Race on to ‘prep’ Durban Park for Feb 23

Contractors were on Tuesday busy trying to complete the many bleachers at the Durban Park arena in time for Guyana’s Republic Anniversary celebrations (Cullen Bess-Nelson photo)

By Shauna Jemmott

CORPORATE Guyana has come out in their numbers to help government complete the first phase of the construction of a stadium at Durban Park, the former ‘race-course’, here in Georgetown.

Officials of the 50th Anniversary Committee at the Durban Park construction site yesterday (Photos by Cullen Bess-Nelson)
Officials of the 50th Anniversary Committee at the Durban Park construction
site yesterday (Photos by Cullen Bess-Nelson)

The venue is earmarked for the hosting of a grand military parade, and the hoisting of the Golden Arrowhead come next Tuesday to commemorate Guyana’s achieving yet another milestone, the 46th to date, as a Republic.
With Republic Day just six days away, Public Relations Consultant for the Guyana 50th anniversary committee, Alex Graham, told the Guyana Chronicle yesterday that the business community is pitching in with materials, equipment and labour so that the first phase of the multi-million-dollar project, located just behind the Square of the Revolution, will be finshed in time for the celebrations.
“What we’re doing now,” he said, “is putting in a set of temporary arrangements to allow us to use the site for the celebrations on the 23rd. And after the 23rd is done, we’d continue doing some work, so that we could get it ready for the celebrations connected to the 50th anniversary of Independence on May 26.”

At the time, the 50th Anniversary Commemmoration Committee and various stakeholders were on a tour of the site to see how preparations were coming along.
Among those in the entourage were Head of the Committee, Larry London, Bobby Vieira, Mayor Hamilton Green and officials from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), and ‘Mash’ Coordinator, Lennox Canterbury.
Graham said one of the reasons the team was there was so as to ensure that everything is just right for the military parade.
He said that with spectators projected to number around 50,0000, a few bleachers are being constructed to accommodate them.
“The activities of the 23rd will be centered around the military parade and the hoisting of the flag,” Graham said, adding: “The parade will probably involve about 400 persons from the GDF.”

The flagraising event will be held around 17:00 hours on February 23.
An architectural presentation of the stadium design for Durban Park is to be hosted at the Square of the Revolution, and Graham said the second phase of the project will continue just after the Republic celebrations, while the third will be done after the May 26 Independence celebrations.
The public will be be kept abreast of the long-term developments for the area.
According to Graham, the committee responsible for the site construction has been working on a tight budget, but contributions from the private sector have been streaming in.
Said he: “A lot of this is not budgetary expenditure; a lot of this is private sector and well-wishers who have been donating materials and time and manpower. A lot of the activities we see here are activities that have been donated by the private sector. “Some people provided materials; some people have provided effort. Some have offered to level the place, and to do various things; and they have not provided us with the cost of providing their material and services.”
He said a lot of donors are actually people in the construction business, and send machines and manpower from as far off as Berbice.
Up to yesterday morning, he said, about ten heavy-duty machines were lined up for work on the site, and were all donated for services on the site construction by construction companies.
“They haven’t donated cash; but they send machines to work for a day or two; they send some truckloads of sand… We can quantify what things have been provided; we’re trying to get all of the donors and contractors to cost all of their provisions, so we have a final number,” Graham told the Guyana Chronicle.