The Buxton First of August Movement has organized its annual activities to observe the 180th anniversary of the end of plantation slavery in Guyana and the Anglophone Caribbean under the theme, “Emancipate Yourself from Mental and Economic Slavery”, the organisation said Tuesday.
“This year’s theme draws attention to the ongoing need for African Guyanese to redouble their efforts to make good on the emancipation promise of economic and cultural empowerment as prerequisites to true freedom,” the movement said in a statement.
This year’s observances kick off on Sunday July 29 with an Emancipation Church Service at the St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Buxton from 8:30 am. The service will be conducted by Father Peters, parish priest of St. Augustine.
On July 31, there will be a Libation Ceremony and the Emancipation Soiree. The Libation Ceremony will be held at the Emancipation Monument at the Buxton Market Square beginning at 6:00 pm.
This will be followed at 9:00 pm by the Soiree which takes the form of a cultural program which includes Drama, Poetry, Folk Singing, Dance, Village Gaff, Kwe Kwe and Nancy Story. Several cultural groups and individuals from Buxton and beyond are slated to participate. Super Cat One Man Band will also be in attendance. The keynote address will be delivered by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
On August 1, Emancipation Day, there will be the annual Village Feeding, where villagers, especially the elderly and children, will be treated to a variety of African Guyanese foods.
On Saturday August 4, The Friends of Villages Museum and Archives Inc will launch the “Buxton Friendship Museum, Archives and Culture Center.”
The activities continue on Sunday August 5 with the annual Eusi Kwayana Emancipation Symposium at Friendship Primary School Sunday at 4:00 pm. The topic for this year’s symposium will be “The Coming Oil and Gas Economy: Prospects for Empowering the Poor and Revitalizing the Village Economy.” The panelists are Professor Clive Thomas and Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman.
The observances conclude with an “Education Roundtable” on Sunday August 12 at Friendship Primary School at 4:00 pm. The topic is “Restoring Education Excellence in Buxton: What is to be done.”
The Buxton First of August Movement expects this year’s activities to be the beginning of a year-long conversation among Buxtonions on village revitalization and renewal. Particular attention would be given to areas of education, business, agriculture and cultural empowerment.