Statement of His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, on the passing of Mrs Philomena Sahoye-Shury

It is 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.

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.

I also worked with her on the Depressed Needs 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 rely on her. I respected her candidness. 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 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.