Guyana: Georgetown celebrates 175th anniversary with ‘City Week’ – By Tangerine Clarke

Guyana: Georgetown celebrates 175th anniversary with ‘City Week’

17 August 2018 – BY Tangerine Clarke – Caribbean Life News. NY

City Hall. Georgetown. Guyana

The Guyana mayor and councillors of the city of Georgetown have planned a week of activities to commemorate its 175th Anniversary, titled: “City Week,” that will begin with a “Gratitude and Celebration” church service at the historic St. George’s Cathedral Church on Aug. 19.

Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene outlined a program to engage Guyana’s diverse population during a showcase of Georgetown’s historic journey that began under Dutch rule.   

A cleanup exercise in Georgetown, mainly in the Stabroek and Bourda Market areas, took place on Aug. 12. Additionally, artisans will exhibit their arts and craft in the Main Street area, a short distance from Georgetown City Hall.

“City Week,” branded as a tourist attraction, will include a special tree planting exercise, a health fair, a cocktail reception at the Marriott Hotel, among other local events.

The historic commemoration, which was launched with youth initiatives on Aug. 10 is geared to inspire citizens to participate and celebrate the historic milestone, as the city seeks to improve its infrastructure including City Hall, which is undergoing an extensive transformation.

Memorabilia celebrating the 175th Anniversary will be sold at City Hall, Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic.

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Some history and pictures of Georgetown………………………

From a small British town to the capital of Guyana, Georgetown turns 175 years old

Old Georgetown in the 1800’s 

When the British took over the South American colony of Demerara-Essequibo from the Dutch in 1781, they chose to establish a small town that would become the capital city of Guyana in 1843.

Originally named Stabroek under the Dutch, the British renamed the town Fort St. George after the George II of Britain and Ireland.  It became the administration centre housing the government of Demerara.

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In 1782, French troops docked at the Demerara River, forcing the British to surrender the colonies. They went on to build a town right at the mouth of the river, using slaves to dig two parallel canals and a dam between them. Houses were built on both sides of the embankment, and the town was called Longchamps, and later  La Novelle Ville (New Town).

The French also built La Reine and La Dauphin Forts on each side of the river.

In 1783, when the war ended, the colony was returned to the Dutch, who dug more canals and sluices for drainage and laid out streets in a rectangular pattern. As of 1789, the town was home to 780 residents.

The town then exchanged hands between the British and the Dutch again until the war ended in 1814 when it remained in Britain’s possession. In 1812, it was renamed Georgetown.

With such a rich background, the town of Georgetown was elevated to a city in August 1843, and is the country’s biggest urban centre. It not only the economic capital of Guyana but also a vital city for the Caribbean Community and the seat of the University of Guyana.

The residents of the city are celebrating the day with a number of events.

Guyana’s capital Georgetown is laid out in a grid pattern.. Founded by the Dutch in the 18th century, the city is notable for its wide avenues, drainage canals, and British colonial buildings. Photo: David Stanley/Flickr

To commemorate the day, here are some photos of Georgetown

St. George’s Cathedral – largest wooden building

Georgetown City Hall – Gothic building now being restored

Stabroek Market on the Demerara River

Aerial view of Central Georgetown, Guyana

Aerial view of Georgetown from the Demerara River

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Comments

  • Ovid Abrams  On August 26, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    You could have enhanced this article and make it more useful by adding a brief history of the city.

    • guyaneseonline  On August 29, 2018 at 10:29 am

      From the Editor:
      I have now added some info and pictures of Georgetown.
      There is more that could be obtained by Internet searches.

      Regards
      Cyril Bryan

  • Ron Saywack  On August 30, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Stunning vistas of Georgetown. Thanks, Cy!

    Rgds, Ron.

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