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|M&CC to meet stakeholders Wednesday to discuss city’s future|
|Sunday, 06 May 2012 00:46|
- as part of bicentenary activities to mark renaming of Stabroek
THE Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) will be meeting stakeholders next Wednesday to find ways to rescue the city from its present problems. This meeting will be held at the Pegasus Hotel here in the city at 10:00 hrs, and is part of several activities planned to mark the 200th anniversary of the name-change of the capital city from Stabroek to Georgetown.
Part of that anniversary will involve establishing a broad-based Citizens Committee to look at different activities and projects to revitalise local communities. Also, in accordance with the anniversary, the Solid Waste Management department of City Hall will be finalising plans for massive cleanup exercises in all wards of the city. Those exercises hope to see residents contributing to a clean environment by disposing of their waste appropriately.
The City Engineers Department of the council will be looking at estimates for the restoration of City Hall, which will be followed by the convening of a steering committee to pursue the restoration of City Hall.
Meanwhile, the Mayor and City Council has opined that residents of the city seem increasingly to be losing their sense of responsibility towards the city, as is evident from the number of communities and residents doing their own thing: having a lax attitude towards the environment, failing to honour their tax obligations, and lacking neighbourliness.
Having responsible citizens to protect and secure the integrity of the city could be wishful thinking in the near future if this degeneracy is not arrested. Citizens are being called upon to spare a thought for the capital as Georgetown celebrates its 200 years of existence.
But despite there being some confusion with regard to the criteria to be used to determine the exact date the city was renamed, Georgetown still has one of the richest and most interesting histories; and that bit of confusion over that date happens to be one of the interesting histories.
Historians and scholars back in those days took the founding date as being when the British came in 1781. Although on that occasion they were not here long enough to achieve developing a town, they chose the site and built a wooden fort, the precise location of which is unknown.
Nineteenth century Historian James Rodway thought it might have been in Company Path. The British also built a Government Office on the site where the Dutch had constructed a Brandwagt in 1748, somewhere in the region of what is now called “St Andrew’s Kirk”.
After the British departed, the French came in 1782, and they developed infrastructure and buildings compatible with a town. However, they were removed by the Dutch in 1784.
The Dutch had not planned on establishing a town where Georgetown now stands, according to historical writings. In fact, the East Bank location now referred to as Coverden was the area that the Dutch had been examining as the possible spot or location for the city. Nevertheless, proceeding with what was inherited from the French, the Dutch stuck with the area now known as the Guyana capital. They called their new town Stabroek, naming it after Nicolaas Geelvink, President of the Dutch West India Company and Lord of Castricum, Backum and Stabroek.
Ongoing rivalry saw the British take over in 1812, when an ordinance was passed to the effect that the town formerly called Stabroek, with districts extending from La Penitence to the bridges in Kingston, and entering upon the road to the military camps, shall be called Georgetown.
Rodway put the date at May 5. The ordinance permitted the different districts of Georgetown to be known by their own names.
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