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Guyana flag flying high over Lower Manhattan

NEW YORK, NY – Guyana’s flag, the Golden Arrow Head, continues to fly high over the financial district of Manhattan after being raised there for the first time on Saturday, May 26th, the 41st anniversary of the country’s independence.

Hollywood actor Sean Patrick Thomas, Bollywood actor Kumar Guarav, counsel generals from Grenada, Barbados and Trinidad as well as the media, joined several hundred Guyanese and friends of Guyana in watching the Golden Arrow Head being hoisted above Bowling Green.

The event an initiative of Hard Beat Communications’ CEO, Persaud, was presented along with the Bowling Green Association of New York and the Committee for Guyana’s Independence under the patronage of the Guyana Ambassador Karran.

Guyana’s Ambassador to Washington, Bayney Karran, Chair of the Committee to Celebrate Guyana, Felicia Persaud and Arthur Piccolo, chair of the Bowling Green Association, helped raise the flag as the country’s national anthem was sung accapella by Almira Brasse.

Guyana’s flag flies high above New York’s financial district.
Photo by: Hayden Roger Celestine

Earlier, newly sworn in Haitian Councilman, Mathieu Eugene helped raise the American flag as singer Clifford John belted out the US anthem. The flag raising was preceded by several cultural performances that took place on Broadway, which was closed down for the event.

Among the performers were veteran performer, John ‘Slingshot’ Drepaul, heated up the crowd during his first return to the stage since a horrific accident in Guyana; The Dheeraj Cultural Foundation’s Ghungroos Dance School, whose gyrations tickled many; Mr. H2o WataFlow, who took the temperature several degrees hotter; poets, James Richmond and Francis Quamina Farrier; musical saw performer Moses Josiah; drummer Akoyah Rudder; The Verna Walcott Impressions Dance Theater and the Malini Bose-Shaw dancers of the Nritya Kala Kendra Inc.

The flag raising concluded with a special performance by UN worker and Guyanese singer, Mr. Courtney Noel, who helped bring the curtain down on the historic occasion that showcased not just the diversity of Guyana but its friends in many other Caribbean and the US communities, with ‘I Love My Golden Arrow Head.’

The inaugural honorees are actress CCH Pounder, who was born in Guyana and stars currently in the television series, ‘The Shield;’ Guyanese American actor Sean Patrick Thomas, known for his role in ‘Save The Last Dance,’ as well as the producers of Guiana 1838 – Rohit Jagessar; Rainbow Raani – Mikey Nivelli and boxer Vivian Harris. Additionally, Bollywood actors Kumar Guarav and Aarti Bathija, the lead acts in ‘Guiana 1838,’ are scheduled to make appearances.

Guests then filed inside the Grand Rotunda of the Alexander Hamilton US Custom Building for the First Annual Independence Day Leadership Award’s ceremony. The impressive, architecturally alluring building was decked out with the colors of Guyana as well as artwork and a special cake in the colors of the flags was put on display by Roxanne Sookraj of Unique Professional Creations.

Newly elected congresswoman, Yvette Clarke, joined Felicia Persaud in presenting the awards to five outstanding individuals, who have excelled in film and sports. Thomas as well as movie producer Rohit Jagessar of ‘Guiana 1838,’ movie director, Mikey Nivelli of ‘Rainbow Raani,’ and boxer Vivian Harris all were presented with the stunning, hectagonal, solid glass awards. Actress CCH Pounder could not attend the event, as she is shooting another season of the Shield but was presented the award in absentia.

In his acceptance speech, Thomas reminisced on growing up in a Guyanese household and feasting on tennis roll, pepper pot and cook up rice. And he lauded the Committee for the imitative and welcomed the honor.

A special tribute presentation was made to former Guyanese cricketers Sewdatt Shivnarine, Vishal Nagamootoo, Amin and Sudesh Dhaniram. While the special advisor to US General Services Administrator as well as actress, Aonika Laurent Thomas, a native of New Orleans also attended. Proclamations to the Committee was presented by Sandra Harte of the New Jersey Guyanese Association on behalf of the Mayor Of Irvington as well as from the Office of the Mayor of New York City and the Brooklyn Borough President. The Pepper Corn Award was presented to Persaud by the Bowling Green Association.

Boxer Vivian Harris and Persaud subsequently cut the Guyana cake, bringing an end to the formal proceedings.

The event was sponsored by Western Union, AmeriGroup Funding, North American Airlines, Deluxe Delivery, Laparkan Shipping and Ariana Development Group Of Companies while donations were made by JR. Giddings, Pat Jordan Langford, President, Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Edgar Henry, Wanda Fisher, Brand Caribbean LLC, Albert Baldeo, Ray Rafeek, Golden Krust Bakery, Tota’s Bakery, Sybil’s Restaurant and Hollis West Indian Restaurant. Volunteers included Roger Gary, Marina Sahadeo, Rawle Persaud, Allison Skeete, Jared McCallister, Hazra Alli, Rosalyn McLymont, Don Profitt, Djenny Passe Rodriguez, Stacia Weaver, Alexander Sahadeo, Sanjay Marray, Michael Haddaway, Maureen Moore, Andrea Mohan and Michael Jones.

Actor Ron Bobb-Semple, of the Committee To Celebrate Guyana, served as the master of ceremonies for both events while other Committee members, Aleem Ally, Chuck Mohan and Rickford Burke introduced the honorees. The official photographer of the event was Hayden Roger Celestine while filming was done by RolModel Media’s Roland Hyde.

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, had proclaimed Saturday May 26th, 2007, ‘Guyanese Independence Day’ In New York City.

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