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Faria is dead


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by ERIC SMITHALMOST everything he undertook he did passionately, whether it was sailing and fishing, journalism, or speaking out in defence of the voiceless.Norman Richard Faria, who passed away yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital following a brief illness, became a household name in recent years as he defended the interests of Guyanese in Barbados. Up to the time of his death, Faria, a Barbadian, was the Honorary Consul of Guyana.Keith Arno, president of the Guyana Association of Barbados Inc., said yesterday: “On behalf of the association, we regret the passing of Mr Faria. He was a strong advocate of Guyanese in Barbados,” adding that he was a loyal  representative of the Guyana government since he took up duties in 1992. His position often aggrieved many, but he stood his ground.Long before Government announced last year that it was moving to deal with the illegal Caribbean nationals resident here, Faria took a proactive position in defence of Guyanese in Barbados, whether legal or illegal. He spoke out publicly in their defence, even as he scolded many in private when they breached the law.Faria was a man who loved the sea and anything therein, with a special interest in sailing. He would sail from Barbados through the Grenadines and had a detailed understanding of the whalers which were used in the Eastern Caribbean.For many years he worked as a journalist, having been a freelance contributor to many papers, both in the region and in Canada. Long before the term photo-journalist was popular here, Faria was both writing stories and taking photographs.Faria, who lived in Canada for a while, had a sense of social justice and strong beliefs in standing up for what he believed in, which resulted in him beeing actively involved in local groups ranging from the Southern Africa Liberation Committee, the Movement for National Liberation, to Friends of Nicaragua.Officials from the foreign ministry in Guyana, who have been in touch with their local counterparts following Faria’s death, are expected to have representatives here by weekend. They will need to put things in place to ensure continuation of the service which he offered.Faria is survived by his wife Bibana; son Clement; and stepchildren, Janice, Simon and Jeremiah James.No date has as yet been announced for his funeral.