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Centennial bauxite observances launched in Linden


first_imgFormer PM Hinds speaking at the launchCentennial Committee head Horace JamesThis year is a significant one for the community of Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice), as it is celebrating a hundred years of bauxite mining. To mark the auspicious centennial observance, leaders in the bauxite industry and Regional officials hosted an official launch of the year-long activities at the former Rail Road Station at Mackenzie.The Centennial Committee headed by Horace James was recently formed to spearhead activities, took the opportunity to unveil the 100th year anniversary plans, which include erecting a Centennial park and museum, a magazine publication and presentation of an oral history series, among other things.The launching ceremony was marked by reflections on the history of bauxite mining, which began in Linden by George Bain Mackenzie in 1916, to the companies associated with its mining over the years, as well as the privatization process.It also saw the launch of the novel ‘Children of Watooka’, written by Guyana-born Canadian Steve Connolly. Speaking on the significance of the 100th year celebration, James said the launch is simply a prelude to the original observance of the celebrations slated for October this year.He noted that during the year of commemoration, there is a clear objective, which is to know and appreciate the role and future of bauxite and ensuring youths, particularly students, are inspired to use its resources for the purpose of future development.He added it is important that they also understand the role bauxite played in the development of Linden, Guyana and World Wars 1 and 2 when the commodity was used in the construction of warplanes.James also alluded to the fact that bauxite has played a major role in assisting the community in its development, which saw it eventually growing into a township. Bosai Minerals Group Guyana Incorporated (BMGGI) General Manager (AG) Eric Yu, in his remarks congratulated the community on the achievement, while indicating that over the years, bauxite has made significant contributions to the development of the nation.He said the commodity, which has attracted countless skilled artisans, has become an integral part of Guyana’s economy, and that BMGGI was honoured to be part of the historic moment. To commemorate the significant milestone, he said the company will construct an arch outside the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC).Former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, while delivering remarks on the privatization of the bauxite sector sought to explain the move made years ago.“Looking back, one might put the beginning of the road to re-privatization of bauxite as far back as 1976. Five years after nationalization when to the astonishment of many nationalized bauxite industry could no longer hold out the possibility of steadily growing prosperity and contribution to the National Treasury Consolidated Fund. Indeed the operation soon split into a period of about 15 years of losses, with receiving subsidies from the Treasurery,” he noted. Heading in to the future, Hinds challenged leaders to look at diversification.Tasked with a presentation on the history of bauxite, from Demba to Linmine, former Linden Interim-Management Committee Chairman and historian Orrin Gordon spoke of the social, cultural and economic aspects of the earlier days of bauxite mining. Also delivering remarks were Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, BMGGI Chief Engineer Orin Barnwell and Chair of Linden Fund USA Paula Walcott-Quintin. Several copies of ‘Children of Watooka’ were also distributed to secondary school students of Linden.last_img

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