This has been in the works for some time but it's finally official. I have been appointed by the Guyana Government as the Honorary Consul for Manitoba. This is the first such position West of Ontario.
What does that mean? Well, it means that I have some official functions which includes:
- Catering to the consular needs of Guyanese resident in Manitoba
- Transmitting applications for new passports and applications for birth, death or marriage certificates to the nearest Mission or directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for processing
- Providing advice on procedures pertaining to court appearances
- Providing advice on the authentication and notarization of documents (not actually notarizing the documents)
- Rendering assistance to distressed Guyanese
- Assisting with communication on behalf of persons trying to locate relatives in Guyana
- Reporting deaths to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Keeping a register of Guyanese in Manitoba
- Assisting Guyanese officials who may be visiting
- Providing information about development and/or tourism
- Promoting trade and investment
The Golden Arrowhead, Guyana's National Flag has FIVE symbolic colors:
- GREEN represents the agricultural and forested nature of Guyana,
- WHITE symbolizes the rivers and water potential of the country,
- GOLDEN arrow represents Guyana's mineral wealth,
- BLACK portrays the endurance that will sustain the forward thrust of the Guyanese people
- RED represents the zeal and dynamic nature of nation-building which lies before the young and independent Guyana. (Information provided courtesy of: http://www.guyana.org/flag.htm)
A few weeks ago when I found out that the appointment was at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, my colleagues were joking abut getting diplomatic plates, preferred parking spaces and being able to run red lights and accumulate speeding tickets without penalty. Well, I am a careful driver and don't run red lights or speed so that won't be a problem. My parking space at work is as close to the door as I can get without being labelled preferred I that's not a problem either. And since a diplomatic plate doesn't appear to get me any privileges, it may not be required. I didn't even think Manitoba has such plates>
I met a few Honorary Consuls at an event that I attended two weeks ago and they mentioned that indeed there are diplomatic plates although the people at Manitoba Public Insurance didn't know much about it when I phoned to ask. The Office of Protocol will send me the information but in the meantime, if you know someone in Manitoba who might find my appointment useful related to my functions, please feel free to pass on the information.
And Brent, if you are reading this, I can hear the wheels turning in your head. "Fresh Princess of Belair" just might be apropos.