Guyana this past week lost a true son of the soil in every respect with the passing of stalwart, Navin Chandarpal, who
succumbed in a New York hospital after his battle with Cancer on Tuesday last.
The many tributes that have poured in recent days stand as testimony to the character of the man he was.
Guyanese in New York who know Navin Chandarpal, friends in Trinidad where he visited frequently and interacted with the large Guyanese community, and myself are saddened by the news of the passing of this remarkable person, said Vishnu Bisram.
“Those of us who worked with him during the anti-dictatorial struggle will not forget his role and his contribution to the liberation of Guyana. He was a terrific guy with a broad smile never to hold spite against anyone.
“He has made sterling contributions to various fields of endeavour in the nation, including serving as Minister. His contribution to the PPP cannot be measured.
“He served the country with dedication and honor. For his hard work and commitment to party and nation, he deserves the highest honors and accolades. It is unfortunate that the country has not formally recognized him for his work,” Bisram said.
He said that only last July at an academic conference in Trinidad did friends inquire about his health.
He had hoped to see Navin Chandarpal during his trips to Guyana this year but he was away receiving medical treatment and he was in no condition for visitors when Bisram was there the weekend before Diwali.
Friends cannot believe that Navin is no more. Everywhere, they spoke fondly of and reminisced about him.
Navin had a professional approach to everything and I remember him fondly visiting his Freedom House office numerous times to acquire political literature during the 1980s thru 1992.
“And at times I would also meet my friend Moses Nagamootoo. What brilliant and articulate minds they were, the latter more intellectually gifted especially in writing and social analyses!
“The two were bosom friends who contributed significantly, like other stalwarts including Clem Rohee, Feroze Mohamed, Donald Ramotar, etc., to the growth of the PPP and restoration of democratic rule.
“I assessed Navin as a battle hardened freedom fighter, like some of my peers in New York, who gave much of his life to struggle against the dictatorship.”
Navin, as he was popularly called in Trinidad, Guyana and in North America, always found time for an exchange and never shied away from a debate defending the PPP, even when critiqued by commentators.
He was never one to be angry with people. He was a down-to-earth, grass roots individual. Navin has been a very popular figure in Guyana among PPP supporters.
Navin’s passing leaves a void in the PPP that will not be easily filled for few command the kind of respect people had for him.
The sympathy of the nation goes out to his widow Indra and two children, and all those who mourn him. May he rest in peace!
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