Mar 18, 2016 News
A farewell for outgoing City Mayor Hamilton Green yesterday was described by some with whom he worked closely for years as a “bittersweet” affair.
The event was one that saw staffers of the Mayor and City Councillors (M&CC) of Georgetown and members of the Council gathered together under a tent in the City Hall compound at Regent Street, Georgetown.
The 81-year-old Green was first elected to office in 1994 and has continued in that position ever since, with the exception of one year (1995-1996) when Mr. Ranwell Jordan was elected Mayor.
And Green is leaving City Hall with a sense of pride. This he associated to the fact that after being stifled for a number of years by the previous administration that trend was completely reversed when the coalition A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) was elected to office last year.
Mayor Green for a moment yesterday shifted into campaign mode for APNU+AFC. He passionately urged those in attendance to exercise their democratic right today and vote at the Local Government Elections (LGE) in favour of the APNU+AFC.
“This Government, under President David Granger, has emancipated the whole concept of what a true authentic democracy ought to be. A democracy in which there exists two tiers of governance – central and local government – which is intended to allow people in their respective communities, particularly young people, to release their creative energies and in collaboration with central government, do things for their respective communities,” Green highlighted.
And it was with the support of the new administration headed by President Granger, and with the close collaboration of new Town Clerk, Mr. Royston King, Green said that City Hall was able to facilitate the removal of 200,000 tonnes of garbage from the city, commence restoration of buildings, and put other measures in place to restore the integrity of the city.
He, moreover, noted that “had it not been for those barbarians (former regime), imagine what Georgetown would have been if that position, that momentum, was allowed to be put in place from the time we came in office – 1994.”
“I stood my ground,” said Green who also shared his conviction that “I have been vindicated…it is time for me to exit on what I believe is a high note,” Green declared, as he pointed out that Georgetown is well on its way to fully embrace the title of a ‘Green Garden City’ and dispel the disparaging ‘Garbage City’ label, under the astute leadership of the Town Clerk and a new and vibrant Council.
In making reference to himself and the outgoing Council, he noted that “we leave at a time of great excitement. I am glad that I was able to steer this ship for over 21 years,” a disclosure that evoked a bout of resounding applause from his audience.
But his decision to not attempt a return to the office of Mayor was not one he made entirely on his own. Green divulged that it was after consulting with his wife, Dr. Jennifer-Basdeo-Green, and his six daughters, that he took the philosophical decision not to contest at the Local Government Elections slated for today.
Amid a chuckle he confessed, “On a personal level, my wife and six daughters would kill me if I did not take that decision…” And this is owing to his desire to spend more time with his family and indulge in a bit of writing too. The need to do some writing, he revealed, was encouraged by some influential people.
“When I speak to people like Freddie Kissoon they curse me and tell me that I have a responsibility to write so that our young people would know the history of our country…a nation that is bereft of its history is nothing at all. The Europeans created a history for their own purposes, and a difficulty we’ve had in Guyana (is that) many of our contemporary leaders have not written, and I want to make that my legacy…to write from my own experiences so that you and your children’s children will have a document upon which to anchor their forward movement,” said Green.
He continued, “You have got to know your history, your background, to know where you are and to know where you are going and to sell two messages ‘no surrender’ and to let our young people know that here is a man, in spite of the challenges and the temptations, who was never up for sale.”
Green currently holds the portfolio of Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and, according to him, this is a far greater task than what he had as Mayor.
“We have got to fulfil the promise given by our President to make sure that every citizen has a decent roof over his or her head…” asserted Green.
Yesterday’s event was chaired by Royston King, the Town Clerk, who spoke fondly of Mayor Green.
“When you think of Mayor Hamilton Green, one thing you have to think or say is that he is a fighter – a fighter of no mean order – and as he would say ‘I never carry a white flag’.”
Green’s zeal for his task as Mayor was also accentuated by outgoing members of the Council and outgoing Deputy Mayor, Ms. Patricia Chase-Green. Chase-Green is a contestant at the elections and hopes to return to Council life.
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