Thursday, December 17, 2009

Minister Desrey Fox cremated

There was a great outpouring of emotions at the Umana Yana, Kingston, yesterday, as thousands converged on the benab to pay their last respects to former Minister within the Ministry of Education, Dr Desrey Clementine Fox, who died last Friday from injuries suffered from a three-vehicle accident last week Tuesday.

Desrey Fox’s remains are cremated at Ruimzeigt

Viewing of the body began at 8:30 hrs, leading up to the start of a three-hour programme which began at 10:00 hrs.

Hundreds packed the benab, and others were seated under canopies on the periphery, in an atmosphere of solemnity and reverence. They filed past the casket bearing the remains of Dr Fox dressed in Amerindian wear.

Among the mourners were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Mrs. Yvonne Hinds; Head of the Presidential Secretariat – Dr Roger Luncheon; Speaker of the House of the National Assembly – Mr. Ralph Ramkarran; Members of the Cabinet and Parliamentarians; Leader of the Main Opposition Party – Mr. Robert Corbin; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; staff of the Ministry of Education; Vice Chancellor and other staff of the University of Guyana; and Pastor Persis Caesar of Trinidad and Tobago – Dr Caesar-Fox’s adopted brother who travelled to Guyana for the funeral.

Floral tributes lie atop the pyre at the cremation site

There was a deluge of tributes displayed on a board for public reading. Tributes came also from Mr. Hinds, Minister of Education Sheik Baksh, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, PNCR Leader Mr. Robert Corbin, Professor Al Creighton of the University of Guyana, General-Secretary of the PPP Mr. Donald Ramotar, Dr Fox’s brother Mr. Rexford Caesar, and Dr Raquel Thomas of Iwokrama Rain Forest Project

Additionally, there were tributes in song and other musical renditions from Dr Fox’s mother – Mrs. Annie Caesar and team; the Ministry of Education’s National Schools’ Choir and National Schools’ Steel Orchestra; The Circle of Love Male Quartet;’ the National Anthem sung by hinterland students, in Akawaio and written by Dr Desrey Fox.

The eulogy was read by Mr. Ian Persaud, friend of the late Education Minister who was specifically requested by her to do so, sometime in the past.

Mr. Rexford Caesar, Dr Fox’s brother, said, “She was more than a sister”. Caesar fondly remembered the good times they shared together as family, recalling she was a great cook.

For him, she was ‘ambitious and simple’ yet added considerably to the love that abounded within the family.

The casket leaves the Benab.

General-Secretary of the PPP/C, Mr. Donald Ramotar, like others, expressed profound condolences to Dr Fox’s bereaved relatives, on behalf of the Government and Party, adding that she was “snatched away from us”. He said he believed comfort could be taken from the fact that, even though she was born in very humble circumstances…her achievements and contribution to Guyana have been great. He noted her contribution to Guyana’s development and moreso to the Amerindian community, preserving the language of the Amerindian community, so important for a multi-cultural society.

He also expressed comfort in the fact that over the last few years, Dr Fox was given the opportunity to translate “many of her dreams, much of her thinking into reality,” while working with the Ministry of Education.”

Noting that she played a big role in the life of the community, Mr. Ramotar, reiterated: “That is why it is so sad that she was snatched away so early.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hinds expressed deepest sympathy and condolences on behalf of President Bharrat Jagdeo and Cabinet, to the grieving relatives and personal friends of the late Dr Fox.

“The loss and grief we feel at Cabinet, would be different from yours,” Mr. Hinds told the bereaved relatives. “But we sense a keen loss at our Cabinet, and a great loss to our nation,” Mr. Hinds said.

Meanwhile, Ian Persaud who eulogised the life of Dr Desrey Fox, born to Gibson and Anita Caesar on January 2, 1955, passionately recalled childhood experiences, and her life of immeasurable successes as it unfolded through the years, and alluded to by many previous speakers. He was particularly impressed by her ‘charm, meticulousness’ and the way she spoke the truth, regardless.’ He recalled that by the time she was the age of 12, her parents concluded that she was destined for great things.
Following the service, the body was cremated at the Ruimzeigt Crematorium.

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