PRESS RELEASE THE PASSING OF JEAN PERSICO People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana April 25, 2005

The People's National Congress Reform received the sad news of the passing of one of its dedicated activists, Jean Persico, A.A. and extends sincere sympathy to her entire family, friends and other organisations to which she belonged.

Jean Marjorie Gloria Persico, A.A., teacher, church worker, trade unionist, politician, women’s rights activist, former Minister of Government, Member of Parliament, Trustee and stalwart of the People's National Congress Reform died on Friday April 22, 2005 in New York after a short illness. 74 years old when she died, Jean Persico was the eldest member of a distinguished Guyanese family, which has given service to this nation in several important fields of endeavour.

During her active years as a teacher, Jean Persico took the motto of the Guyana Teachers’ Union “We mould the nation” to heart and did exactly that. Her dedication to the teaching profession and her concern for providing improved working conditions for her fellow teachers saw her moving up the ranks of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) to the position of President of the Women’s Affairs Committee of the GTU and then President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union. As a trade unionist, Jean Persico was a promoter of women’s rights. For her active role in the Trade Union movement, she was the recipient of the National Award, the Golden Arrow of Achievement (A.A.) in 1982.

When she entered the political arena after the 1985 elections, she was appointed Minister in the Ministry of Education, Social Development and Culture, under the late Vice President, Ms. Viola Burnham, in the Government of the People's National Congress, with the late Hugh Desmond Hoyte as President. There was the restructuring of the Public Service in the Hoyte administration in 1989 and Ms. Persico became Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture and Social Development. Later she served in the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security with responsibility for Women’s Affairs.

It was during this period that she worked closely with the Women’s Revolutionary Socialist Movement (WRSM), the Conference on the Affairs and Status of Guyana (CASWIG) and the Caribbean Womens’ Association (CARIWA). Jean Persico became active in the women’s arm of the Party rising to a member of the National Executive Committee of the National Congress of Women. She served on a number of sub-committees of the Party and at the time of her death was one of the Trustees of the People's National Congress Reform.

As a Party activist, Jean did consistent field work and her last area of assignment being in the Lodge area in collaboration with her colleague stalwart Sarah Johnson.

Always smiling and willing to take on any assignment she was indefatigable in pursuit of the Party’s goals. Even as she lay in bed in hospital she maintained continued interest in work of the Party and consistently enquired about progress. She was looking forward to her return to actively participate in the political campaign, but this was not to be.

The People's National Congress Reform, the National Congress of Women and indeed all Guyana have lost a dedicated Guyanese citizen in the person of Jean Marjorie Gloria Persico. She will be sadly missed.

The Leader of the People's National Congress Reform, the Members of the Central Executive Committee, and the entire membership of the Party extend deepest condolences to her sisters, Dr. Daphne Persico Ms. Desiree (Sheila) Gibson, her brothers Richard, Dr. Alan and Edward Persico and all relatives and friends.

May her soul rest in peace.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
April 25, 2005