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The name of the Parliamentary Library at Public Buildings, Georgetown was changed on Friday to honour Mr. Frank A Narain, who is the longest-serving Clerk of the National Assembly. The facility is now called the Frank A Narain Parliamentary Library.
Narain, who served in the position for 36 years, has made invaluable contributions to parliamentary democracy in the country.
The library is the hub of the Parliament and part of the research division of the Parliament Office.
During the simple ceremony at the Public Buildings, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud said Narain has provided innumerable expert contributions to Guyana.
“Narain has not only been serving this Parliament with distinction and the repository of information and knowledge when it comes to parliamentary practices and procedures. He has taken the effort to compile so much that we, as the newer parliamentarians learn and look back at our history,” she emphasised.
The minister noted that everyone can look forward to the hybrid system of digital services and mounds of paper found in every library.
“We’ll be happy to go through that of the past and current events…everything that we do in the National Assembly becomes carved in our history at one time or another. And the library will house those important documents that chronicle everything that we say and do in this House,” the minister noted.
Plaques were presented to former Speakers of the National Assembly including Raphael Trotman, Dr Ralph Ramkarran, Dr Barton Scotland, and current speaker, Manzoor Nadir.
The naming ceremony forms part of several activities to commemorate 70years of parliamentary democracy.
“We have 70 years of parliamentary democracy and 70 years of challenges with many hurdles that are the successes. And the parliamentary library is one of the successes…So, our democracy is a work in progress. Our library is the storehouse of all that we have done and other parliamentary democracy, ” Nadir stated.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Khemraj Ramjattan expressed similar sentiments about the renaming exercise. He encouraged parliamentarians to make full use of the book room which contains invaluable information.
Additionally, Narain extended gratitude to everyone who has helped him during and after his time as a clerk. He also lauded the event as “the greatest honour in his 91 years.”
In 1992, Narain wrote a letter to then President, the late Dr Cheddi Jagan requesting an entire public building to be made available to be utilised by the Parliament Office.
It was decided that Public Buildings will be made available for parliamentary matters only and that the clerk of the National Assembly will have administrative control.
Narain’s position as deputy clerk was made public on May 25, 1966, the day before the nation attained independence.
In September 1966, that appointment went into effect, and he was appointed Clerk of the National Assembly, a position he held until 2002 when he retired.