Former Govt Minister Vibert DeSouza laid to rest

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, January 5, 2019

Former Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Francis Vibert DeSouza, who passed away at his Eccles Home on December 29 last, was laid to rest today.

Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock , Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Former President, Donald Ramotar, Former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds and former Ministers of Government and Members of Parliament gathered at the Meadowbank Catholic Church for the funeral service earlier today.

During his tribute, Prime Minister Nagamootoo described DeSouza as a true Guyanese patriot who dedicated himself to the service of this country.

He remembered DeSouza as a jovial and humble individual who could light up any room with his singing. Describing him as a ‘cultural icon’, the Prime Minister said:

“Vibert gave life to Guyanese creole songs, he gave life to Dave Martin and the Tradewinds’ songs on Guyana. Vibert was a true blood Guyanese patriot who wanted, through cultural messages, to unite us as one Guyanese people.”

Minister Allicock said that Guyana bids farewell to a great man, a national treasure, a father, a brother, a friend and a Guyanese citizen who has always sought to heed the call of his nation for development.

“Mr. DeSouza has made great contributions to our society in the many hats he wore in his professional career and we are grateful to have had his influence, not only in his region of birth (Region One), but nationally.”

He said that DeSouza will also be remembered for the major roles in ensuring the rights, customs and traditions of the Indigenous peoples were upheld.

DeSouza served as the Minister of Amerindian Affairs during the 1990s . He also wore many hats in his professional career. DeSouza also served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development. He also worked as a Sales Agent at the Hand in Hand Insurance Company; a cultural officer attached to the Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and a technician, clerk, at the St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital.

DeSouza has also served and was a member of several organisations. He was President of Catholic Youth, Guyana (1969-1970); Member of the Progressive Youth Organization (1972-1982); Vice-president of the Guyanese Organization of Indigenous People, Guyana (1991-1992).

Francis Vibert DeSouza was born on December 31, 1944, in Moruka, North West District, Guyana. He was the son of Silvano and Alexandrina Mary (Atkinson) diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures.

By: Synieka Thorne

Image: Jules Gibson

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