(Courtesy of the Guyana Chronicle - March 11, 1997)
Minority Leader, Mr. Desmond Hoyte yesterday morning hailed President Cheddi Jagan as a man of heroic lineage and a noble son.
Mr. Hoyte, making a presentation at the Public Buildings State ceremony yesterday to mark the death of Dr. Jagan, said Guyanese cannot but reflect on the amplitude and quality of Dr. Jagan's contribution to the birth and evolution of the nation, and the forging of a distinct Guyanese identity and a unique Guyanese personality.
"His life and work were part of a historical continuum. From earliest days, we have been blessed with remarkable men who responded with vigour and courage to the challenges of their times and struck powerful blows for the enlargement of human dignity, social justice and political freedom in this land we call our home", he said.
"We think of Cuffy and Damon of Critchlow and Lachmansingh; of Patrick Dargan, Jung Bahadur Singh, of A.V. Crane, of A.R.P. Webber, among others.
"We think of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham.
"We think of the distinguished line of all those valiant men who, in their time, exerted an incalculable but enormous influence on our political progression and the development of our national ethos.
"Our late President was of that heroic lineage," the PNC Leader said.
Dr. Jagan's deeds and achievements, Hoyte said, will only have meaning if Guyanese use them to help create a future which guarantees every citizen better material, spiritual and cultural conditions of life.
"We must therefore look to the future. As the eminent Indian scholar and philosopher, Dr. Radhakrishnan, remarked: 'The future is the more important thing. We are able to see further than our predecessors because we can climb on their shoulders. Instead of resting content with the foundation nobly laid in the past, we must build a greater edifice in harmony with ancient endeavour and modern outlook'", Hoyte told the thousands gathered around Public Buildings.
He added: "I believe that the greatest tribute we can pay to the memory of our late President would be to summon up the will and the courage to work together in a spirit of generosity and goodwill to build in our country, on the foundations he helped to lay, this greater edifice in which all our citizens can enjoy decent and comfortable lives in a cohesive society in conditions of peace, mutual respect,... [fax transmission unclear].
Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine of the Working People's Alliance (WPA) and Mr. Manzoor Nadir of TUF also spoke at the ceremony.