Several prominent persons who contributed to Guyana’s cultural, political and economic development died during 2010. Stabroek News remembers their lives and work.Several prominent persons who contributed to Guyana’s cultural, political and economic development died during 2010. Stabroek News remembers their lives and work.
Ken de Abreu, CCH, February 2, 1934 – July 1, 2010
Kenneth Ignatius Anthony de Abreu, a former Chairman of the Guyana Red Cross Society and the National Sports Commission and Assistant Managing Director of Banks-DIH Ltd, who died at the age of 76, was a tireless administrator who put his weight behind the development of sport. He was a successful business manager who contributed materially to the expansion of Banks-DIH – one of the largest conglomerates in the country. He was also deeply committed to community service. His name, as a result, came to be known in households around the country during the last quarter of the 20th century.
Phyllis Carter, December 9, 1932 – January 28, 2010
Phyllis Carter, née Howard, the widow of the National Poet Martin Carter and member of the Committees of the National Gallery of Art and the Cheshire Home, died at the aged of 77. Ms Carter who specialized in paediatric nursing and worked at St Joseph Mercy Hospital was obliged to master the economics of managing the household alongside a talented husband who never even owned a wallet. She nevertheless earned a reputation for generosity and hospitality as writers, researchers and friends felt free to drop into the house in search of information or advice from her husband.
Clarence Ellis, CCH, September 7, 1929 – April 17, 2010
Clarence Frederick Ellis, a former Chairman of the State Planning Secretariat and Supernumerary Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana, who died at the age of 80, was an eminent economist and public servant. After he graduated from the London School of Economics in 1967, he joined the Bank of Guyana as a senior economist. At the height of his public career, he served concurrently as Chairman of the State Planning Secretariat and Supernumerary Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana from 1978 to 1982 leaving a legacy of sedulous planning and sound economic policies. He had a phenomenal capacity for hard work.
Rawle Farley, May 9, 1922 – November 6, 2010
Professor Rawle Egbert Griffith Farley, an academic of international distinction, died at the age of 88. Farley was the most eminent economist in pre-Independent Guyana. He earned the BA degree in 1945; a Post-Graduate Teacher’s Diploma in 1949; the BSc (economics) in 1950 and a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics in 1956. His doctoral dissertation entitled Aspects of the Economic History of British Guiana, 1781-1852: A study of Economic and Social Change on the Southern Caribbean Frontier was regarded as one of the earliest and most important studies of the Village Movement. He was appointed Professor of Economics at the Inter American University in Puerto Rico and at the State University of New York at Brockport.
Joaquim Gonsalves-Sabola, Kt Bach, SC, October 2, 1929 – April 4, 2010
Sir Joaquim Claudino Gonsalves-Sabola, a former Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Solicitor General and Judge of the High Court of Guyana, died at the age of 80. He was called to the Bars of England and Wales and Guyana. He began private practice as a barrister and entered the government legal service where he was appointed Crown Counsel in the Chambers of the Attorney General, Senior Crown Counsel, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, acting Director of Public Prosecutions and Solicitor General. He migrated to The Bahamas where he became Chief Justice and was knighted.
Cyril Ewart Lionel Grant, a veteran of the Royal Air Force and a well known actor, broadcaster and singer, who died at the age of 90, was born in Beterverwagting Village. Grant was among the first batch of RAF officers from the West Indies in 1941. He trained as a navigator was shot down in the Battle of the Ruhr, landing in Holland where he was captured by the German army in 1943. The Gestapo identified Grant as “a member of the Royal Air Force of indeterminate race” and he was held as a prisoner of war for two years until he was freed by the Soviet army in 1945. Grant later used that phrase for the title of his book about his war service. He began to make daily appearances on the BBC’s ‘Tonight’ programme in 1957, becoming one of the first ‘black faces’ to appear regularly on British television.
Neil Isaacs, AA CPM, July 4, 1923 – September 13, 2010
Ewart Neil Malcolm Isaacs, a former Deputy Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force and a military veteran of the Second World War, who died at the age of 87, was commissioned into the 1st Caribbean Regiment of the South Caribbean Force. At the end of the Second World War in 1945, he transferred to the 1st Loyal Regiment of the British army and was demobilised in the rank of Captain. He joined the British Guiana Police Force as a cadet officer and retired as Deputy Commissioner. During his military service, he was awarded the Defence Medal, 1939-1945; the War Medal, 1939-1945; the Italy Star; the 1939-1945 Star and the General Service Medal for Palestine, 1945-1948. He was also awarded the Colonial Police Medal; the Guyana Independence Medal and the Golden Arrow of Achievement.
George Jackman, CCH, SC, March 15, 1929 – May 21, 2010
George Horace Roy Jackman, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, who died at the age of 81, was one of Guyana’s leading criminal law prosecutors of the 20th century and the most prominent personality in Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the post-independence years. He read law at the University of London, earning the LLB in 1965. Jackman, on qualifying as a barrister, joined the state legal service in the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions where he remained until he retired 28 years later. He was appointed Senior Counsel on October 28, 1985. He received the award of the Cacique’s Crown of Honour for his contribution to the legal service at the 20th Republic Anniversary on February 23, 1990.
Donald Locke, 1930 – December 6, 2010
Donald Cuthbert Locke, who was one of this country’s important post-Independence artists, died at the age of 80. He began painting in 1947 under Edward Burrowes. He was awarded a British Council Scholarship in 1954 to study at the Bath Academy of Art in Wiltshire, England, a Guyana Government Award to Edinburgh University, Scotland and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture which took him to the United States. He was artist-in-residence at Arizona State University for one year and became a permanent resident in 1980. Locke moved to Atlanta Georgia as a resident studio artist at Atlanta Contemporary Arts Centre and a member of the part-time faculty at Georgia State University and Atlanta College of Art. He retired from teaching in 1996.
Telemachus Lowe, June 10, 1930 – November 10, 2010
Frederick Morrison Telemachus Lowe, a former Chief Education Officer and Headmaster of Queen’s College, died at the age of 80. Lowe was educated at the Cumberland Methodist School and Queen’s College. He earned the BSc in 1956 and MA (Education) in 1969. He was biology master from 1956 until his appointment as deputy headmaster at QC in 1969, subsequently becoming headmaster – the first QC alumnus to be so elevated – serving from 1971 to 1974. As a master at Queen’s, he was housemaster of Weston House and supervisor of the Photographic Club. As Chief Education Officer, he represented Guyana as a member of the Caribbean Examinations Council.
Winston Murray, CCH, MP, January 31, 1941 – November 22, 2010
Winston Shripal Murray, a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry and Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform, died at the age of 69. Murray was educated at the London School of Economics from which he graduated with the BSc in Economics in 1970. He earned the LLB from the University of Guyana and also received the Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad. He served as a public servant in the Ministry of Trade and Senior Economist and Deputy Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Head of the Department of International Economic Co-operation and Head of the Presidential Secretariat. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1985 and appointed Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister. He was awarded Guyana’s Cacique’s Crown of Honour in 1984.
Clarice Edna Northey, 1918 – July 16, 2010
Edna Northey, who died at the age of 92, was one of only two surviving Guyanese women who had served in World War II as a member of the military organisation known as the Auxiliary Territorial Service. The service was made up entirely of women all of whom held subordinate positions at Garrison Headquarters at Eve Leary. The service was dissolved shortly after the war. Ms Northey became the goalkeeper of the British Guiana Hockey Club, qualifyng for every Inter-colonial team from 1948 to 1956 and representing the country overseas on at least five occasions. Ms Northey was educated at the Ursuline Convent and joined the service shortly after finishing her studies there.
Florence Sukhdeo, née Ledra, June 13, 1938 – July 29, 2010
Florence Rose Sukhdeo, who was the Senior Subject Specialist for Early Childhood Education at the National Centre for Education Research and Development, died at the age of 72. Mrs Sukhdeo earned a Certificate in Education from the University of Nottingham; the Bachelor’s degree in the Philosophy of Childhood Education from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the Master’s degree from the University of Nottingham. First employed as a pupil teacher at Ogle Canadian Mission School, she served for over 50 years in the field of education as Education Officer for Nursery Education, Assistant Chief Education Officer for Nursery Schools and Lecturer at the University of Guyana.
Harold Wong, SJ, July 23, 1930 – April 2, 2010
Fr Harold Wong, a Jesuit priest who died at the age of 79, was best remembered as editor of the Catholic Standard. Wong entered the Society of Jesus in 1951 and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Heythrop College, Oxfordshire, England on July 31, 1963. He spent one year studying newspaper and radio work before returning to Guyana in 1966. He was appointed the first Guyanese editor of the Catholic Standard in March 1967 at age 36, succeeding Fr Terrence Petry. His six-year tenure transformed an ordinary pastoral bulletin of the Catholic Diocese into a much-read organ which strongly opposed the rigging of elections, more particularly that of 1973.