LEADERSHIP is an amazing privilege and honour, even though many times it does not feel so. I have been trusted with leadership opportunities over the years and have learned many hard lessons, but will never trade those opportunities!
I am a hybrid in terms of generations. I lived through the 80s and 90s and here I am in the 21st century. I lived five years through the presidency of Mr. Burnham; all of Mr. Hoyte’s, Mr. Jagan’s, Mrs. Jagan’s, Mr. Jagdeo’s, Mr. Ramotar’s and Mr. Granger’s of course with Mr. Sam Hinds acting in between.
Now enters Irfaan Ali! Irfaan and I were classmates from form one through form five at St. Stanislaus College. We were friends! The classmate I knew was a cool guy; down to earth and fun-loving – yes he was. I remember in form two when he was happy that my family got a telephone. He liked a good laugh! We went different ways after high school and so I am sure we are both different as adults. We did meet up from time to time.
Irfaan, today I congratulate you and wish you the very best. I pray that you will lead and serve in a manner that is selfless, impartial, equal and equitable. I wish you well for yours, your family, supporters and ALL Guyanese sake. I pray you distinguish yourself and leave a great legacy! Do well my alma mater.
To you Mr. David Arthur Granger! I was always a daddy’s girl and somethings about you reminds me of my father. My father is a quiet man, introverted in many ways! He is a man of principle, loyalty, dignity and honour. Nothing much excites him, except books and movies. I can talk for me and him. He loves history, hard work and his family. He served Guyana in the police force and travelled the length and breadth of this nation. He loves GUYANA.
Living in Agricola during my teenage and early adult years was hard. Many people I knew either left the village or were killed. Boys I played and grew up with. I slept on the floor sometimes as it was a place of refuge from bullets. Law enforcement officers barged into my home with guns and all. So much more happened, but this letter is not just about that. My dad’s presence and leadership brought much security. Mr. Granger, I supported you when you became President and throughout your presidency. When you became president I jumped for joy and when my former Chief Elder was part of your swearing in I jumped for more joy! I was hopeful! I was not pleased with some of the decisions you made but you were in the driver’s seat and as a leader myself that can be a hard, lonely, difficult, hot and an uneasy seat, but I still supported you Sir!
Thank you for helping me travel and live as a proud Guyanese in the Caribbean Commonwealth and world at large. Thank you for the nationalist you are. Thank you for making me feel I had a chance like every other Guyanese. Thank you for the dignity you brought to the office of President. Thank you for the 5 Bs, the endearment with which you began your speeches saying, “Guyanese.” Thank you wishing my mother-in-law well when you gave the national award to my husband on her behalf. What a dream! She is an example to us all! Thank you for keeping your word when you gave it. Thank you for never using public opportunities to divide us as Guyanese. Thank you for not rendering evil for evil and using personal freedoms to assault, belittle, demean, sideline, neglect, threaten harm and yet ask for trust. You did not engage in intellectual subterfuge, sabotage nor bullying. When you did not get your way you did not call down fire! Thank you Mr. Granger! I AM PROUD OF YOUR EFFORTS and know your latter will be greater than your former. I will miss you as my President but my faith remains in the Lord of hosts; Captain of the guard; the Mighty Warrior and Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Flemlyn A. Ragobeer