Guyana Diaspora celebrates in T.O.

Hope Steelband perform at a gathering in Toronto of the Guyanese Diaspora. Gerald V. Paul photo.
Hope Steelband perform at a gathering in Toronto of the Guyanese Diaspora. Gerald V. Paul photo.

“We’ve been through fire, we’ve been through rain

We’ve been refined by the pow’r of His name …”

(Part of hymn South to the North and the South.)

The Camera was invited to a gathering of the Guyanese Diaspora last Sunday at Hope Lutheran Church where Hope Steelband performed.

At their recent Pentecost service, Guyanese members of the congregation wore their cultural dress, shirt, and hat representing where they were born.

Pastor Mark Henrich who visited Lutheran churches in Guyana and served 15 years in Antigua, extended warm wishes on the occasion of their 50th Independence and added, “We serve two kingdoms.”

Basing his sermon on God’s Top 10, as in commandments, he told the congregation to fear and love God, “that we do not use his name to curse, swear, lie but call upon God’s name in every trouble , pray, praise and give thanks.” He closed his sermon by reminding Guyanese to live in harmony.

Guyana-born Arthur Soman, chairman of the congregation, said, “I think Guyanese have to learn to respect each other for their strengths and not their weaknesses. We must first see ourselves as Guyanese and while we are of different heritage, be it East Indians or Africans we must work together as one, people, one nation and one destiny.”

Soman’s wife Pauline, the music coordinator and organist, is looking forward to their annual church food, fellowship and fun picnic on Sunday (June 5) after the service.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Diaspora Project is alive and well as they continue to build Guyana together and bring Guyanese a true sense of identity, even though they may be living in another country.

Members of the Guyanese Diaspora celebrated Indian Arrival Day at Vedic Cultural Centre, with youth and their roots re-establishing the link between present and past, featuring songs, music dance, displays and dialogue. Janet Naidu and Shirley Najhram were on hand at the Pakaraima Guyanese Canadian Writers and Artists Association table with literary and other historic material.