Hundreds bid farewell to Guyana Hero

December 13, 2023

“Above all, he was a patriot. He would lay down his life willingly in defence of Guyana…He undertook risky missions and he always acted out of a sense of duty…Michael Charles’ death has left a void in our nation. With a heavy yet grateful heart, we eternally echo his praises for the unwavering dedication he bestowed upon safeguarding our territorial integrity and sovereignty,”  President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali at the ceremony attended by hundreds of persons to mark farewell to Lieutenant Colonel, Michael Charles. The ceremony was held at his home in Timehri, East Bank Demerara, on Wednesday.

Col. Charles was the pilot of the helicopter which crashed a week ago in the dense jungle of Guyana, while on a mission to deliver supplies to troops. He served in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for some 40 years,

President Ali, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces described Charles as a brother, a friend, and a legend.

“Michael Charles was an extraordinary individual. He did ordinary things in extraordinary ways… I know Michael Charles personally; I consider him a brother. I listened to his wise counsel, [and] I marveled at the spectacular images that he produced with his camera,” President Ali stated. The head of state spoke of Charles’ outstanding photography skills, noting that his artwork will be mounted permanently in the National Museum in celebration of his life.

The president highlighted the exemplary service of the skilled aviator, in sharing his experiences, mentoring younger pilots, and saving lives. He also spoke of his kindness and generosity.

“I will carry you in my heart always Mike, may your spirit soar like an eagle and forever look down kindly upon us. Go forth in peace, enveloped in the love that we as a nation and I as your friend hold always for you. Thank you, Mike, for your service,” President Ali said as he bid farewell to the fallen hero.

Among several others paying tribute was Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, who expressed gratitude on behalf of the Amerindian people for the love and generosity he has shown.

Following the funeral service, the body of the legendary GDF pilot was flown to Georgetown for tributes at the Promenade Gardens, Middle Street.

Also in attendance were several government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, and Members of Parliament.

Scene from the Promenade Gardens
The body of Lieutenant Colonel, Michael Charles arrives at his home in Timehri on Wednesday
Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali bids farewell to Lieutenant Colonel, Michael Charles
Scene from the Promenade Gardens

Scene from the Promenade Gardens


Onlookers as the body of Lieutenant Colonel, Michael Charles arrived at his home on Wednesday