Oct 04, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Messages of condolences continue to pour in for the death of former Member of Parliament, Philomena Sahoye-Shury.
She died on Sunday at the age of 91. In statement, President Ali said it with “inexpressible sorrow that I learnt of the passing of Mrs. Philomena Sahoye-Shury. Her death has robbed me, the People’s Progress Party, and Guyana, of an exceptional human being who touched every life with which she came into contact.”
“I have enjoyed a long relationship with Cde Phil, as she was affectionately called. I considered her as family, friend, colleague, and comrade. She, along with my late grandmother, was in the vanguard of Guyana’s struggle for Independence. She was also involved in the struggle for the restoration of democracy and helped build a free and democratic Guyana. Our country owes an eternal debt of gratitude to this outstanding daughter of our soil who was a fearless and formidable fighter in the struggle for freedom,” President Ali said. “We were close associates within the People’s Progressive Party. I respect her and learnt from her. Cde Phil was always willing to share her vast experience and wisdom with younger members of the party. She never shirked from leading by example when it came to political legwork.”
The President said he worked with Sahoye-Shury on the ‘Depressed Communities Committee’, of which she was a Co-Chair. Later, she would work within the Ministry of Housing “when I was the subject minister. I always relied on her.” Ali said he respected Sahoye-Shury’s [candour], noting that her work has helped to transform communities across Guyana. “Guyana has lost an amazing human being. Our country is poorer for her passing. Her death diminishes us all. The poor and powerless have lost a true champion. But she will live on in our hearts as someone whose service was selfless and beyond reproach. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mrs Philomena Sahoye-Shury – one of Guyana’s foremost warriors of freedom.”
For its part, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) said it too was saddened at the passing of Cde Philomena Sahoye-Shury, a long-standing ally of the Guyanese working-class, a dedicated comrade of GAWU, and a voice of the people in our country. “Cde Philomena who earned the nickname of ‘Fireball’ when she served as the General Secretary of our Union, played an instrumental role in the consolidation and success of the GAWU. During her time in GAWU, the Union was engaged in the nearly thirty (30) year struggle for the recognition on behalf of the field and factory workers of the sugar industry. It was a period when no attempt was spared to extinguish the militancy of the workers and the GAWU. Despite the great challenges, the ‘Fireball’ was not daunted. Her commitment was unyielding as she and other leaders of GAWU, demonstrated tremendous grit and determination that eventually saw GAWU gaining union recognition in the sugar industry.”
GAWU said he after Sahoye-Shury left the Union, she never lost touch. “She inspired the new leadership of GAWU to go on to secure new successes and further gains. Cde Philomena always would readily agree to participate in Union activities. She remained grounded with the ordinary people despite the new heights she attained nationally. It is testimony to her character and ideals she abided by during her lifetime. Indeed, the ‘Fireball’ leaves an unenviable legacy of service to the Guyanese people, especially the working-class. She made an indelible mark of humility and dedication to mankind. The GAWU owes a tremendous debt to her, and her contributions will continue to live on in the many organisations within which she functioned. At this time, the GAWU extends its heartfelt sympathies to the relatives and friends of the late Cde Philomena Sahoye-Shury.”
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