If and when I write my memoirs, I will certainly mention Laurie Lewis and Elvin McDavid. I do not know why Laurie Lewis liked me but I know he did and he ignored my virulent anti-PNC politics. One reason, I could think of was that he felt that as a young Indian UG student, it was commendable that I didn’t care for race politics. It could be something my father did for him because he knew my dad when my dad was a cricket umpire. But Lewis was always nice to me.
He told me who killed Monica Reece. People who trust you tell you things that history should record. It was the same with Elvin Mc David. I got to know Mc David long after he fell from power. He became a lonely man, sitting at his window in his small Queenstown home wanting to talk. This happens to all powerful people whose world has slipped away.
Many times we talked by that very window in that very house and McDavid would open up to me. He told me he was genuinely sorry that he intervened to stop my wife from being employed in 1984 but said it was Halim Majeed (current Guyanese ambassador to Cuba) who spoke to President Burnham directly to deny her employment.
McDavid told me things that sadly I cannot repeat here but readers should read between the lines. One story was that the Government knew what WPA was doing because it had a plant that was extremely close to the spouse of a top WPA leader. I cannot mention that name; I would be sued ten times for a trillion dollars. But I know that those who were in the WPA leadership at the time knew about this person’s relationship. All Mc David did was to provide more details. One thing for sure if and when I write those memoirs iconoclastic things will be written about the WPA that need to be put in the history books.
One day Mc David said to me that one of the things he never understood about Burnham was Burnham’s subtle, hidden, quiet insecurity about young, ambitious men. Mc David cited one particular name. He said Burnham did not feel comfortable with him and Burnham did not allow him space to reach his apogee.
McDavid was totally in love with Burnham but he told me he felt Hamilton Green was more committed to people around him and that he, Green, contradicted Burnham on many occasions and that Green would elevate people whose requests Burnham had refused. I got the distinct impression that Elvin McDavid hated Hamilton Green but the conversation never turned to Green for McDavid to explain but I think I know why.
Green was second in charge from 1964 until the PNC lost power in 1992. He was second to Burnham but he exercised power independent of Burnham. He was second to Hoyte but acted many times in contradiction to Hoyte. From 1964 to 1992, Green had been the benefactor to hundreds of persons doing immense and important favours for them. Many of those beneficiaries have succeeded in life and are spread all over the world. They owe their success to Green. These facts are well known to many of us whose politics go way back to the seventies and onwards.
Mr. Green has a god-father in the present power structure. There is someone in the hierarchy of the power establishment who feels the need to reciprocate for Green’s lovely attitude to them long ago. When we guess who it is we must remember Mr. Green held formidable state power for almost three decades. I am not commenting on the merits or demerits of what Green has received but these are the facts. Months after gaining power, the new regime awarded Green the Order of Roraima.
Next at age 82 Green has been given the job as chairman of Central Housing and Planning Authority. Then comes a Bill in Parliament that bears Green’s name. The Bill as we all know because of the publicity given to it provides a Prime Minister’s pension for Green.
As I wrote above, I will refrain from any critical thought on these three facts but the facts are that in the space of 18 months, Hamilton Green has been the recipient of some elegant (some may say generous) offers from the new government. There is one particular person behind these three generosities. I think I know who it is. I guess in life we want to be nice to those who were once nice to us.
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