Cheddi Jagan Research Centre
Dedicated to Cheddi & Janet Jagan
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Remembering Cheddi Jagan in Prose & Verse

Cheated but never defeated by Lester Daniels

You’ve brought us from colonialism
Right on to Nationalism
Many times you’ve been cheated
But still you remain undefeated
Then in 92
You showed the world what you could do.

 President Jagan, you’re the Saviour of Guyana
Where can we find another?
You’ve saved us from disaster
Now we’re all very much better
so together we will co-operate
To make Guyana truly great.

© Lester Daniels 2006


A Tribute

A man who loved all
A man loved by all
A man of integrity
A man of fortitude.

This man our President
Guyana’s son, Dr Cheddi Jagan.

 A man who fought for all
A man who give his all
A man of strength
A man of compassion.  

This man our President
Guyana’s son, Dr Cheddi Jagan.

A man who heard the call
A man who heeded that call
A man of devotion
A man of sacrifice.

This man our President
Guyana’s son, Dr Cheddi Jagan.

A man of justice
A man of heresy
A man of distinction
A man of quintessence.

This man our President
Guyana’s son, Dr Cheddi Jagan.

Possessing a virtuous heart
Of manifold layers of complexities
Seemingly a strong tower
Now, we know delicately fragile.

We love you
Guyana’s son, our own
Dr Cheddi Jagan.


Farwell, Farewell Cheddi  by W.A

There is no question about it
He deserves all the respect and credit
The large throng who gathered around this son
The love of this nation he surely won

Farewell Cheddi, farewell Cheddi
Everyone loved you dearly

Like a brave warrior taking his rest
Truly this son of Guyana was the best
A fallen hero has now departed peacefully
To his wife, children, family and relatives the nation's heartfelt sympathy

Farewell Cheddi, farewell Cheddi
You will be remembered eternally

A working class fighter from beginning to the end
To oppressors and opposers he did not bend
His stand had earned him international fear and respect
The best working class champion this nation will ever get

Farewell Cheddi, farewell Cheddi
You will always remain in Guyana's history

Numerous people from all walks of life and ethnicity
Thronged State House, your loving face to see
Whether one was a friend or foe
All wanted to pay last homage to this National Hero

Farewell Cheddi, farewell Cheddi
To this nation you brought unity

The scene at State House will always be remembered
No greater crowd in Georgetown had ever gathered
For the last time, to see this great patriot and fighter
Unquestionably, he was the nation's greatest leader

Farewell Cheddi, farewell Cheddi
This nation will miss you greatly.

© W.A 1999


Spirit by Helen Taitt

The spirit of a Great Man gone
Stays on ...
To give the many left behind
New Hope ... even in despair ...
To give the few
Who share the great responsibility
New Strength ... to guide - to plan - to serve
Even as we mourn

Even as we mourn ...
Cry out the gladness of another day
For us who wept to watch him pass that way
The sun will still glow brightly on the street
And from these sombre hours
Golden flowers of promise at our feet.
Pluck them now
a better morning to adorn
And build a blessing of this curse
Even as we mourn.

© Helen Taitt 1999


A Hero by Yasoda Badunauth-Cullen (Essequibo)

A hero was he, a father was he,
Dr. C.B.Jagan, what a great fighter to see,
Never did he fail, in his quest for democracy,
Fighting for the rights of the oppressed against hypocrisy.

His armour was truth, honesty and simplicity,
In his struggle for freedom and liberty,
The word "tired" in his vocabulary could not be found,
Nor could chains and bars or prison doors be bound.

He was a man for all seasons and all people,
In the towns and countryside to all he was so gentle,
We loved him, we trusted him, we shared his vision,
He was a man endowed with an unfailing mission.

In the history books, amongst them he will be,
This son, father and hero of the Nation, Dr, C.B.
When death took hold of his hand he turned and said,
Everything will be all right, so the message read.

To the great beyond our hero has gone,
His thoughts and dreams of global world peace will dawn,
When all begin to see the light, the way Cheddi did see,
A better world for all, especially for you and me.

Salute to our hero Dr. Cheddi

© Yasoda Badunauth-Cullen 1999


Following Cheddi's Example by Kasinauth Jagnarain (Ankerville, January, 2002)

A true national hero,
Selfless and fearless,
Honest and matchless,
Thoughtful and peaceful,
Dedicated his life span
To free his native land
From the jail of poverty,
From the jail of mental slavery.
Can we follow his example?
Yes, we can!

A unique political icon,
A political conqueror,
A conqueror
By intellect,
A conqueror
By noble deeds,
A conqueror
Of hearts.
Can we follow his example?
Yes, we can!

His was a life
Embracing ideals
Embracing morality
Embracing truth and justice.
Can we follow his example?
Yes, we can!

At the sight of the poor
Cheddi's heart bled,
He rushed to their call
And did what was right.
Can we follow his example?
Yes, we can!

His reigning achievements
Bespeak his eminence.
Cheddi has gone
But his memory lives on.
Can we follow his example?
Yes, we can!

