Local politicians bid Guyana’s consul general farewell

Consul General of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly, celebrating Republic Anniversary last year in New York City.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Barbara Atherly, consul general of Guyana to New York, on Oct. 18, received a star-studded virtual Zoom farewell and end of tenure celebration, filled with touching, treasured memories, and celebrated with a viewing audience of more than 200 from across the globe.

The diplomat, during the occasion of praise, was described as a dynamic and ubiquitous presence in the diaspora, who brought Guyanese together in unity over the last four years, and honored with a Citation from Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

“It is truly an honor, a privilege, and pleasure to join in expressing our sincere gratitude to Barbara Atherly for her 4 years of dedicated leadership and service to the Guyanese community and the overall Caribbean community, by extension, said the New York representative, 9th Congressional District.”

Consul General Barbara Atherly with Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke at a 2019 Black Caucus at the State Capital building in Albany. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“During her tenure in the NY consulate, in addition to meeting the needs and addressing the concerns of Guyanese nations, she has been a leader among leaders, evidenced by her service as a former chair of the Caribbean Consular Corp, working with her colleagues to do likewise for Caribbean nationals throughout the Caribbean diaspora,” said Clarke.

Clarke called CG Atherly a consummate diplomat who had a distinguished career as an international public servant with the United Nations Children’s fund for 20 years.

“She has been a model consul general and has set a shining example for others to emulate. We were blessed to have been the beneficiaries,” said Clarke.

Against the backdrop of Guyana’s Golden Arrowhead flag, and patriotic renditions, Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, congratulated CG Atherly for a job well done, and honored her with a State Proclamation, on behalf of herself, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, and Sen. Brian A Benjamin.

“Thank you for the professionalism you have always shown in your capacity as consul general of Guyana in New York, I look forward to us continuing a relationship that we have had over the years.”

CG Atherly, called a trailblazer and phenomenal woman whose commitment to service and passion for excellence reinvigorated the community in New York and beyond, was praised by Guyana’s Ambassador to the US, Riyad Insanally.

“Your dedication to service was demonstrated by your continuous and infallible efforts to attend to the needs of our nationals, and to advance their cause to be repatriated,” he concluded.

Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN, Ambassador Rudolph M. Ten-Pow, enjoyed the excellent national events he celebrated together with CG Atherly.

“I admired how you served, and managed to stay composed, never losing your cool”, he said, recalling the many years of experience she had at the UN serving in Syria, Mozambique, Indian, and Afghanistan, and how you put all that experience in the disposal and served with dedication, professionalism, and love for your country,” said Ten-Pow. “I am proud to have been your friend and colleague.”

Barbados Consul General to NY and Chairman of the Consular Corp. O. Mackie Holder, described CG Atherly as informed, introspective, accomplished, amicable and esteemed, noting she was devoted to the CARICOM Consular Corp.

Consul General of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly, fourth from left, (front row) with Consulate staff at a 2018 Independence celebration at Brooklyn Borough Hall.  Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Other tributes came from Guyana Consulate Consul Beverly McDonald, GCA President, Dr. Vibert Cambridge, President of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Patricia Langford-Jordon, Michael Atherly Jr., Pearl Fraser, Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, John Mootooveren, Cheryl Tappin, Lourdeth Ferguson, Rozanna Ali Beaumont, Leroy Scotland, Mr.Eawan Devonish, and others.

Impressions Dance Theater, Zaman the International Dancer, saxophonist Flantis, Poet Dionne Glasgow-Douglas, and Kevin Lowe Steel solo, and Drumming ensemble, celebrated CG Atherly.

CG Atherly who received proclamations, citations and certificates from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, Senators Kevin Parker and Leroy Comrie, Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene and Adrienne Adams, the Guyanese American Law Enforcement Association, Guyana Heritage Foundation, among others, thanked the Tri-State elected officials for embracing the Guyanese community.

“Your representation generated programs, and policies to benefit the immigrant community, inclusive of the Guyanese Diaspora.”

“Thank you for keeping the consulate apprised of all developments that affected our people. Your support was always highly appreciated.”

“This period of ending coincides with my birthday, and creates the perfect opportunity for me to reflect on my life’s journey and more so these last four years of service to Guyana.”

“My parents instilled strong values in all their children, Michael, Noel, Verna, and Peter, enabling us, to give of our best. Education was of utmost importance. I am grateful to my dear husband Michael, our son Mike Jr. and his family,” said Atherly

She thanked the country heads, supervisors and colleagues at UNICEF. “Over the span of two decades, my career was shaped because you all helped me to refine my leadership skills,” she said.

The diplomat also thanked her sister, Verna Walcott-White, who executive produced the end of tenure celebration, Claire A. Goring, host and broadcaster Hugh Hamilton, Dr. Rose October, and the performing artistes and organizing officials of the program.

“I am proud of the efficiency, discipline, and adaptability demonstrated throughout this difficult pandemic. It has been a rewarding experience getting to know everyone, working together on a singular purpose. I hope that my time spent as the consul general improved the office and that I was able to lead in a way that imparted something of importance,” she said in her heartfelt message.

Consul General Barbara Atherly returned to Guyana on Oct. 22.

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