Today, hundreds of Guyanese will be converging at the Babu Jaan heritage site in Port Mourant, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) to celebrate the life and work of former Guyanese Presidents Cheddi and Janet Jagan.
Organised by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), this yearly tradition attracts huge crowds, who gather to pay respects and listen to political leaders reflect on the struggles and achievements of two of Guyana’s greatest leaders.
The site has historical relevance not only because of the Jagans but also it is the burial ground for the early indentured ancestors from India.
Interestingly, the cemetery only became famous after Dr Jagan’s cremation. It was constructed for his cremation but cremations were first held there around 1986.
In fact, it was a long struggle to get governmental approval for the site to be used for cremation and it took a long struggle by the founders of the crematorium to have it built.
The crematorium was not used again after Jagan’s cremation, becoming a monument to him.
Over the years, there have been mounting concerns regarding the need to upkeep the memorial site which had practically been transformed into a dumpsite.
But for today the facility has been cleaned and nicely decorated in the colours of Dr Jagan’s founding Party (red, yellow and black).