Iconic Indian Arrival Monument completed
AFTER some hiccups in construction, the iconic Indian Arrival Monument has been completed and is expected to be officially handed over to Guyana by the Government of India.
The monument at the T junction, Palmyra Village, Corentyne, Region Six, was built through funding from the Government of India. It is a tribute to the Indian indentured servants who arrived on these shores, then British Guiana, in 1838.
The mounted bronze memorial consists of artistic sculpted metal, depicting the lives of Indians in their routine everyday life.
Each of the figures carry something of importance – their jahaji bhandal (ship bundle) loaded with food, spices, herbs, clothing, jewellery, their gods, religious texts, drum, karaahi (cooking pan) taawa (flat circular metal for cooking roti), grass knives (scythe), cutlass and rice plants.
The figures are presented in a straightforward realism with the human factor ever present.
Guyanese sculptors, Philbert Gajadhar and Winslow Craig, designed the statues, which were then sent to India where a world-renowned artist was employed to cast the figures.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, in a facebook comment, hailed the completion of the Arrival Monument a success and praised the ‘skilled workers for an amazing job’.
Public Telecommunication Minister Cathy Hughes was also in awe.
“Well done, David. You get things done. For the naysayers, talk is cheap and criticising is easy,” she said.
Many were high in praise for the work done on the monument and others suggested a maintenance team be assembled to keep it in top shape.
On May 5, 2015, during an Indian Arrival yearly pilgrimage at Plantation Highbury, East Bank Berbice, Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam Mahalingam, announced the proposed erection of the monument which was greeted by loud applause from those present.
He described the sculpted artistry as a fitting tribute to the ancestors who came to the then British Guiana.