After battling cancer for some time, Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Lawrence Theodore Williams succumbed yesterday. He was 59 years old. Mr. Williams leaves to mourn his wife Valerie Williams, his three children Runda, Lauren and Lawrence Jr. also known as Gavin and grandson Andrew Brown.
He joined the Bank of Guyana in 1979 and made notable contributions to the organization over the next 35 years.
In 1995, Williams was appointed Banking Manager, the third highest position in the Bank’s hierarchy. At this level he was responsible for overseeing the Operations Department, International Department, and Accounts and Budgeting Department. He served in this capacity until November 2004 when he was appointed to act as Governor.
On June 8, 2005 he was sworn in as Governor of the Bank of Guyana and remained in this position until his passing.
The Bank of Guyana yesterday said that while Williams served at the Bank, he was a member of the Guyana Gold Board and the Guyana Rice Export Board. At the time of his death, he was also a member of the Governing Board of the Guyana Revenue Authority. A book of condolences will be opened tomorrow, at the Bank of Guyana.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga, will be assuming the duties of Governor. He said that Williams was more than a workmate. “He was a true friend and father to most of the members of this organization. It is painful to lose such a dear friend, a professional and disciplinarian who has made so many invaluable contributions to this Bank.”
“I am just so disturbed at this time. I can’t begin to tell you how much Mr. Williams meant to us. Trust me, he will be missed.”
Also expressing condolences was Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, who said, “It is with great sadness that I have come to learn of the passing of my dear friend and colleague of many years standing. I offer my sincere condolences to his immediate family and many friends.”
“Lawrence and I have shared a long professional and personal association dating back to well before he was appointed Governor and I, Minister. His elevation through the bank and my own appointment as Minister provided us with additional opportunities to collaborate.”
Dr. Singh described Williams as a man of competence, and one who was known for his attention to detail, his thoroughness, his ability to remain calm under pressure, his quiet wit, his sharp intelligence and his impeccable demeanour.
“He was a gentleman and an astute professional. Over the years we developed a strong personal friendship and I came to value his wise counsel and level headed advice.Only last night I visited and spent time with him in the hospital and was inspired by his remarkable courage even in the most difficult of circumstances as he fought this battle of all battles.
“I told him our country needed him to continue the excellent work he was doing and that we could not afford to lose him. Little did I know at that time that it would be the last time I would see him alive.”
Leader of the political Opposition, Brigadier David Granger and other members of the Central Executive of the People’s National Congress Reform also expressed their sincerest condolences to the Williams family yesterday.
Granger said that the nation has been robbed of the extensive knowledge, experience and expertise which were embodied in the presence of Mr. Lawrence Williams.
“The party extends deepest condolences to his close family, relatives and friends.”
Chief Executive Officer of Guyana’s only credit bureau, CreditInfo (Guyana), Judy Semple-Josephsaid that Williams’s death has evoked feelings of shock and deep sadness, particularly since he recently presided over the granting of the license to CreditInfo for the establishment of the Bureau and even more recently at the launch of its SeeRisk International Business Report.
She added, “In his honour, we pledge to redouble our efforts to make the credit bureau implementation an even greater success. On behalf of our Chairman, Mr. Reynir Gretarsson, and other members of the Board and Management of CreditInfo [Guyana] Inc, I wish to offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Williams as well as to the staff of the Bank of Guyana at this time of mourning. May the soul of this distinguished son rest in peace.”
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