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Independence Arch being rehabilitated to honour independence fighters

Rehab works underway at the Independence Arch

Work on Sunday began to spruce up the Independence Arch on Brickdam, Georgetown for part of what is expected to be a symbolic Independence Day observance in honour of Guyana’s architects of the end of British colonial rule here.

An organiser said a wreath-laying  and flag-raising ceremony is planned for 8 AM, May 26, 2015 at the landmark, several hours before the inauguration of President David Granger at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

Wreaths are expected to be laid by representatives of trade unions, political parties and others in honour of Guyana’s founding fathers such as late Presidents Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham.

The organiser said the Flag Raising Ceremony for the 49th Independence Anniversary has been shifted from Parliament Building to the Independence Arch. The activity at the National Park has been shifted to the Stadium and will form part of the President’s inauguration, according to the source.

The overflowing and clogged drains on both sides of the arch were Sunday being dug out to improve drainage especially during the rainy season. The base of the arch was also being excavated with the aim of increasing its height in that flood-prone area.

The organiser said BK International, a major privately-owned Guyanese construction firm, is rehabilitating the arch while Cummings Electrical will be repairing the lights that are affixed to the arch.

An official said BK International plans to clean up Georgetown as part of that company’s contribution to the re-beautification of the city in time for Independence Day.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, the organiser said the inauguration ceremony for President Granger would be held. Several  leaders of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are expected to attend.

President Granger, during a visit to the area Sunday, is reported to have remarked that the face-lift of the neglected arch marked the commencement of the rehabilitation of all national monuments.

The Independence Arch was presented by the then Canadian-owned Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA) as a gift to the people of Guyana on their achievement of independence from Britain on May 26,1966.