first_imgThe University of Guyana (UG) will be conferring honorary doctorates on four outstanding Guyanese from various fields, naming a female activist and a business tycoon among the recipients.Leading the list of nominees is business magnate Yesu Persaud; Indigenous rights activist and Governance and Rights Coordinator at Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) Laura George; acclaimed singer Eddy Grant and philanthropist Jay Sobhraj.UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith made the announcement on his Facebook page.“Yesterday (Monday) occurred another milestone in the journey along Renaissance Road, when the Academic Board approved my petition to confer honorary doctorates on four outstanding Guyanese – the first time UG will beYesu Persaudbestowing this honour,” Griffith wrote.An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university or any other degree awarding institution has waived the usual requirements. The degree is typically a doctorate or, less commonly, a master’s degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education.Persaud was born in 1928 at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara, and started his first job as assistant to the assistant rat catcher at a sugar plantation. He went to England to study and learnt accounting before returning home to join the public service as an inspector of taxes.He was instrumental in the changeover of Bookers into the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). He joined Demerara Liquors Limited and Demerara Sugar Company and transformed them into DDL. He then pioneered the El Dorado brand rum, the Demerara Bank Limited, Diamond Fire and General Insurance Inc, and the Guyana Trust Company Limited. He is also the Chairman and the drivingEddy Grantforce behind Demerara Bank Limited; the first indigenous Private Sector bank.Recognising his stellar contribution, the University of Warwick granted Persaud an honorary doctorate for his work in helping in the restoration of democracy in Guyana in 1992, plus his skills as a businessman in making El Dorado into a quality world brand and the creation of Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED).He is the recipient of several national and international awards, inclusive of the Gandhi Organisation Plaque, the Cacique Crown of Honour, the Glory of India Award and the Certificate of Excellence by the India International Friendship Society in 2005. One year later, in 2006, he would receive the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his outstanding contributions to business and Indian history and culture.Grant was born in 1948 at Plaisance, East Coast Demerara. In 1965, Grant formed ‘The Equals’, playing guitar and singing background vocals, and the band had two hit albums and a minor hit with the single “I Get So Excited” before having a number one hit in 1968 with his self-penned song “Baby Come Back”. The tuneLaura Georgealso topped the UK Singles Chart in 1994, when covered by Pato Banton, featuring Robin and Ali Campbell of the reggae group UB40. ‘The Equals’ had five further top 40 hits in the UK up to the end of 1970. The Baby Come Back album featured a song by Grant titled, “Police on My Back” which was recorded by the Clash for their 1980 album Sandinista! Willie Nile released his version of “Police on My Back” on his Streets of New York CD. The Equals’ song “Green Light”, co-written by Grant, from their 1968 album Supreme, was recorded by the Detroit Cobras, for their 2007 album, Tied & True. Grant also sang hit single “Electric Avenue.”According to his profile, Jay Sobhraj is the sixth of 10 children, who rigorously pursued his education.In 1966, he was among the first in his family to graduate with a secondary education from Kitty Progressive College. He then went to the Guyana Technical College and completed his certificate there in 1968. He moved to England and registered for a degree in mechanical engineering.While pursuing his degree, he took on several menial jobs including dishwashing, pumping gas and just about any other part-time job that was available. In 1972, heJay Sobhrajgraduated and began working at several industrial companies and in 1975 he got married and moved back to Guyana where he worked for the Guyana Bauxite Company.After an economic downturn in Guyana, Sobhraj applied for a job in the Middle East and began working in Abu Dhabi as a mechanical engineer for a large petrochemical company. In 1988, he returned to New York to work with George and Ken at Zara Realty Holding Company.Laura George expressed her appreciation for the honour via her social media page.last_img

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