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This is the second of a three-part series featuring the wives of the three main presidential contenders. Today, we feature Mrs Sandra Granger, wife of People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) presidential candidate David Granger
I stand by my husband in his political endeavours – Sandra Granger
...would campaign for him
By Janelle Persaud
hen a person retires, he or she expects to relax with their loved ones close by. But this is not the case for Sandra Granger. The 62year-old mother of two retired in 2009, but with her husband, Retired Brigadier David Granger contesting for the highest office in the land, his campaigning makes that nigh impossible. Sandra Granger nee Chan-A-Sue has been married since May 1970 to David Granger. “I started out as an army wife and within a week or two of being married I was left on my own, so you either become very independent or you become needy,” Mrs Granger told Guyana Times. “This is not new to me.” Being a career woman, she chose the former. The multilingual teacher taught her two daughters Han Ruth and Afuwa, now 40 and 38 respectively, to be equally independent and self-sufficient. Mrs Granger was schooled at Sacred Heart Primary and St Joseph High School. She later acquired two undergraduate degrees, one in English Literature and the other in Portuguese from the University of Guyana before getting her masters in Brazilian Literature from the University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on a scholarship. Mrs Granger lectured at UG and worked many oth-
David and Sandra Granger
Retired Brigadier Granger and his two daughters Han Ruth and Afuwa
er places, including Radio Demerara now NCN Radio, but she spent the final 18 years of her working life at the Caricom Secretariat. When she retired in 2009, she had worked her way up to programme manager of conference services at the regional body. Having worked with the West Indian Commission and visited the entire Caribbean to get input from citizens on where they wanted the regional grouping to be in the 21st century, Mrs Granger is well placed to comment on the state of regional integration that has come in for scrutiny recently. She believes that Caricom has achieved much for the people of the region, but noted that some of the challenges come with the change in political leaders, among other issues. Despite this, the retired Caricom employee believes that countries in the region should stick together. “As small and vulnerable states
dealing with the harsh realities of a globalised world, they have their strength in their combined votes and bringing their skills together,” she opined. Mrs Granger also believes that the free movement of skills has been a good way to help push this united agenda. However,
er refused to rub my legs or my back when I needed him to,” she said with a chuckle. The only challenge for her as the wife of a presidential candidate is being cautious when speaking, for fear that her remarks could be interpreted incorrectly. The prospective First lady is known
Portuguese, given the blossoming Guyana/Brazil bilateral relations. “I think our children should start from primary level to learn Spanish or Portuguese... any child who learns a second language has a wider scope for moving ahead because in the world we live in, we need our languages,” she added. While, Mrs Granger seems primed for the post of First Lady, it is a job she never anticipated. But if given the opportunity, said she would focus on the empowerment of women and youth and seek to aggressively address unemployment in Guyana. She wants to give women the opportunity to be entrepreneurs and manage their homes at the same time. She pointed to the manufacturing of local products such as guava cheese, sour drops, toffee and other candies,
How did she cope? “Well, my husband has never refused to rub my legs or my back when I needed him to,” she said with a chuckle.
she pointed to the need for the relevant qualifications to enjoy this right as afforded under the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) She described her lengthy career as ‘fulfilling’. Given this hard work during the frequent absences of her husband, one may question: How did she cope? “Well my husband has nevfor speaking her mind. Mrs Granger, who is fluent in two foreign languages – French and Portuguese, expressed the view that knowledge of more than one language is important as it has many advantages. As such, she believes that foreign languages should be taught early in schools, with emphasis on
and craft, as dead trades which she wants to revive. She would have professionals work along with these women to outline standards and help source markets. Economic empowerment of Guyanese women is what Mrs. Granger is mostly interested in; she declared that this group should not only be given the opportunity to open businesses but given the skills to manage their finances to ensure sustainability. “I also want to ensure that girls are educated not only academically, so that they could achieve their full potential. In fact, I would like to see all young people get that opportunity,” she pointed out. Though in the background, Mrs Granger stands by her husband in his political endeavours and would campaign on his behalf. “I would encourage them (citizens) because what I think he would bring to the position is a sincere love of his country and people and the desire to see them do well, to progress in life. And he will also bring his own integrity because if he promises to do something, he will do everything in his power to fulfil it.” Granger was described as a person with great patience and one who has respect for others. At home, a sense of humour is displayed as he “plays practical jokes” on his children and grandchildren. In his leisure time, he listens to music, mostly classical; he also reads a lot and plays chess – his favourite game.
