COMMISSIONER of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and former government minister, Bibi Shadick died of pulmonary fibrosis at around 15:00hrs on Saturday at her East Street, Georgetown home.
She was 76 years old. A wake was held for her on Saturday night at her residence, while her funeral service and viewing of the body is scheduled for the same venue, today, from 09:00hrs to 11:00hrs. From there, she will be taken to Waterloo, at Leguan, on the Essequibo River for Janaaza (burial) at 14:00hrs.
Her death was first announced by the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) on their official social media page, while her nephew, Javed Shadick, who lived with her, also confirmed her passing.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle, Javed explained that his aunt had been ill for the past three months, and that he was at her side when she died. He noted that his aunt had made invaluable contributions to her country and her family, and that that is how he wants her to be remembered.
“She was such a teacher, and she touched the lives of so many people,” the youngster said, adding: “She was a former minister; a GECOM Commissioner. The amount of things she has done for the country; for her family is innumerable. We just want everyone to remember her like that.”
An attorney-at-law by profession, and member of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), Ms. Shadick once served as Minister of Human Services and Social Security.
In addition to being her party’s representative at GECOM, Ms. Shadick also served over the years as a Director of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), and was the eighth pro-chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG).
As news of her passing spread, the condolences came pouring in quickly. Several of her fellow PPP/C colleagues took to social media to express their sympathy, and share fond words about their acquaintance with her.
As a close friend of his, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali immediately issued a statement expressing his profound sadness after learning of her passing.
“Only yesterday I had the opportunity of sitting in her presence, and listening to her wise counsel. This exceptional soul has given Guyana the best of her life,” President Ali said, adding: “Her contribution as an educator, Cabinet minister, lawyer, leader in the PPP, humanitarian and social work is beyond question. This champion of democracy, freedom and development of Guyana was, and will continue to be a great inspiration to me. May Allah grant her peace and a place in the highest heavens.”
Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edgehill described her passing thus: “An Oak tree has fallen.” He noted that her imprint on the development of the country is evident, especially when it came to her work in ensuring democracy prevailed, and the will of the people was respected.
“It is with great sadness that I mourn the loss of my friend, colleague and comrade, Ms. Bibi Shadick. Sincere condolences to Javed, as well as the family and friends of Bibi. May the God of all comfort provide peace for us all at this time,” Minister Edgehill said in a message on his official Facebook page.
TRUE GUARDIAN OF DEMOCRACY
Calling her a true guardian of democracy, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha noted that her service to her party and to Guyana will never be forgotten, while
Attorney-General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandalall said he would always be grateful for the role she played in his life.
“You played your part in life; in the life of others, and for your country, and you did it your unique way. Fortunate am I to have met you, and shall always be grateful for the much you have done for me. I know you have lived your life to its fullest; upon your own terms and conditions, and with little or no regrets,” Minister Nandalall said.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar said she will forever be remembered as a servant of the people.
“Rest in peace, great warrior for the people of Guyana. Bibi Safora Shadick will be remembered as a servant of the people that fought for their cause in different capacities of public life, be it as a minister or Member of Parliament or Commissioner at GECOM,” Minister Indar said.
Former **General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Amna Ally shared that notwithstanding being on opposite sides of the political divide, she always had a good relationship with Ms. Shadick.
“I knew her for a very long time. Bibi, Zulfikar and I actually went to India together for a conference, and I really got very close to her on that trip. We really enjoyed a good relationship, even though we are from different political parties. Her passing is very sad; I didn’t know that she was sick until I saw the news,” Ally said.
Ally also praised Shadick as a very vocal person, who made a vast contribution to Guyana.