PRESS RELEASE People’s National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana. Friday 9 May 2008

The People’s National Congress Reform wishes to express its sorrow at the passing of one of its founding members and Minister, in the then PNC led Government, Mr. Neville James Bissember, CCH, at the age of 80. Accordingly, the Party tenders its condolences to his wife, Mary, and the immediate Bissember family.

Mr. Neville Bissember, who was born on the Corentyne, attended Berbice High School after which he proceeded to England for legal studies. After his return to Guyana, and having established himself as an Attorney-at-Law, he joined the People’s National Congress at the time when the then British Guiana was going through political and economic turmoil. At this time in the history of the PNCR, Neville Bissember won the admiration of a significant cross section of the society for his political ground work in the Campbellville area and his ability to articulate the policies and programmes of the Party in public speeches across the country. Indeed, it would be true to say that Bissember was one of the more attractive speakers at this period who could season his orations with both humour and solid facts.

It was therefore no surprise that after the PNC had successfully opposed the then PPP Government between 1961 and 1964, he was selected to be a member of the PNC delegation to the several independent conferences which heralded in the formal accession to Independence in 1966. The Party wishes to note in particular that Neville Bissember was the PNC representative on the Legal Committee of the last Independence Conference, which drafted the Constitution for an Independent Guyana.

Mr. Neville Bissember became a senior Minister of the first post independence Cabinet of Guyana and in addition served as Leader of the House of Assembly. He was Deputy Prime Minister and held the important Ministries of Housing and Reconstruction, Information and Trade. However, by 1970 Neville Bissember elected to resign from the Government and took up the position of Chairman of The Guyana Telecommunications Corporation. He subsequently resumed his law practice and retired from that area of endeavour in 2004.

It is therefore fitting that the PNCR should place on record its appreciation and gratitude for the services rendered by Mr. Neville Bissember to both the Party and the Government of the day. The Party also wishes to record its appreciation for the sound advice and wise counsel he gave at critical moments in the history of this country, especially during the decade of the 60’s.

This obituary will not be complete without an acknowledgement of the sacrifices which Mr. Neville Bissember and his family made during his period of active service to the Party and country which we remember at this time with gratitude.

May His Soul Rest in Peace!

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Friday 9 May 2008