The 14th Death Anniversary commemoration service for former President of Guyana and Leader of the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), Hugh Desmond Hoyte, was held on Thursday morning.
The usual commemoration service was held at the Seven Ponds, Botanical Gardens, and saw in attendance among others President David Granger who paid his respects by laying a wreath. He was joined by several PNC/R members as well as family and friends of the former President.
Addressing the gathering, Attorney General and Chairman of PNC, Basil Williams, remarked that the late President was a “dynamic” individual, who led the transformative revolution in Guyana.
“He was iconoclastic and he was really the purveyor of a revolution in a way, in Guyana; an economic revolution,” the party Chairman stated. Meanwhile, PNCR executive Carl Greenidge delivered a presentation, reflecting on the life of the former President. He recalled various encounters with the former President and spoke of his demeanour as an individual.
“Here is a man who has achieved a great deal in his life; in terms of Guyana’s constitutional history, its political history; he of course features and will continue to be featured as a major icon but he was a man with many dimensions, many sides,” he remarked.
Greenidge pointed out that the former President is often remembered for his role in overseeing the country’s economic recovery and his commitment to a strong legal framework, among a host of other achievements.
“So we have a lot to be very proud of in looking at Hugh Desmond Hoyte… I hope the experience and reflection on his life would provide us with inspiration to face the challenges which we undoubtedly face now and those others that we will face in the future, and to face them with the same sort of confidence,” he remarked.
Hoyte served as President from 1985 to 1992 and before that he held several Ministerial posts between 1969 and 1984 including Home Affairs, Finance, Works and Communications, and Economic Development.
In 1984, he became First Vice President and Prime Minister. During his Presidency, he initiated far-reaching electoral and economic reforms, which strengthened the bases of the democratic culture of Guyana, promoted market-oriented policies and stimulated economic growth.
Furthermore, as a Minister of Government, he held on several occasions, responsibility for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) affairs under the Lome Convention and was the ACP spokesman on sugar for 1981 to 1983. His portfolio also included Caribbean Community (Caricom) Affairs.