Acores of persons turned up at the Mausoleum Site in the Botanical Gardens on Saturday morning to pay homage to the founder of the People’s National Congress and former President of Guyana, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham. The former Guyanese President died 31 years ago on August 6.
Those present at the ceremony were executive members of the PNC including former Leader Robert Corbin, members of the Government, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland, parliamentarians, among others.
Additionally, Richard Van West Charles, son-in-law of the former president was present on behalf of the Burnham family.
Speaking at the memorial ceremony, current Chairman of PNC/R Basil Williams reflected that it was Burnham who first set the precedence for a coalition party by forming one back in the 1960s when it joined forces with the United Force (UF). This, Williams noted, paved the way for the current six-party coalition that is governing the country.
Meanwhile, current PNC/R Leader and President of Guyana David Granger in brief remarks outlined that Burnham laid the foundation for the consolidation of the country and went on to become the premier of British Guiana, transforming it into a more united and less unequal country.
Granger recalled a speech given by Burnham in which he highlighted the importance of all the races to the PNC-led administration. The president noted that his administration holds those precepts to be paramount and permanent as it proceeds along a path of national unity and the ambition of social integration.
“Today, it’s our Government’s duty as it was 50 years ago to protect the interest of all and not of some,” the Head of State posited.
Furthermore, Granger stated that Burnham was the author for social cohesion and the architect of national unity, fighting against the marginalisation and segregation which prevails during the colonial regime.
The memorial service kicked off the series of events planned in memory of Burnham. Another event – a dance production by National Dance Company titled ‘A celebration of African Heritage 9’ – was held on Saturday night.