Hoyte inducted into PNCR Hall of Heroes

Stabroek News
December 23, 2006

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Patricia Hoyte unveils a portrait of her brother, late President Hugh Desmond Hoyte, to commemorate his induction into the PNCR's Hall of Heroes, while PNCR leader Robert Corbin looks on. (Photo by Jules Gibson)

Late President Hugh Desmond Hoyte has been inducted into the PNCR's Hall of Heroes.

Hoyte, the former party leader who is often credited with fundamental economic reforms and paving the way for the return of electoral democracy in Guyana, was inducted at a special ceremony yesterday at the PNCR's Congress Place Headquarters, where he was remembered as a visionary and a reformer.

He joins a select few, including the founder leader of the party, former President LFS Burnham and former Prime Minister and deputy leader Dr Ptolemy Reid. The induction ceremony coincided with Hoyte's fourth death anniversary.

PNCR leader Robert Corbin said no better tribute could be paid to the late president than placing him alongside other party stalwarts. He was praised for his contributions both to the party and to the country. He said Hoyte left a firm legacy and set an example that many in the PNCR could emulate. "It is a signal honour for the party to induct the late leader into these hallowed chambers," Corbin said, "…for us to take the decision must be in recognition of his significant contribution to the development and strengthening of the party and… the country." He described Hoyte as a "reluctant recruit" to the world of politics and the public life, but pointed out that he embraced the service of the people. He said it was a remarkable achievement that having worked and lived his life in full view of international scrutiny, Hoyte did not attract a stain on his character.
PNCR stalwart Cecil Coonjah, 90, performing a harmonica solo at the ceremony for the induction of late President Hugh Desmond Hoyte into the party's Hall of Heroes. (Photo by Jules Gibson)

Hoyte was President of Guyana from 1985 to 1992, and he served as leader of the party until his death in 2002. PNCR Chairman Winston Murray noted that Hoyte assumed the leadership of the party and the country upon Burnham's death, which had left many asking who would fill the great void that was left. He said Hoyte had a mature sense of what was needed. He considered the leadership revolutionary and he hoped that history would recognise his record objectively. He noted, among other things, that Hoyte's tenure at the helm resulted in the highest inflow of foreign direct investment and he said this was part of his stern resolution to chart a new economic course and to intensify a new political dispensation. He said this commitment gave life to inclusiveness and his reaching out shaped party and national development. "Hero, he certainly was," Murray reflected, "he shall ever remain in our hearts." Hoyte's widow, Joyce Hoyte, was ill and she could not attend the ceremony. Murray asked those present to pray for an early and full recovery.