CHAIRMAN of Banks D.I.H. Ltd., Mr. Peter D’Aguiar, comparing President Desmond Hoyte with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said both leaders have been very unlucky. He did not elaborate.
D’Aguiar was reporting to the 33rd Annual General Meeting of shareholders of the company at Thirst Park on the East Bank, last Saturday afternoon.
Because of his serious illness, Mr. D’Aguiar, who was in a wheel chair, had recorded his speech which was played to the thousands of shareholders and directors of the company. He informed shareholders he was suffering from prostate cancer and arthritis of the spine.
But in a display of grit and determination, D’Aguiar could not resist the temptation to speak out in a strong voice about the need for democratic freedom, a free market economy and a fresh look at the monetary policies of countries in the Caribbean including Guyana.
The ailing Guyanese businessman, once described by President Hoyte as a model entrepreneur, denounced the use of ‘paper money’, adding that it does not ring true.
He called on Caricom leaders to mount a movement for sound monetary policies with a common currency to be worked out in the first instance by the heads of Central Banks in the individual regions.
Mr. D’Aguiar explained that in this context, the Bank of Guyana will have to set up a portfolio of hard currencies and enter into monetary agreements with banks in the United Kingdom and Canada.
According to Mr. D’Aguiar, the implementing of such policies will see an upsurge in the free enterprise system, and the take-over of some of the key industries in the country such as bauxite and sugar, with the electricity and telephone services being taken over by companies based in Japan or the United States.
The Chairman of Banks D.I.H. Ltd., described Guyanese as a hard-working and innovative people and praised the company’s eleven-member management team, expressing confidence in its ability to maintain the high performance of the business enterprise.
The 6 p.m. scheduled starting time for the meeting being called to order, was delayed for about 20 minutes be cause for the first time in 33 years Mr. D’Aguiar was late for the annual event.
This lapse was understandable in the circumstances, and although the Banks D.I.H. Ltd. Chairman apologized for his lateness and having to leave before the meeting ended, yielding to the advice of his doctors, his indomitable will and dedication to the company and its shareholders were on display, for all to witness.
As Mr. D’Aguiar’s private car slowly left the Thirst Park grounds, several shareholders waved goodbye, with Mr. D’Aguiar’s last words still hanging in the air…“the strain is great but God willing, I hope to be back next year.”
Reis Identified As D’Aguiar’s Successor
“IT WOULD be a tough act to follow,” said Mr. Clifford Reis, who will become Chairman of Banks D.I.H. Ltd., if Mr. Peter Stanislaus D’Aguiar retires at any time.
The appointment of the slightly greying, but youthful-looking Mr. Reis, by Mr. D’Aguiar came after the company’s Founder and first Chairman announced that he was giving up the day to day running of Banks.
In order to ensure continuity, Mrs. Kathleen D’Aguiar has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. D’Aguiar told the thousands of share-holders and directors that he had observed in Mr. Reis certain traits which he had as a young man, describing him as a hands-on-manager.
The Chairman said his replacement is a better organiser than he is, and suggested that Mr. Reis be given more time to think and meditate about the company’s future, rather than being involved in mundane matters.
In his acceptance speech Mr. Reis said Mr. D’Aguiar had been a father, teacher and boss to him since joining Banks Di.H. Ltd., some 19 years ago.
He spoke about his dismal after only one month on the job and his immediate reinstatement by Mr. D’Aguiar after he succeeded in presenting his case to him.
Mr. Reis described himself as a persistent individual and said as a manager he believes in checking out things for himself.
“No university would been able to teach me what I know now,” Mr. Reid added. Mr. Reis said he is a believer in ‘taking one project at a time, adding that one should stick to one’s knitting, be creative and take risks.
He sees his appointment as a testing period and it will mean that he would have to resign from all outside business activities so as to devote himself to Banks DIH Ltd.
Mr. Reis pledged to uphold the high standards set by Mr. D’Aguiar in running the company.