First-Village Indaba & Observance of Inaugural National Day of Villages

First-Village Indaba & Observance of Inaugural National Day of Villages

The Fourth First-Village Indaba will commence on Thursday, November 3rd under the theme of “Reconstruction” and conclude four days later on the evening of the inaugural observance ofa National Day of Villages. The Indaba Planning Committee shifted the event that is usually held during Emancipation Week as a way of acknowledgement of President David Granger’s foresight and the significant symbolic decision to designate November 7 – National Day of Villages.

The Indaba Committee is in harmony with the breadth of the Head of State’s designation of the observance as it honours and celebrates the pioneering contribution of all villages and acknowledges the continuing pivotal role of villages in the economic, social, and political life of Guyana. We also view the selection of the date of November 7 as a posthumous honorific bestowal on our Ancestors – the 83 Proprietors who daringly purchased Plantation Northbrook and emerged a code for the management of the village they named after Queen Victoria.  

We also compliment the Minister of Communities, Honourable Ronald Bulkan for his  role in ensuring that the local government elections were conducted, and we are hopeful that under his leadership the issues that have festered over time will be resolved. While it is constitutional and it is necessary the election by itself alone is not sufficient for lifting the villages that have sunken in despair due to neglect and economic stagnation and is inadequate for combatting the rising ills that continue to beset these communities. We therefore look forward to economic initiatives significant enough to contribute to Reconstruction.

While Victoria takes its place in the constellation of villages in Guyana it must certainly be recognised as the Sirius in that constellation both for its single act that spawned the Village Movement and hastened the modernisation and transformation of British Guiana and for the creativity and ingenuity in demonstrating that an alternative social and economic system that was not dependent on the degradation Man and thrived on the exploitation of humans was quite possible.

Accordingly, the weighty word “Reconstruction” has been selected as the theme of this Indaba as a reminder that our  addition to the stock of wealth bequeathed to us by our Ancestors is the best form of homage we can pay to them. Consequently, the four philosophical pillars upon which the village was constructed – Spirituality, Education, Co-operativism, and Community – will be excavated and focused upon as we believe that the fundamental values remain relevant.

When the First-Village Indaba opens on Thursday villagers will re-examine the historical wrongs endured without succumbing to the psychology of victimhood, as parallel to the hellish experiences are the noble achievements. That a people who have endured the long night of enslavement should arise without excusable bitterness and just vendetta and establish a school that our children may learn to read their Bibles and fear God, displays a morality that exceeded that of their oppressors.

Villager, Honourable Madam Justice JoAnn Barlow has been invited to deliver the main address at the Indaba and she is expected to identify the restraining bounds imposed in the past and to show how in spite of those constraints villagers abounded and recorded enviable achievements. The Indaba Committee believes that the present generation needs to be much more resilient in hardship and thereby record comparable achievements as our fore-parents. This observation is made cognisant that more teachers and lawyers and doctors are emerging from  the village population but conscious that the ranks of the  unpurposeful, alienated, and unemployed have also swollen.

At the opening ceremony the Village pennant will be hoisted after the Golden Arrowhead is raised, the national pledge is repeated, and the national anthem is sung. The Village Pennant bears the symbol of the Proprietors making the Purchase of Plantation Northbrook in November 1839 for 30,000 Guilders.

On the day to consider the Village Economy, Villager Hugh Saul will lead a workshop on Revitalizing & Reworking of Farming in Victoria.  The traditional Village economy upon which Victoria built its past successes has been severely affected by changes in the local economy and is struggling to find a niche in the changed economic circumstances. Earlier villagers will consider the intersection of agriculture and climate change in an effort to minimise their contributions to environmental degradation.

Ras Leon Saul who wrote and directed Legend of Victoria for the country’s jubilee celebrations will screen and discuss the dramatic presentation which is a re-enactment of the early years of the village and the resourceful ways it dealt with economic sabotage and other forms of pressure from the planter class with little support from the colonial administration.

The  high point of this Indaba will be playing host to President David Granger when he addresses the National Day of Villages on the morning of November 7. In inviting the Head of State the Indaba Committee reasoned  that it is most becoming that the President speak to the nation from the perch of Plantation Northbrook. We remain convinced that both the boldness of spirit and the spirit of compromise, evidenced in our fore-parents in their setting aside past grievances, remain germane to the building a better country.

In the National Day of Villages programme the oldest active member of the community will unveil two stamps depicting the exodus of formerly enslaved persons from the plantations and the purchase of the first village by formerly enslaved persons. Additionally, the Committee has now received the approval of the Minister of Education for school bells to be rung at 11:30am on the National Day of Villages and the interruption of instruction to briefly focus on the significance of  villages to national development both historic and current.

The Ministry of Education has accepted our proposal for small groups of students from schools between Ann’s Grove and Paradise to be part of the first National Day of Villages observance at Victoria. According to the programme, the President is schedule to conclude his address a few minutes before 11:30am when the Church bells in Victoria and environs will peal and the schools bells will ring in a symbolic acknowledgement of the role of villages in the country’s progress.

Victorians will undertake a tram throughout the village in the afternoon of the National Day of Villages and will assemble at the Southern section of the village where the closing Indaba ceremony will take place.

31 October 2016:

Agenda for INDABA 2016

Thursday, November 3 – 3:00pm Opening of Indaba4 at Kingston & Benn Streets

  • Flag Raising – The Golden Arrowhead & The Village Pennant
  • Guest Speaker – Villager, Justice JoAnn Barlow
  • Recalling the 83 Proprietors

Friday, November 4:  10:00am Agriculture Fair & Exhibition–    Lady Sendall Park

Sat, November 5: 4:00pmAWorkshop on Climate Change    – FORCE School Building

7:00pm Revitalizing& Reworking of Farming in Victoria.

Sunday, November 6:  10:00am   A Family Fun Day   at Lady Sendall Park

7:00pm“The Legend of Victoria”- FORCE School Building

Monday November 7:  9:00am   A National Day of Villages   at Lady Sendall Park

  • Address by His Excellency, President David Granger
  • Launching of the 175thAnniversary commemorative stamp
  • Village Tramp
  • Culinary Competitions
  • Modernising Family Life
  • 50 Point of Light
  • Closing of Indaba4

King Fighter—-All ahwe are one Family

Patches– We outa GT

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