Saturday, May 28, 2016

Guyana's Golden Jubilee Gala Evening

It's finally arrived! This is the day we have been spending months planning for - Guyana's Golden Jubilee Gala Evening. We sold almost 470 tickets. That is a record- breaking sale for the Caribbean community.  

The day started out with finalizing the room set up at Canad Inn, Polo Park. General Manager and personal friend Fareez Kassim and his staff outdid themselves in preparing the room for the event. I could not have asked for better service, which was exemplary, right down to the red carpet, ceiling to floor chandeliers, wine fountain, bars, themed banquet hall with lights and napkins in the colours of the Guyanese flag and a stage with a flag draped backdrop, large screen TV monitors around the room and a fantastic sound system that was perfect for the room. The menu was exactly as we requested and served cold (for things cold) and hot (for things hot) even after we delayed the start by running a bit late. The guest list had some local celebrities: 

Carmen Muller-Honorary Consul for Peru, Helle Wilson-Honorary Consul for Denmark

Natalie Desesovych-Honorary Consul for Norway (in red); Carol Girling--Registrar at Red River College (in blue)

Inspector Gord Friesen-Winnipeg Police (in blue)

Deputy Mayor Mike Pagtakahn, his wife, me

Ron Shculer, Minister of Crown Affairs (tieless)
The keynote speaker was Mrs. Riehl who was asked to speak on the theme of One People, One Nation, One Destiny - Guyana's motto. 

High Commissioner Clarissa Reihl, me, Guyanese Counsellor Marsha Caddett
Four seniors from the Guyanese community were honoured for their contributions to Guyana and Canada . They were Mr. Bristol, Mrs. Kitt and my father-in-law, Rod Sukhan. They are all over 90 years old and their list of significant contributions is long. It would be great to have each of their stories recorded for future generations.  

Mrs Tara Dabee (92 years old; with white head scarf)

Mr. Richard Bristol (90 years old)

Mr. Rod Sukhan (90 years old and my father-in-law)

Mrs. Kitt (92 years old)

We had letters from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and newly minted Manitoba Premier, Brian Pallister and I also wrote one to the Guyanese community. 

Then I had our friends and supporters of course my family. 

L to R: Bibi, Hana, Sharm

Hanif and Rod 

My mom

Me, Clarissa

ROd, Frank and Helle Wilson

Natalie Denesovych

Mom Bayney, Sophie, Sunita

Reno and wife (a corporate sponsor of this event)

Me and Marsha enjoying our yummy meal

L to R: Mohamed, Bibi, Mom Bayney, Sophie, Sunita, Sharm, Trent, Breen, Hana

Flor Marcelino, Leader of the Opposition 

Hugh and Merle (a corporate sponsor of this event)

Stuffed chicken breast

Master of Ceremonies - Ozzy Garrett

Robin, Me, Clarissa

Stacy, Aubrey, Kim, Me

Clarissa, Me, Marsha
Trent, Sharm


Me, Robin
All in all, it was a splendid evening! Worth all the hard work over many months. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Welcoming Guyana's HC to Canada

To say it is a busy week is an understatement. It's the build up to the Gala Evening tomorrow so Guyana's High Commissioner, Clarissa Riehl and and the Guyana Counsellor, Marsha Caddett are in town for the next few days. They arrived at the Richardson Airport this morning and a small welcoming committee met them at the airport. Then it was off to lunch, a rest at the hotel.

In the evening, it was dinner at the hotel followed by a Welcome Reception at my home, complete with Limo pick-up from the hotel. It's been a busy day and evening for me! 

L to R: Claudette, Marsha, Dorothy, Clarissa, James, Me
Limo drop off at my home

Some goodies for the reception

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My little red number!!

I decided a week ago that since I've been working so hard for the last few months, I deserved a little present. I then decided that I would show my appreciation to me and get myself something special. I decided that it should be bright red. Now what could be more special than something bright red? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

So I decided that the little red present should be this! I picked it up after the flag raising but will be too busy for the next few days to drive it! After all that! 

Guyana's Golden Jubilee Flag Raising at City Hall

Happy 50th Birthday to you Guyana! !

If you are old enough, you'd remember this auspicious day in Guyana when we gained our independence from Britain who colonized us for more than 150 long years. Our fore-parents fought a hard fight for decades, some losing their lives over this. But we as Guyanese persevered and finally achieved our goals. 

Early this morning I had an interview on CBC with Ismaila Alfa. Then it was off to work for an hour or so before heading off to City Hall. 

A CBC article about my interview. 

Today for the first time in Winnipeg's history, Guyana's flag was flying at City Hall. We had another record group in attendance, considering it was a work day. Shaw TV was there and captured the event: Guyana's Jubilee Flag Raising at Winnipeg's City Hall.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman welcomed us and made a point of extending his gratitude on behalf of Winnipeg to the vibrant Guyanese community. 

I felt like a proud Guyanese standing seeing our flag billowing in the wind. It was a perfect day. And a busy one! 

Me and Mayor Bowman

Me and Mayor Bowman
Me and Mayor Bowman

L to R: Robin, Dave, James, Mohamed
Interview with Shaw TV

L to R: Bebi, James, Me, Derek, Mohamed

L to R: City Concillor Shaw, Derek, two City Consillors, Mohamed, Me, City Councillor ? City Councillor Orlikow,  Kavita

Flag raising in front of City Hall

Guyanese flag proudly flying in front of Winnipeg City Hall