Remembering Archdeacon William Oscar Agard, Snr. (1924-2017)

  • Friday, 20 October 2017 12:03

I once referred to him as a Senior Statesman back then when a young Guyana was unraveling itself from its former colonial past, and hastily distancing itself from terms and titles that kept our political, economic, and social structures unbalanced for so long. He smiled, and that was rare. I don't know to this day if the smile meant that he approved of the colonial platitude I uttered, so I decided it would be 'Mr. Agard' from that time forward. Mr. Agard had a quiet strength about him; I never heard him raise his voice but he maintained a monotone like no other with which he captured an audience of one, two, or a hundred.

I recalled in one of our conversations where he chose to focus on human-rights, and he opined that those rights were not truly defined if not supported by a capitulation of common values such as the right to one's dignity, decency, privacy, and unfettered truth. Yet again, on another of our one-on-one occasions I sensed that we varied on the question of leadership. By this time I am acutely aware of his ability to poetically dismantle all of my inexactitudes, and he ended this brief discourse by saying – one cannot lead, where one has not gone.

I was 'relatively' young when Mr. Agard retired from a successful career as Permanent Secretary in the Government of Guyana to answer a higher call to stewardship in the Anglican Diocese as an ordained Deacon and Priest. I did not see, nor did I understand the value of such a transition until I read his book – 'Called to be More', and realized that the transition crystalized his faith in God and his obedience and desire to work for the highest power of all. In his manuscript, W.O. Agard Snr seems to tell his story through the combined souls of other senior members of the Clergy, yet speaks with a boldness of his own sense of consciousness and truth-telling that made him a steadfast and uncompromising witness to the gaps that existed between theology and secularism at the time. There are no words that could justifiably describe this distinguished Son of Guyana; I therefore, could only wish we all had met him and benefited from his wisdom as I did.

On behalf of the Cambridge Academy Alumni Association International, along with my personal condolences, we extend our heart-felt sympathies to our Alumni brother Junior Agard and all members of the Agard family, knowing that Archdeacon WO. Agard, Senior is resting peacefully in heaven in a place God has prepared for his chosen elite.

Submitted by Dr. Aubrey F. Bentham
Director of Special Projects - CAAAI

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