© Kasinauth Jagnarain 1999


United and Free by Wendell George

For full fifty years you strode through
The political arena,
Always on the move, leading by example,
The finest anyone can follow,
You believed in human decency and struggled
For a people to be united and free,
In a land where everyone can say
This is my home, I am happy,
Peace, progress and prosperity your achievements
Are there for all to see,
Whenever men meet to discuss Guyana they will
Talk of your greatness, Cheddi.

© Wendell George


 Time to Rest by Kathy Esquivel

He fulfilled his mission
This man who stood tall
In any company.

He was a warrior
And yet a man without hate
In words or deeds.

He was an intellectual
Who never forgot his roots
In the cane fields.

He championed the oppressed
But spoke to kings and presidents
Without rancour.

He was wedded to humanity
A man who deeply loved his family
And his champion, his wife.

Cheddi needs no elaborate monument,
This man whose life was an act of faith.
Time to rest at last.

© Kathy Esquivel


Gone But Never Forgotten by Saywack Singh

Death, oh death, why do you have to come at this time,
To grab from us a Lord so honest and divine,
In his veins run the waters of a nation,
Which he has built with true love and dedication

The world has lost a statesman and heaven gains a companion
In the person of a leader whom many see as their champion,
Never tired, he's always fighting for justice and equality,
His dream was to see his people live in peace and unity.

Death, oh death, you have taken a legend and gone is our warrior,
He has spent his life to overcome the biggest barrier,
Standing firm against the bondage of imperialism,
Cheddi Jagan was the one to free us from oppressive colonialism.

Today we think of a father and his passing we regret,
Yes, to his people he promised his own blood and sweat,
But his journey on earth has now come to an end,
Brothers and sisters, his struggle is for us to defend.

Death, oh death, your pain is severe, the sun is now dark,
Gone is our beacon, but he has left his mark,
On the sands of time his memories we'll forever cherish,
His undone work we'll continue, it will never perish.

His country he walked, his people were his treasure,
He took their grief, he had no time for pleasure,
Now with the angels he sits, yet looks upon us all,
Everything will be alright, Guyana will never fall.

Death, oh death, why do you have to come so soon,
To take our light and brilliance of the moon,
Even the trees are still and the bird's seem to say,
As he will tell us –Carry on comrades, democracy is here to stay.

 © Saywack Singh


Requiem for Cheddi Jagan by Jan Carew


Dr. Jagan's cremation at Babu John

The river, amber-tinted by the rains,
garlands the falling tide with water hyacinths
and sings requiems for him on his way home
to ricefields and savannahs and bitter-sweet
where refrains of suffering still echoed in the wind
and streams veining forests and a maracage
flowed in time to the rhythms of rebellious hearts.
They laid him on a funeral pyre
and north-east Trades
gusting down corridors of Atlantic tides
touched his embalmed face
while lashing winds and rain
transformed prayer flags to Shiva
into red banners of his pristine dream
that the torment of the poor and the despised
must be redeemed forever.
His eves were closed
the orisons of priests
echoed across plumed arrows of the caneflelds
but showers of sparks rained down upon the mourners
reminding them
that deep inside the swaddling cotton shroud
was a dauntless heart of fire
and fire is never timid when it bonds with the winds of time.
Riversong and windsong
rhythms of rain
drumming on his funeral pyre
and a Swami and his acolytes cantoring poem-hymns
sang requiems for him at Port Mourant and home.
But showers of sparks and burning embers
fanned by an insurgent wind
deluged the bereaved, warning them
that hearts of fire never rest in peace
that embers hissing in the rain
can always burst into agile flames again and again
and leap as high as stars.
When a host of mourners melted in the mothering dark
the fire's glow brightened the night
and starlight jewelled dewdrops on petals of wild flowers,
a watchman of dayclean swore
that ancestor Acabre had come
in the witching hour
to greet a kindred spirit of fire.
"Look out for them," the watchman said,
"for from this day onwards,
the two, ever vigilant,
with their fearless mothers beside them
will walk hand-in-hand from Waini Point to Akari
Orealla to Roraima
I tell you, they'll make sure
that we unite
to realise their undying dreams."

© Jan Carew


The Orange Tree by Churaumanie Bissundyal
(Dedicated to the late Cheddi Jagan for his contribution to World Peace)

If I were to live my life again,
I choose to be an orange tree,
a bearing tree bristled with spikes of thorns
cultured amidst boughs and blooms
and tailored into symmetry
that my flowers seduce birds and bees
to revel in my nectar perfumed
that my fruits hanging in peace
between charity and pain
soothe the famished beggar seeking his day.

Then, if all the world should dream like me
to be an orange tree,
their prejudice subdued,
passions pruned into tolerance,
violence silenced
vowing patronage for the weak and poor,
their greed smothered
seeking kindness for the hungry in despair,
what a world of love it would be
in this my beauty of an orange tree.

© Churaumanie Bissundyal


Cruel Death by David A. Mortley

Like a thief,
You struck a cruel blow.
Like the grim reaper that you are,
You mowed a precious life,
Destroyed the dreams of a nation.
Oh cruel death,
You are heartless,
You robber of happiness,
You left us numb,
With pain and grief.
You have created a void,
By destroying a kind soul,
Our tears will flow,
Our world will collapse,
But you will move on...
Having collected another gem.

  © David A. Mortley