Ramsammy urges support...
“We are yet to do it”, he stated emphatically and continued: “We still cannot take that small step to demonstrate that we are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk … we have not seen that commitment.” With Guyana moving to enact legislation to prevent children from having access to tobacco products, it has been proven by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey that there is a growing number of young people who are using the freedom that society offers to experiment with tobacco. “This has a good chance of sentencing you to a life sentence of waste (wasting money), you are inviting and creating ill health for yourself,” the health minister told the gathering. According to the survey the majority of young persons who smoke began doing so before reaching ten years old. “This is indicative of the challenge we face.” Dr Ramsammy lamented. And though the situation is not unique to Guyana, the minister believes that more can be done to fight the dreadful scourge that plagues the country. He stressed that
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sources, we cannot match the tobacco promoting messages from the manufacturers and distributors because they have the money and capacity to produce those catchy, sexy messages,” he stressed. Despite the challenges, all hope is not lost as the minister has dedicated himself to ensuring that by World No Tobacco Day 2012, Guyana can stand tall alongside developed countries like Australia by having legislation to prevent the sale of tobacco to children, and the creation of more smoke-free zones. “With the memorial, we can actually see their names, run our hands across the names, see they’re engraved in stone the same way they’re engraved in our hearts,” Wilson said. However, there is one name some people did not want to see engraved at all, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones. A Southern California pastor who lost 27 family members at Jonestown sued to block the memorial, but last week, a superior court judge sided with a group of memorial supporters including Jim Jones’ son, saying the service should go on with Jones’ name etched in stone. For many, the mass murder-suicide in 1978 tarnishes otherwise happy memories from life on the commune in Guyana. “Unfortunately, Jim Jones became a madman and he destroyed all those lives,” survivor Herbert Newell said. Newell has 11 family members on the me-
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chronic non-communicable diseases continue with significance in the public health sector and is responsible for many premature deaths. But while the problem has been recognised it may be easier said than done as the ministry of health lacks the necessary resources to compete with the manufacturers and distributors of tobacco products. The finances necessary to educate the nation on the dangers associated with the use of tobacco is not available. “Because the anti-tobacco message is being promoted by us with little re-
They met with the elderly at Uncle Eddie’s Home and children of the Guyana Red Cross Convalescent home. Singh said they had time to meet many people, including the homeless, and they interacted with them. “We carried hampers for them
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and we spoke to them,” she added. Apart from that students also took field trips to Baganara, Fort Island and Bartica. Singh said, “We went in boats, we went canoeing, we had lunch together – all of us – we played
games and so on. It was real fun.” Alves explained that 23 secondary school graduates have already been chosen for the apprenticeship that will restart this October. The students were chosen by their headteachers. Alves mentioned that
quite a few graduates of the programme have been employed at Republic Bank. This year, two or three students may also be given that opportunity. Entertainment for the graduation was provided by the Marigold Choir from the Brickdam Cathedral.
morial and says Jones’ name should be among them. “I don’t see why not. He was a part of it. He was a leader of it, but people go wrong you know, in life. All of us wouldn’t have been there if it wouldna been for him,” he said. The faces of those who died in Jonestown may seem like distant memories, but not for this group. “52, and after all these years, I realised there was something I needed to do, I wanted to do, and I didn’t know what it was. I wanted to say goodbye and now I can,” Juanell Smart said. “Goodbye mom, goodbye Uncle Job, and goodbye my beautiful children.” Even with the memorial’s unveiling Sunday, the controversy goes on. Lawyers are expected to meet this week to try to reach a settlement between the cemetery and a pastor who says she had the rights to build a memorial without Jim Jones’ name on it. (East Bay News)
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