Contributions of the Late Robert Williams3908 02 Aug, 2012
Mr. Lumumba: Mr. Speaker, colleagues on both sides. Mr. Robert Williams was very close to me and I want to say this to his family and my friends and to everyone that Robert Williams cannot die. The passing or the disappearance of Mr. Robert Williams could not be seen as death, it has to be seen as rest. A gentleman who has worked so hard for so many years cannot die. We have to have a new interpretation of death. A man who works from six in the morning to midnight or four in the morning cannot die – he just cannot die. I think what we have to say here is that wherever Mr. Robert Williams is, like he has always done, we are asking him to hold the door until we join him and I hope that when we reach Mr. Robert Williams there will be a good dominoes table that we all can join him.
I knew Mr. Robert Williams during the period of time that I was a member of the People’s National Congress and the late ex-President, Mr. Forbes Burnham, did not ask me, he directed me that I must work with Mr. Oscar Clarke, Mr. Robert Williams and Mayor Hamilton Greene and you worked based on who called you first in the morning or late in the evening. Interestingly enough, the person that you called most of the time would be Mr. Robert Williams. We worked together in Georgetown in particular and I would like to say that, minus me and maybe Mr. Corbin, I have never seen any better organiser in politics than Mr. Robert Williams. [Interruption] I slipped that in for those who know, including Cde. Basil Williams and have seen the performances.
Mr. Robert Williams had some strong beliefs in democracy; he had some strong beliefs in working with the ordinary people, he was the champion of the ordinary man.
Mr. Robert Williams’ decision to part with the PNC was very painful for him, because we discussed this for hours. I think this was done because he felt at that time the working class interest was not in the heart of the organisation. Even when Mr. Robert Williams was in the PNC, he had the ability to be in the PNC and to be friends with everyone, including Mr. Moses Nagamootoo and it is not easy to be a friend of Mr. Nagamootoo and Robert Williams was a friend of Mr. Nagamootoo. I can say that. I was a friend of Mr. Nagamootoo in the difficult times and still is - he is still my friend. We have different political views but he is still my friend.
I remember a meeting with Mr. Robert Williams, Mayor Greene, Cde. Mac David, Joseph Hamilton and of course the Chairman of the PNC now, Mr. Basil Williams and at that meeting we all made a decision that the interest...
Mr. Speaker: Was Mr. Williams a member of the Good Green Guyana (GGG) then or was he just sitting in?
Mr. Lumumba: Mr. William then was like me then. He was a suspended mentally member of the People’s National Congress (PNC) then. I do not know about now, but it was then. We all decided that the interest of the people must continue and from that discussion and discourse came about Good Green Guyana, but what was interesting was whenever we made a decision on Good Green Guyana the next day the PNC would know. It was the loyalty of this man, Robert Williams, that the PNC must understand and life must understand. He was a loyal soldier and he could not… Even during his days at the Guyana Elections Commission… Even Mr. Hamilton spoke about his decision making process. When one talked with Mr. Robert Williams, while he was at the Guyana Elections Commission, he was supposed to talk as if he was working for Member of Parliament Mr. Nadir, but he would always talk as if he was working for the PNC, and I always reminded him that he was supposed to be independent.
Mr. Robert Williams saw life politically. Everything that he did was political - when he woke up it was political; when he went to sleep it was political. Every single thing he did he had to study the ramification of the political system. It was unfortunate that Mr. Robert Williams was asked to leave the police force and became a Member of Parliament. We never reconciled the fact that we should have brought him back into this Parliament so that his benefits could have been recorded. I do not know if, on death, his family can have access to that, but there is one injustice which we need to correct about Mr. Robert Williams and it was the period of time that he served in the police force, came to this Parliament and because he did not agree with a certain person he was taken away from Parliament and he could not fulfill that period of time, so that he could get his requisite benefits. I am asking today for this joint body to find a way, legally we can do that, if not for him, for his family to get the benefits.
Thank you very much. [Applause]
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