Commemorative stamps in honor of Guyanese composer


The Guyana Times announced that several commemoratives stamps were unveiled this week in honor of the 100th birth anniversary of Guyanese composer Valerie Rodway.

In a simple event held in the auditorium of the National Library, some who had personally known Roadway and others who had heard of her gathered to reflect on her life. Roadway had composed several National Songs, including “O Beautiful Guyana,” “Kanaïma,” “Hymn for Guyana’s Children,” “Arise, Guyana,” and “Guyana the Free”. She also put to music the famed Guyanese Independence poem by Martin Carter, “Let Freedom Awaken.”

Roadway, who had also been a teacher, died in 1970. She was awarded the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH) for her contributions to the country. Earlier this year, Government commissioned the Valerie Rodway House on Carmichael Street in Cummingsburg, Georgetown. The house was previously the home of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and had been an annex to the Governor’s House.

Delivering remarks, Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes noted that Guyana’s history is sprinkled with contributions from remarkable women, one of whom was Roadway. The Minister noted that the event is the celebration of the great strides that Roadway had made to the development of Guyana with respect to its identity. “She was a Guyanese who never got tired of the beauty of our country, a true lady to who everything was a thing of beauty. Every sound had a musical note; she wrote about it, she put music to it, and in the 1960s helped to bring about a period in Guyana’s history when national songs were sung by everyone and all the time,” Hughes reflected. [. . .]

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