Arthur Chung remembered as upgraded Conference Centre reopens

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Guyana’s first President Arthur Chung’s contribution to the nation was remembered on Thursday as the refurbished Arthur Chung Conference Centre was recommissioned amid pomp and ceremony.

The Conference Centre which was funded and built by the Chinese was renamed after Arthur Chung when the APNU+AFC Government took office in 2015.

A year later, in October 2016 the Conference Centre was closed for much needed scheduled repairs.

The reopening ceremony on Thursday paid extensive tribute to the former President who served in the position from 1970 to 1980.

During his time as President of Guyana, the office was that of a ceremonial Head of State, with real power in the hands of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham.

Notwithstanding this, Arthur Chung’s contribution to Guyana is worth being remembered and sustained,  President David Granger said.

He noted that Mr. Chung shaped and guided Guyana at a time of uncertainty and was the face of the country on the international stage during the transition from colonialism to independence.

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Cui Jianchun also recognized Mr. Chung’s contribution and thanked President Granger for honouring his memory in the naming of the Conference Centre.

Chung’s niece, Ms. Leila Walker also spoke of his upbringing, schooling and professional career in the legal fraternity before transitioning to politics where he served with distinction.

The rehabilitation work was done to the tune of US$7 million, 10 years after the building was first opened and handed over to the Guyanese government.

The rehabilitation works were done in keeping with the agreement between the Chinese Government and the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Some of the new installations include PA systems, projectors, electronic screens, video conferencing equipment, air conditioning units and wifi equipment.

Additionally, the main conference hall was equipped with a new digital system that can accommodate three different languages spoken simultaneously with video tracking capabilities, 372 new chairs, LED screens, overhead projectors, and video matrix switcher.

President Granger said the works are a testimony to the long and fruitful relations between Guyana and China, which Guyana intends to sustain.

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