood and spirit of the nation was high in esteem experiencing great favor and fervent hope as the PNC led the nation to charting its own destiny.

In the first decade of these forty years, we saw a people driven by hope, love of country and charting a developmental scale of unknown proportions in our country. For example, there is the Georgetown Linden Highway that was carved out from among forest, hills and creeks, a Demerara Harbour Bridge and a Canje Bridge that came from a vision to link a people, goods and services and mesh four major productive Regions for easy ingress and egress to the Capital; to ensure the education of the populace Multilateral Schools, Community High Schools, a Campus for the University of Guyana, a Campus for the New Amsterdam Technical Institute were accessible.

Free education was introduced from nursery to university for every Guyanese, a new and relevant curriculum for schools was formulated, and a beautiful cultural centre was constructed; to provide health care, new Regional Hospitals and Clinics were constructed and staffed throughout the nation. Industrial Estates were commissioned; electricity supply and water were expanded to communities unknown. Iwokrama, 1430 square miles of Guyana, known as one of the four last pristine tropical forests in the world, was offered to the world for research and development by the wisdom of PNC leadership charting our future.

These and many more growth points were signal moments in our nation’s first two decades of its Republican status. Throughout Guyana, during this period, there seemed to be a sense of boundless energy linked with a pride of ownership of our nation’s unexploited unlimited resources and endless possibilities for personal growth and development.

That sense of pride of ownership, vision and hope make us want to celebrate. We can feel that sense of pride when we acknowledge the great things done over the decades in our nation since 1970 dawned. We must eulogize the wisdom and virtues of our fathers and mothers who led this nation. We must not repudiate the deeds which made PNC Leaders, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham and Hugh Desmond Hoyte, who led this nation during its first two decades of charting the Republic, the great men that they were in their time. We must recapture that lost pride of country and countrymen and the boundless energy for developing our country that is so undermined today.

The celebration this year marks the beginning of another decade, the fourth of our national life. Our nation is young, a mere dot in the life of a nation, as nations are usually thousands of years old. We are still enduring in the period of childhood so Guyana is young and still in the impressionable stage of life. All is not lost. The intent of our Leaders who charted the way can still be achieved. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did and the principles they contended for, we must celebrate this Republic Day 2010 to honor their memory. They loved this nation more than their own private interests; they staked their lives and their honor on the cause of their nation. In their admiration of national liberty they lost sight of all other interests. And this is our charge as we welcome and celebrate the coming of the Fourth Decade for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

On this Republic Day let us recommit to love our nation and fight for our rights, let us do our duty, let us be principled stateswomen and men, patriots, heroes who love our nation more than our own private interests. We must continue to agitate for justice and fairplay, safety in our neighbourhoods and in our schools, restoration of decent values, good corporate behaviour, protection for our children and the disabled and challenged. We must begin to refresh and fertilize our dear land of Guyana, our nation, with a hope, stake and an action plan that will ensure a Destiny to Mould.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Monday 22 February 2010