HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A TRUE CHAMPION
Today, this column extends belated 5oth birthday greetings to the publisher of this newspaper. In tribute to this great man, today we reproduce extracts about the man himself, published in this column over the years.
Glenn Lall is known throughout Guyana for his humanitarian efforts, even though he is the type of person who does not go around showcasing the many causes to which he contributes.
His newspaper, Kaieteur News, has created history in Guyana by its fund raising drives for a number of disasters, including the Pakistan earthquake, the South East Asia tsunami, the victims of the Lusignan massacre and the terrible earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010.
Glenn has raised millions of dollars for these and other causes, and he has gone further than most and accounted for every cent collected by publishing on a daily basis, whenever funds are collected, the amount collected and from whom the proceeds originated.
Privately also, Glenn continues to help many persons in a significant way. He is a kind person who regularly helps others without seeking attention or recognition.
He is someone who has never forgotten his own humble beginnings and who is always willing to come to the rescue of those in need. He is a great humanitarian.
There is also a side to him that we have been seeing over the past years. It is a side, which shows his deep love for Guyana.
He is always concerned when things go wrong within our society. He has a sense of what is right and what is wrong. And he believes that when something is wrong it must be described as wrong. He believes in calling a spade, a spade.
Because of this attitude, because of his strength of character, because of his fearlessness in calling a spade a spade, Glenn is also one of the foremost defenders of democracy in Guyana without having to belong to any political movement. If he sees something that he does not like he says so.
He may not be in the forefront of any struggle but he will one day be regarded as the people’s champion because of his defence of the right of the people to receive information.
In this regard, Glenn Lall is without comparison because unlike others who see press freedom solely in terms of the right of the press to operate unhindered, Glenn Lall places the right of the people to receive information as far more important than the survival of his newspaper. He is prepared, if it comes to that, to run his newspaper bankrupt, so long as the people’s right to information is respected.
He wants the people of this country to know what their government is doing. He wants them to have value for their money.
It is well-known that Glenn Lall is someone who cannot be bought. He has a mind of his own and he is fearless in expressing loudly his opinions. He has seen enough of what is taking place in the country to know that there is rampant corruption in the country and this corruption is not restricted to low-levels of the public sector.
He knows that political decisions are encouraging the wrong things in Guyana and he is determined to expose what is taking place and have those involved identified.
Those involved are rich and they are powerful. They have enormous resources at their disposal and they were always prepared to silence those who were against them since this would prevent them from further stealing from the public purse.
Glenn Lall thus became the enemy of those who want to continue their wicked and dishonest ways. He has been a thorn in their side.
He has exposed weekly, sometimes daily, the substandard work, the overpriced work, the political favours that are being handed out, the disposal of state property and the connections between those benefiting and the political elite.
The publisher of this newspaper is a very charitable man. He has been known to be very free-handed in helping others, including offering assistance to many causes within our society.
He is also someone who is very concerned about the state of social development in the country. If there is anyone that I am certain is genuinely concerned about Guyana and is willing to do all that he can to make this country a better place, it is Mr. Glenn Lall.
He has done so much for communities over the years that the list is too countless to recall. He would be driving along the road and see a problem and he would stop to enquire what can be done. And if it means he has to push his hands in his pockets to help out, he would willingly do so.
Glenn Lall has made a name for himself. He has proven himself. Without any background in the newspaper business and without any expert help he turned the Kaieteur News into the country’s top daily.
He understands this business better than some of those who feel that they were born to be in the newspaper industry. He is a maverick.
Glenn Lall is not interested in making money. He is interested in making a difference. He loves his country. He wants to see progress and development. He has principles; he has character; he has fortitude.
He tells you things as he sees it. He is not ever going to be diplomatic or evasive. When he sees wrong he will call it by its name; when he sees good, he will do the same. This is the kind of person that Guyana needs. The former President of Guyana himself once admitted that Guyana needs more Glenn Lalls.