By NAN Staff Writers
News Americas, QUEEN, NY, Mon. June 28, 2021: Just under a month afterthe corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY was co-named “Little Guyana Avenue,” another street in the area has been co-named after a prominent Guyanese immigrant.
The corner of Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street was on Sunday, June 27, 2021, officially co-named The Pandit Ramlall Way. The street-co-naming is right in front Sybil’s Restaurant in Richmond Hill and near the ground of Arya Spiritual Centre which he co-founded.
Pandit Ramlall passed away in Queens, New York, on January 26, 2019 at the age of 90. He was born on February 28, 1928 in Skeldon, Guyana of Indian indentured parents and went on to teach at the Tagore Memorial High School there.
He studied Hindi in India under a Government of India scholarship in the early 1970’s and returned to Guyana to teach Hindi in Guyana. He also wrote several Hindi books.
Pandit Ramlall migrated to the USA in 1974 and pursued further education, obtaining a BA and a DipEd. In New York, he helped found the Arya Samaj mandirs and was the lead pandit. He subsequently became Dharmacharya or leader.
In New York, during the 1980s, he joined the movement for restoration of democracy in Guyana and became recognised as an advocate in the the Guyanese and Indo-Caribbean communities in Queens. Pandit Ramlall was honored with several awards in India, Guyana, and New York in his lifetime. In 2003, Queensborough President Helen Marshall declared one day of the year to be “Pandit Ramlall Day.” In his autobiography, titled “My Pilgrimage from Jail to Glory,” Ramlall began by saying: “My name is Pandit Ramlall. I was born in then British Guyana – now Guyana on February 28, 1928. When I look back at my life and the things I have seen and experienced, I feel blessed to be alive.”
Guyanese-American Ashook Ramsaran of the Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) and Patricia Gordon-Langford of Tristate Alliance along with several prominent members of the Guyanese community, including several board members of the Arya Spiritual Centre, family members of Pandit Ramlall, Dr. Dhanpaul Narine of Jyoti Satsang; District Leader, Richard David; Naidoo Veerapen of Federation of Hindu Mandirs; Dilip Nath of NAVA; Herman Singh of Radio Zindagi 540AM; Lakshmee Singh of “Let’s Talk With Lakshmee;” and several others, led a push to get a street co-named after him following his death on Saturday, January 26th, 2019.
NYC Council Member Adrienne Adams of Richmond Hill piloted the bill to name the street after him and won unanimous City Council approval.
In a memo to the organizers of Sunday’s event, Mayor Bill De Blasio praised the contributions of Pandi Ramlall in Guyana and New York.
The co-naming came in Caribbean American Heritage Month and Immigrant Heritage Month in the US.