Sympathy on the Death of Mrs. Margret Ackman, C.C.H.3531 21 Nov, 2013
SYMPATHY ON THE DEATH OF MRS. MARGRET ACKMAN, C.C.H.
Mr. Lumumba: Mr. Speaker, Members of this National Assembly, I am pleased today to represent the Government side, the people of Guyana, the Opposition and everyone, as it relates to bringing our feelings and our support for this motion.
Mrs. Ackman was a very special person. She was special in the sense that she was a mixture of Guyana. Of course, when she passed away she was a member of the People’s National Congress (PNC) but her strength and her character, I would think, came from her parents, in particular her father, Frederick Ackman, who was an early Member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), known as ‘Number 19.’
She was not only close to the late President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham but she was also close to Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan and many other members of the PPP and Members of politics in Guyana, including Eusi Kwayana, Andrew Jackson and Lewis Bobb.
It is very important to note that her experience and her desire to struggle for people, and in particular women, were not indigenous in the PNC but it was indigenous to life. She was a member of the PPP women’s arm and founded early the PPP women’s group in Cummingsburg and Alberttown areas. She sold newspapers, not only for the PNC, but she sold the Thunder for the PPP. In essence she understood struggle.
She was committed to freedom and liberty. She was known by her blue-silver hair, warm smile, stately gait, very popular among women, in particular in the urban areas and on the lower East Coast. She was a person who believed that young people in politics had to be responsible and she, in particular, in the People’s National Congress (PNC), in many ways, took on the responsibility. Many people thought it was Dr. Reid, but I can tell Members, personally, that it was Margaret Ackman who was the person who would have spoken to young people, in particular young women, on how they should behave and how they should carry themselves in political circles. She was very strong on that and she would not have allowed them to be interfered with or toyed with. I see Mr. Williams smile. He would have had a difficult time with Margaret Ackman.
One of her strengths was her independence. I remember, and we all would have remembered, when she challenged Mr. Hamilton Greene on two occasions for the post of General Secretary. She challenged him against the wishes of the establishment of the PNC. She lost under controversial circumstances, but the important thing about her loss, and something that we can learn, from both sides, about loss, was that she did not held it against the political party; she did not quit; she did not chuck, but she carried on her work as a member of that party and that was the strength of Margaret Ackman. She was part of the institution. She understood why she lost but the important thing was that she accepted it and kept working for her party and for the country.
We, on this side, are blessed that she has left us with Mr. Keith Scott. We are blessed because he is one of the rational Members of the Opposition. I understand and I believe that this presentation may cause Mr. Scott to do what he should have done a long time ago. I would not say what he should do publicly but he knows within his heart that he should follow his mother’s footsteps.
We are blessed to speak about her today. She was a good person; she was a patriot and we support the Members of the People’s National Congress. We anticipate that this support, which we have given, would go beyond Mrs. Ackman and together we can support each other on the cause of those things that need to be done to develop Guyana.
Thank you. [Applause]
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