“I urge her children to take comfort in the fact that their mother made her contributions to Guyana and would have done her bit to leave for them a better world,” Manickchand.
Education Minister, Shaik Baksh, in a statement to the media yesterday following the passing of Minister within the Ministry of Education, Dr Desrey Fox, said, “A pall of sadness has enveloped the Ministry of Education, due to the passing of the Minister.”
He recalled that Dr Fox joined the Ministry of Education in 2006 with an extensive and impressive background in education, having devoted her life to the field and shared the broad vision espoused by the Minister of Education, Mr. Shaik Baksh, regarding the key role education holds in national development.
According to Baksh, she played a vital role in furthering the Ministry’s agenda for the improvement of the education system in Guyana and participated in the design of strategic interventions to achieve timely results.
General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party, Donald Ramotar, on behalf of the party, extended sympathy to the family of Dr. Desrey Fox on her untimely passing yesterday morning.
According to the statement issued by Ramotar, his party was shocked at the news which “came as a great surprise.”
“Ms Fox made a great contribution to our country’s development. As a scholar she promoted Amerindian culture as part of the rich multi-cultural tapestry of Guyana.”
The People’s National Congress Reform also issued a statement extending their sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Fox, adding that the news of her death was sadly received by the Party.
The PNCR statement said that Dr. Fox, MP, and late Minister within the Ministry of Education, did extensive research on the indigenous peoples of Guyana and made significant contributions for their welfare.
“The PNCR salutes her contributions and we extend our sympathy not only to her family but also to the people of Waramadong, Upper Mazaruni from whence she came.”
The Alliance For Change said that it was with deep shock that the party received the news of the unexpected passing of Dr. Desrey Fox.
“We sincerely extend sympathy to her grieving relatives, colleagues and friends. It is believed that Dr. Fox might be the first sitting Minister of government to have died as a result of a road accident.”
The party reiterated that the reduction of road fatalities cannot be the sole responsibility of the Guyana Police Force and it requires a collaborative effort of all stakeholders. “The media, insurance companies, schools, citizens individually and at the community level as well as the traffic department of the GPF.”
According to Civil Engineer, Terrence Fletcher, who heads the Caribbean Association of Roads (CAR) serious road injuries, road deaths and the costly damage of vehicles could be dramatically reduced by a changed strategy and collaboration by all stakeholders.
“The AFC calls for such an effort in the hope of sparing others the heartache associated with road fatalities.”
“Dr Desrey Fox was a nice woman, a colleague and friend who even before she became minister was clearly interested in the development of people through education. She was particularly passionate about the enhancement and growth of her Amerindian brothers and sisters and the maintenance and promotion of their culture and traditions,” said Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand.
She said that she is “deeply saddened by her passing.”
According to Manickchand, Guyana has lost a good daughter. “We are poorer for her passing. I offer my sincere condolences to her family. She loved her children and spoke often of her sons and her grandson with deep affection.”
“I know it is not always easy on families to serve in the capacity that Dr Fox served in. Family time is severely cut short and priorities could appear to shift. Holidays are spent in service and contact amongst family members is seriously restricted. I urge her children to take comfort in the fact that their mother made her contributions to Guyana and would have done her bit to leave for them a better world. It would now be their duty to join with us to continue her works.”
Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud, said that Dr Fox was “an outstanding Guyanese and a proud representative of and researcher on our Amerindian culture.”
According to Persaud, her academic contributions and commitment to advancing education in Guyana will be long remembered.
“I was honoured to have been her Cabinet colleague.”
Fellow parliamentarian sharing the same ancestry, Desmond Fernandes, said that he regrets the passing of Dr Fox, adding that she was a respectable person who has done the nation proud, more so for persons of Amerindian Ancestry.
He recalled that she has done a great deal of research on Amerindian culture.
Fernandes said that she was a humble and kind person who was always willing to help when called upon and the nation has lost a great person.
Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, who had rushed to the hospital upon hearing of her accident recently, said that the news of her death was a shock.
He said that she was a hard worker and her death is an untimely loss for Guyana, given that she was a woman apart from her many achievements in her capacity as a minister and otherwise was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Shadow Foreign Minister, Aubrey Norton, with whom she spent several hours in the National Assembly, said that he and Dr Fox worked on many projects together, among them those relating to environmental issues.
He recalled that she was an active person with a bubbly personality who brought a sense of simplicity despite her academic achievements.
According to Norton, it is unfortunate the way in which the Minister met her demise but he hoped that it would be a lesson for all traversing the roadway.
Mayor of Georgetown, Hamilton Green, said that her loss was a tragedy and he was saddened to hear the news.
He said that she was indeed one of the persons that sought to make a genuinely positive change in society.
The Mayor also extended his deepest sympathies to the family of Dr Fox as well as the many persons whose lives she touched directly and indirectly.
Dr Fox had direct responsibility for the development of Technical and Vocational Education, Health and Family Life Education, School Welfare Services, School Sports and Physical Education, the promotion of culture through music, dance and drama in schools and forged a strong collaboration between her Ministry and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
She recently reactivated the National Schools Choir and Steel Orchestra which was launched one week ago at the National Park, and had plans to expand this programme in all schools.
Her strong roots in the Amerindian community, in particular, made her a champion of inclusive education and the expansion of the Ministry’s programme to promote quality education across the sector. Minister Fox attended several international conferences and presented numerous papers on inclusive education and had a particular interest in the education of students with disabilities.
Minister Fox significantly touched the lives of countless individuals at the Ministry of Education and across the length and breadth of Guyana. She was regarded as highly approachable, caring and considerate; always willing to lend an ear to the plights of others.
Education stakeholders across the country have communicated their profound sense of loss, including the President of the Guyana Teachers Union, former Ministers of Education, Dr. Henry Jeffrey and Dr. Dale Bisnauth, Ministers of Government, principals and Head-teachers, as well as many, many teachers. We join them in extending sincere condolences to Minister Fox’s family and loved ones.
“Guyana has lost an eminent daughter whose imprint will forever be felt in the countless lives she would have touched.”
The management and staff of Kaieteur News associate themselves with the sentiments expressed and wish that the children and relatives would find solace in the work that Dr Desrey Fox did.
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