The People’s Progressive Party announces, with great sadness, the passing of one of its leaders, Cyril Belgrave, CCH, on Thursday in New York, USA.
The PPP expresses its deepest condolences to the family and relatives of Cyril Belgrave and the members of the PPP family who knew and loved this friendly and humble leader.
Cyril Belgrave was a long-standing and loyal member and leader of the Party dating back to the 1950s.
Unquestionably a fighter for the working man and woman, as a stevedore, he joined the trade union movement and became a well-respected trade unionist in the Guyana Labour Union, becoming its President in 1984.
In the 1960s, during the long strikes engineered to bring down the democratically-elected PPP Government, Belgrave and many stalwarts of the PPP, such as Shirley Edwards, Philomena Sahoye-Shury and others, at great sacrifice, guarded the Guyana Power Company and the wharves when they came under threat by the People’s National Congress.
Brave and disciplined, he remained loyal to the People’s Progressive Party throughout his more than six decades of membership right up to his passing. Ill health led him to live overseas but his heart remained always in Guyana and up to his passing, he was anxious to be kept abreast as to what was happening and when elections would be held next year.
He joined the Pioneer Youth League, the precursor to the Progressive Youth Organization, in 1955. He joined the PPP and was elected repeatedly to the Central Committee of the party for over 50 years and was a Member of Parliament for over three decades (1976-2006) and a member of several parliamentary committees, including the Public Accounts Committee. He also served on the Georgetown City Council from 1970-76.
As a patriot who fought for Guyana’s independence and the restoration of democracy, in 1992, Cyril Belgrave was given the Cacique Crown of Honour, the CCH by President Dr Cheddi Jagan, in recognition of his bravery and commitment to the people of Guyana.
The PPP has stood as a strong and relevant party for 69 years for all the people of Guyana because of men and women members and leaders like Cyril Belgrave who remained committed to the vision of a united, modern and democratic Guyana.
At a later time, the Party will hold a more fitting tribute to celebrate and honour the life and contributions of Cyril Belgrave— a dedicated Guyanese and leader of the Party.