SCORES turned out on Sunday to say a final goodbye to Bibi Shadick, a former Commissioner at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), who passed away on Saturday.
Shadick was also a former teacher, attorney, Minister of Human Services and Social Security and Pro Chancellor at the University of Guyana.
President, Dr Irfaan Ali, speaking at the funeral service held at her East Street, Georgetown residence, said Shadick gave her time and energy for the upliftment of all Guyanese.
Guyana has lost a great asset, he said. The President reminisced on the times Shadick would educate him about the members of her family and would quiz him month later to see if he took her seriously.
Shadick was an exceptional humanitarian, he also contended.
“If she went to a community and saw a child in need, rest assured she would reach back out to the child by the end of the week,” he related.
Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall said that Shadick had a long life of “good karma” and sound achievements.
Shadick was born on October 28, 1945 in Waterloo Village, Leguan, Region Three.
She was born in a family that had no attachment to success of any type but Shadick elevated herself to great heights.
She gained a scholarship from Waterloo Primary School to study at The Bishops’ High School in the 1950s and never looked back since.
Nandlall described her as a fiercely independent woman, who did not see male support as necessary. A formally trained teacher, she taught thousands, including at the Cyril Potter’s College of Education. Her students today are scattered across the globe.
When she retired at age 55, she started law studies at the University of Guyana.
According to Nandlall, while he was studying law, they all lived in the same house and Shadick managed their affairs as they were young and unexposed and never lived away from their parents.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, shared that he knew Shadick for over 50 years and recalled that, in 2001, there was a story raging at the time.
That concerned the age of consent, which was 12, and she had wanted it to be 18. It was eventually changed to 16 years.
Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn, who also spoke, related a message he received from former head of Elections Commission of India, Nasim Zaidi.
Zaidi said it was with a heavy heart that he received the news of Shadick’s death. He related that he had many memorable interactions with her in Georgetown, in 2020.
Minister Benn reflected on watching her performance in some of the commission meetings and said that she was an effective member of the commission.
GECOM was also saddened by her death.
“This is extremely shocking since she actively participated as usual at the meetings of the commission as recent as Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (last week),” the commission said in a release.
As a commissioner at GECOM, Shadick’s efforts were consistently focused on the efficient management of registration and election projects as constitutionally mandated, enacted in the legislation as well as international best practices.
“Her principled position was to ensure that there was compliance with fiscal and administrative procedures,” the commission said, adding that “Commissioner Shadick’s tenacity of purpose was an ever-present feature during deliberations at the level of the commission on matters of importance. Her contributions were always meaningful.”