|Isahak Basir, CCH
Former Member of Parliament, Guyana
Isahak Basir was a Guyanese politician, historian, and former Member of Parliament.
Early life and education
Isahak Basir was born on 18 September 1935 in Jacklow, a small, well-known village in the Lower Pomeroon River, Guyana. He later settled on the Essequibo Coast as an adult. He received his primary education at the Jacklow Anglican Primary School and, after sitting the School Leaving Examination at age 14, he went to the coast to attend a private secondary school. Just before he sat the Junior Cambridge Examinations, the school that he attended closed and he subsequently did a General Certificate in Education programme offered by Bennett College in the United Kingsom. During that programme, he learned the Geography of the British Empire, as well as English, Mathematics and Drama. Upon completion, he returned to his home village where he engaged in farming, cultivating coconut and ground provision.
After marrying Sabra Karim, they moved to Boeraserie, West Coast Demerara where he worked at the Uitvlugt Distillery in the early 1960s as an Assistant Distiller.
After he moved back to Jacklow, he got involved with Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s Party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He travelled to Russia and Europe for training and chaperoned young political students.
He also represented his party in various meetings around the world. He was then PPP Organizer for the County of Essequibo. In 1975, Basir and his family moved to Hampton Court where he resided up to the time of his death.
An attempt on his life was made at Adventure Stelling on 26 June 1976. He was shot five times; he survived.
Basir first became a Member of the National Assembly on the 18 January 1977 and continued working, until the Third Parliament was dissolved on the 25 October 1980. During that period, he served as the agriculture shadow minister. He was again elected to be a Member of the National Assembly on the 28 December 1980 and worked in the Fourth Parliament until it was dissolved on the 31 October 1985. He was re-elected on the 24 December 1985 and continued working in the Fifth Parliament until on 3 March 1991, when he ceased to be a Member of the National Assembly.
In 1991, he was the first and only person to be expelled from Parliament for removing the Ceremonial Mace and pelting a drinking glass as protest actions against the speaker.
On the 10 December 1992, Basir was appointed Chairman of the National Congress of Local Democratic Organs. He continued to work in that Organ until he ceased to be Chairman on the 31 May 2001.
He also managed 1,500 acres of rice lands in the Burma, East Coast Demerara for the Libyan Government.
Honours and awards
He was awarded the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH) in 1994 for his work in politics and social work.
Isahak Basir was married to Sabra Karim and was the father of six children.
Isahak Basir died on 1 February 2019 at his Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast residence. He was 84. His funeral service held at his Hampton Court residence, Region Two, on Wednesday, 6 February 2019. His body was laid to rest at Lima Sands Cemetery.