Dr. Roger Luncheon remembered as key figure in country’s political history

Former Head of the Presidential Secretariat and former Cabinet Secretary, the late Dr. Roger Luncheon, was on Tuesday hailed as one of the most important figures in Guyana’s political and economic history, who played a key role in the function of the government.

These sentiments were shared by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, when he delivered key remarks at Dr. Luncheon’s funeral service at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in Liliendaal.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

President Ali stated that Dr. Luncheon’s loyalty was a key driver for the majority of his pursuits.

“He was a man for all seasons, a versatile individual with a soft, caring heart, and a gift for human kindness. Blessed with a brilliant intellect, he was a consummate professional dedicated to exceptional standards of public service. As a politician, he was a shrewd strategist, and a paragon of loyalty to his party and government,” the President stated.

Dr. Roger Luncheon’s daughter, Tamika, and his son, Shaka Luncheon

He said Dr. Luncheon and Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo believed in young people, and fought for the betterment and unity of the working class.

“Many young public servants were spotted and elevated because of what they demonstrated in their eyes. Many of them are here today. The state planning secretariat had at one time had the greatest transformation and produced the most permanent secretaries. So, they believed in young people, because Dr. Roger Luncheon had a strong understanding of what the future requires,” President Ali explained.

Scores attended the funeral service to pay their respects to the late Dr Roger Luncheon on Tuesday

He further described Dr. Luncheon as confident in himself and his ability to effectively execute the tasks which he had responsibility for, as well as uncompromising in his adherence to collective responsibility.

“Dr Luncheon’s death marks the end of an era of our government and party. He has been a constant staple in the PPP/C and its governance since 1992. His passing has left a void in our party’s leadership, a yearning void in our government, and the public administration. I have lost a dear friend, a comrade, a confidante. So, too, did all the leaders and many here. He was more than a colleague to me. He was a mentor. I relied upon and trusted his wise and considerate counsel. I appreciated the time and effort he took in nursing my political career,” the president expressed.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo stated that with Dr. Luncheon’s death, the country as well as the PPP/C have lost one of the nation’s best sons.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

He recounted that throughout various periods of political turmoil, Dr. Luncheon remained committed to connecting with and helping people. This, he reminded, was one of the strong pillars that the PPP/C stood on.

“Roger Luncheon kept the PPP grounded… [he] means a lot to us in the party. We will never be able to replace him— his intellect and everything else. There are so many things that personally, we had to work on during that difficult period that will probably go to the grave with all of us, as Luncheon did with them. But this country is richer, wiser, and stronger because of Roger Luncheon,” he expressed.

Acting Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force, Clifton Hicken, and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force also paid tribute to the late Dr. Luncheon, remembering him as someone who played a crucial role in the strengthening, development, and modernisation of Guyana’s security sector.

Scores attended the funeral service to pay their respects to the late Dr Roger Luncheon on Tuesday

Dr. Luncheon was remembered by his daughter, Tamika Luncheon, his son, Shaka Luncheon, his brothers, Frank, John and Rawle Christopher Luncheon, and Orin Lovell, his sisters, Audrey Hinds and Joan Archer, his niece, Crystal Charles, and friends who attended school and worked with him.

Their tributes painted the image of Dr. Luncheon as a family man, who not only protected, but took care of those close to him. Former President, Donald Ramotar, former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, ministers of government, members of the opposition, and a number of agency heads also attended the funeral service to pay their respects to the late Dr. Luncheon.