Reclaim position as agricultural powerhouse – President tells Fyrish residents

President David Granger addressing the gathering at the Albion Chapel Congregational Church at Fyrish, Corentyne, Berbice
President David Granger addressing the gathering at the Albion Chapel Congregational Church at Fyrish, Corentyne, Berbice

President David Granger on Sunday joined the worshippers at the 180-year-old Albion Chapel Congregational Church for a special sunrise service to usher in a week of activities that will culminate next Saturday with the hosting of the community’s inaugural “Village Day”.

The activities are being spearheaded by the Fyrish, Gibraltar, Courtland, No 1 Association Incorporated, which is celebrating its sixth anniversary.

In his address to the congregation, the President said while the planned week of celebrations would allow for reflection on the past, residents must also use it as an opportunity to take stock of where they were as a community and chart the way forward for the future. In this regard, he spoke of the four pillars that drive development in any community: the church, the school, the home and the farm (work). The President urged the residents to strengthen these pillars to ensure the revival of the fortunes of Fyrish, a village that once stood as an agricultural powerhouse on the Corentyne Coast.

“When you rock those four pillars, your village will collapse…when this community developed, it was the fruit-bowl of the Corentyne, even when Black Bush Polder was opened for the first time, they got their planting materials and their seedlings from Fyrish. But now we have seen that other communities, which have benefited from the beneficence and generosity of Fyrish, seem to be overtaking Fyrish in prosperity,” President Granger pointed out.

Making reference to the recently-concluded Local Government Elections, the Head of State expressed the hope that representation and governance at the level of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) would be greatly improved and the concerns of citizens would be addressed in a more efficient manner. He also encouraged residents to make the Fyrish, Gibraltar, Courtland, No1 Association the bedrock of a new form of development in their community.

The President holds strongly to the view that villages are the cradle of Guyanese society. It is for this reason he created the Ministry of Communities to oversee the development of safe, green, clean and economically vibrant villages. It is also for this reason that the President has declared November 7 the National Day of Villages.

The Head of State’s remarks were followed by an inspiring sermon by Pastor Phillip Campbell, who remarked on President Granger’s spirit of patriotism.

“I believe that there is a burning desire in his heart to see every citizen of this country rise to the occasion; bringing back honour, dignity and pride… we have to begin to change the world that you are in. If change is going to come, you have to begin to work on yourself. It is time for us to get up and begin our work. Do not wait for the President to come and do it for you. Everyone must take up their responsibility,” Pastor Campbell said.

The week of activities is being held under the theme, “Uniting our Community”.