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Books of condolence opened for Debbie Backer

PNCR Leader David Granger signs the Book of Condolence at Congress Place.

The People’s National Congress Reform has opened a book of condolence in honour of former executive Deborah Backer at Congress Place, Sophia.

It was launched Monday at the party headquarters following a news conference where the party leadership shared their recollections of the former parliamentarian and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

“I treasured her advice at the professional level because she was very painstaking; many people refer to her humorous behaviour in the National Assembly but she was a very serious woman, she was very serious about her work and that was the reason why we had recommended her to be elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly,” PNCR Leader David Granger said.

He added that while Backer was not a “flag-waving feminist” she was very concerned about human rights and particularly interpersonal violence.

“She was deadly serious about eradicating interpersonal violence and particularly protecting women and children,” Granger stated.

PNCR executive Volda Lawrence noted that Backer had also been her attorney and disclosed that she had done “hundreds of pro bono cases” for women.

“In the political arena I will remember her for her openness, her frankness and also the strength and the effort which she placed on women being in the forefront.”

Meanwhile, PNCR General Secretary Oscar Clarke recalled Backer’s fiery presence on the campaign hustings and her work at the grassroots level.

“Debbie understood politics and understood politics meant working at the grassroots, knocking on doors and meeting people in the street and she exemplified that wherever she worked for the party, so much so that party members held her in very high esteem generally,” he said.

 The party also plans to open books of condolence at its locations across the regions. A night of reflections on the life of Backer is to be held at the West Demerara Secondary School Tuesday night while the party will host a wake at the Backers’ residence Thursday night.

The Deputy Speaker’s funeral is scheduled for Friday and will be preceded by a public viewing at the Parliament Building forecourt before moving across to the St. Andrew’s Kirk Anglican Church for the service.