Ministry of the Presidency Photo
President David Granger speaking at the launch of the book titled “Aspects of European-Guyanese History” said in order to build a socially cohesive society, an understanding of Guyana’s colonial past is imperative.
The book is a collaborative effort between the National Trust of Guyana, the Guyana Heritage Society and the European Union (EU). And according to the Guyanese Head of State, it brings into perspective the Guyanese quality of multiculturalism, reminding that the colonial era brought together people from the various continents.
The President said this quality has created a unique society in which persons have learned to be tolerant and to appreciate the unique talents of other ethnic groups and religions. He noted that “the colonial era brought together people from Europe, Asia, from Africa and we met, of course, the Indigenous Peoples and our multiculturalism is an asset… It created a unique society in which we learnt not only to be tolerant but to love each other and to appreciate the unique talents and the qualities of other ethnic and religious groups.”
Constitutional Government and the need for regular elections are some of the legacies inherited from the Europeans, President Granger highlighted.
European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtic said the publication of the book is demonstrative of the excellent cooperation between the EU and Guyana. He noted that while Guyana is known for its stunning natural beauty and its hospitality, it is less known for its architectural heritage and rich history. “I am convinced that it will be more beneficial for Guyana to highlight this aspect as part of the brand Guyana… this book illustrates the many facets of Guyana’s State-building process, how symbols of its Statehood had been established and how important it is to value them and uphold them for future generations,” said the Ambassador.
Many persons contributed to the content of the publication including President Granger himself, who penned an article on the Dutch Colonial Governor Laurens Storm Van’s Gravesande. Copies of the book will be donated to 150 secondary schools across the country and would be made available through the Guyana Heritage Society.
The launching ceremony also saw the attendance of First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, Veteran Guyanese Diplomat, Sir Shridath Ramphal and other dignitaries.