THE ORIGIN/HISTORY OF
By Norvell Fredericks
The concept of “Linden town Day” was first proposed on December 8th 1995 at a meeting of concerned citizens called by the then president of the Linden Chamber of Commerce and councilor of the M&TC Mr. Orland Copeland to discuss any involvement of Linden in the “Visit Guyana Year 1996”. This meeting was held in council chamber of the M&TC and attended by Mr. Abdul Kadir – then mayor of
Nearing the conclusion of this meeting I “Norvell Fredericks” argued that tourism is based on pride in one’s self and community and put forward about ten different points on how Linden can be involve in tourism, the forum was reopened and some of my proposals were discussed by Mr. Copeland, Mr. Kadir, Mr. Wilfed Simmons and Mr. Donald Sinclair - who said that the proposal of a “town day” seems most favorable and instructed me to put my idea on paper and have discussions on the way forward, on December 13th I circulated my concept document entitled “Brief plan - Visit Guyana year 1996” (Linden Town Day) and foot-noted (* submitted by Norvell Fredericks-to be discussed at meeting). This document was typed Ms. Sharon Yearwood – now Mrs. Persaud (then secretary of Crescent foods
On 18th January 1996 Mr. Copeland again convened another meeting at the M&TC jointly chaired by Mayor Kadir and himself (Mr. Copeland) at which Mr. Kadir read out the concept document, sought comments and moved a vote to wholly adopt my concept as Linden’s input for visit Guyana year ’96.
Mr. Kadir then asked for volunteers and installed a committee of which he appointed me as chairman since it has my concept and he felt I was best able to execute it.
The Linden Tourism Committee was established to plan and execute the
Jillian Persaud-organising secretary was most instrumental in getting the first “Town Day” off the ground as she used all her resources at hand to pull off what is to become the greatest national phenomenon and the springboard for domestic tourism.
Linden Town Day 1996 was successfully executed and
In 1998 Jillian Persuad, Wilfred Simmons and most of the other members boycotted my committee leaving only Lynn Lawrence and Janet Allen to my assistance.
I closed my furniture business for eight weeks and ran Town Day from my home office using my own start up finances (prior to vending revenue and sponsorship).
Lynn and I worked up to sixteen hours per day in my office and on the road while Janet collected revenue at her place of employment.
With our limited resources we were able to transform the Town Day into a three day festival with seven events, of which six were successful, we introduced the “Queen of the Town Pageant”, the farmers exhibition, gospel-fest, bamia welcome lime, wismar night (failed) and clash of the champs football. We raised the vending revenue from $19,000 and $34,000 in the two previous years to $210,500 and donated twenty garbage bins to the M&TC (the only Town Day project to date). Between 1998 and 1999 my furniture business suffered bankruptcy as a result of my dedication to “Town Day” and was forced closed, I held face and continued to chair the committee until after “Town Day” 2000 when personality clashes and the need to focus on my livelihood forced me to quit after five years of public service.
Today, I’m proud to see my idea spread throughout the country (even without honor) from Main Street to New Amsterdam to Bartica and Lethem and my present and growing photography business benefiting from the “Linden Town Day” (by volume).
I’m happy to see someone else take up the challenge to take the “Town Day” to another level where I can benefit even more.
My only wish is for each to be afforded his just chapter etched in the annals of our own history, may someone find the dignity to so do.
Maybe we can expect the same level of success with my new concept-“Fredco Creole-fest”
Founder of “Linden Town Day”
And “Fredco Creole-fest” concepts