26 May 1919: Independence Celebrated in Akhaltsikhe
“Ertoba” (Unity), May 31, 1919, №118.
At the initiative of the Social-Democratic Party of Akhaltsikhe, a committee to celebrate May 26 was created with the participation of all political and civil organizations of Akhaltsikhe.
Onlookers marveled as the rainy days of the whole month have changed into rays of bright sunshine on 26 of May.
All shops are closed…The national flags array all public establishments, but also private houses.
Painted at the entrance of the town’s gardens: “26 May, Long Live the Independent Georgian Democratic Republic.” Celebratory pins are being sold. At 6 am an airplane is already flying high, dropping the congratulatory proclamations. At 10 am, the member of the Constituent Assembly Tevdore Kikvidze addresses the town-hall meeting with a lecture “26 May and its significance”. Many locals are in attendance. After the lecture, 400 National Guardsmen come to the same venue, Hon. Kikvidze addresses them with a review of the current political moment.
Afterward, at midday, the National Guard form ranks and join the crowds that have gathered at the town gardens, for the rally. Soon the Army joins with the artillery. Chair of the 26 May celebration committee I. Kheladze reads the Declaration of Independence, ending with “Long Live the Independent Georgian Republic!” – people join in the hurrah, which is echoed by the gun’s salute. Representatives of various organizations also speak.
When the speeches are over, at half-past one, General Kvinitadze receives the army parade. The procession then heads to the old city – Rabat.
Member of the Constituent Assembly Osman Shevki Efendi Mikeladze addresses the crowd in Georgian and Tatar languages [as Azerbaijani language was then referred to – Republic 100], he leaves a good impression on people. Starting at 4 pm, public promenade in town, the lottery is held, while at the winter club – a performance.
An armored vehicle dressed in flowers and lit up is circling the city at night.
Proceeds of the lottery and the unspent funds from the organizing committee will be directed for the benefit of the sufferers in Meskhet-Javakheti.
This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian)