A PPP giant – Albert Boodhoo has fallen, and I am somewhat surprised that his passing was not reported in any of the newspapers in Guyana. Albert, formerly of Sheet Anchor Canje, Berbice passed away in a New York Hospital on Friday afternoon. He was 72.
He did a fantastic job for the PPP in the early days and championed the cause of the sugar workers. He was so dedicated and honest that he rose to be President of the powerful Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the bargaining agent of the 20,000 sugar workers in Guyana. He represented the sugar workers steadfastly with his heart and head at all times and never wanted personal gains.
His brother, Sam, wrote on his Facebook page “Albert left school at an early age hardly reached fifth standard. He was an avid reader always reading about the political struggles of the working class people all over the world. His conversations on Super-Surplus and Super Profits will leave his audience spellbound and resolute to action. His several visits to Leningrad and Moscow in Russia and other eastern Block countries enabled him to network with leaders around the world. On Many occasions he accompanied Dr. Cheddi Jagan on International Conference of working class people in the eastern Block countries.
“I believed Albert’s life in the 1960s signaled a turning point. His voice, his protests and his ideas embarrassed the Governing Party. And they wanted to muzzle him -to shut him up to make an example of him to deter the rise of other young Protestants. The Government falsely accused Albert, Balchand Persaud and Arnold Rampersaud for the Shooting death of a young man named Clifford”. All the accused were freed of the charge.
Albert Boodhoo’s purpose was always to serve the people to find a political solution for every issue and to find an economic solution for every downtrodden person with dreams of a better life. He migrated to the US in 1990 – before the PPP went into power. Unfortunately he fell while watching President Obama’s swearing in ceremony in January 2009, He was in a wheelchair thereafter and developed heart problems. He had a triple by-pass recently, and died last Saturday.
Dozens of persons posted messages of condolence on Facebook including senior diplomat Odeen Ishmael, who was his favourite. He was also a friend of mine. In fact his sister, Mavis, was married to my brother (both of them died two years ago). He assisted me with valuable information when I was compiling my book which is now in print and will soon go into circulation.
Albert is survived by his wife (now widow) Leila and three grown children. Condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.