DR. YESU PERSAUD, the renowned, well-respected Guyanese businessman, and philanthropist was laid to rest on Saturday, days after he passed away. Dr. Persaud was 93 years old when he died at his East Bank Demerara home on Monday last.
An intimate funeral service was held at his residence in Nandy Park on Saturday morning. There, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, hailed the businessman for his numerous contributions to the development of Guyana and thousands of Guyanese.
It was Dr. Persaud whose vision led to the creation of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED); this institute has allowed over 4000 micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to access financing and kick start their businesses.
Beyond that, the Guyanese icon also spearheaded the buyout of the then state-owned Guyana Distillers Limited and transformed it into an internationally acclaimed rum producer – Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).
“As President, his examples in life is an inspiration and motivation to me to serve people with humility, simplicity and to do so to the best of my ability,” President Ali was quoted as saying in a social media post published on the Office of the President’s Facebook page.
The President also highlighted that Dr. Persaud was “strong in his conviction” that better could be done for Guyana.
Similarly, following that funeral service, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud said that Guyana was bidding farewell to an “extraordinary yet humble son.”
And evidently, he contributed to that. Dr. Persaud managed to obtain a licence to start up Demerara Bank – Guyana’s first and only local bank. And that was where many people were able to pay their final respects to him.
If you drove past the Camp Street, Georgetown Branch of the Demerara Bank on Saturday morning, you would be forgiven for thinking that dozens of people were out there protesting.
Dressed in their black and white attire, those people held placards – not in any form of protest, but as part of their efforts at paying their last respects to Dr. Persaud.
There, many emotional tributes were made, forcing many to hold back tears.
But these events were only a small part of the events organised over the past week for Dr. Persaud. On Thursday night, the Private Sector Commission (PSC), held a night of reflections for Dr. Persaud.
“In almost every aspect of economic, commercial and industrial life, Dr. Yesu Persaud has made his mark like no other person in Guyana that I can think of,” Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, posited at that event.
During the week, the PSC also had a Book of Condolences for the businessman, allowing people to share final words about Dr. Persaud. It is important to note that the PSC is the umbrella private sector body in Guyana and Dr. Persaud was its Founding Chairman in 1992.
Dr. Persaud was awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement for his works in developing and expanding the Distilling Industry in Guyana and the Cacique Crown of Honour for the development of new industries.
He was also deeply involved in Indian cultural activities.