Mar 29, 2016 News
A former Government Minister of the People’s National Congress (PNC) has died ending a career that
spanned Teaching, Public Service, the Bauxite Industry and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Seventy-five year-old William Haslyn Parris, CCH, was reportedly rushed from his Friendship, East Coast Demerara home Sunday night after falling ill. He died at a private city hospital.
Parris was Deputy Prime Minister for PNC until 1991.
He was also Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission and a commissioner on the Guyana Elections Commission, as well as a member of the Constitution Reform Commission.
His career encompassed the positions of Mathematics Teacher at Queen’s College (1962 – 1963), Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Guyana (1967 – 1969), Chief Economist of the Central Bank of Guyana (1969 – 1971), Chief Executive Officer, Guybau and subsequently Guymine (1971 – 1981), Chairman of Guyconstruct (1976 – 1980), Chairman of the Bauxite Industry Development Company, BIDCO (1982 – 1983) and Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Planning and Development (1984 -1991).
Early in the 1970s he became a member of the Central Executive of the then ruling People’s National Congress, and continued to formally be a member of that Party and its Central Executive until 1992.
The more than a quarter of a century of intimate exposure to academic, public sector and private sector business activities (including being on Boards of several companies), and politics, has provided interesting insights into the economic development process, both nationally and internationally (all gained at ringside or in the ring so to speak).
On May 1, 1991, Parris demitted office as Deputy Prime Minister, at the age of 50 and having been the recipient of several academic and other awards, the most prestigious being the national award, Cacique’s Crown of Honour (C.C.H.) in 1980.
He opted for a private life in the private sector as an author and a consultant.
More recently, Parris has been involved in the negotiations leading to the Herdmanston Accord (17 Jan 1998); the Constitution Reform Commission of which he was Secretary (1999); the Oversight Committee on Constitutional Reform (1999 / 2000) as Coordinator; and the Guyana Elections Commission (2001) as a Commissioner.
He wrote several books since 1991 – Bunaro (a set of essays on economic development relevant to Guyana); two volumes of thought provoking essays entitled “some (and then some more) of my favourite Heresies”; two volumes of short stories entitled “Ribald tales of Guyana”; and “The Constitution of Guyana – What will it Look Like????”.
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