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Clarence Ellis (September 7, 1929 - April 17, 2010)

Clarence Ellis

Clarence F. Ellis, 80, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Guyana and Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission, who has also served as an Alternate Executive Director at the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for Guyana and other CARICOM countries, died April 17 in a hospital in Washington, DC, U.S.A., after a long illness. He lived in Bowie, Maryland, U.S.A.

Mr. Ellis was born in Queenstown, on the Essequibo Coast, the first of ten children of Samuel and Elsie Ellis. He received his early education at Queenstown primary school and attended Queens College on a government county scholarship. He taught for many years as a primary school teacher before leaving for England to study economics. He earned a Bachelor of Science (Economics) degree from the University of Leicester and a Master of Science (Economics) Degree in development economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). Midway in his career, Mr. Ellis undertook advanced studies in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S.A.

Mr. Ellis joined the Bank of Guyana as a senior economist immediately after graduating from LSE in 1967. He rose through the ranks to the post of Deputy Governor and served concurrently from 1978 to 1982 as Chairman of the State Planning Commission. In 1982, Mr. Ellis proceeded on leave to MIT where the focus of his study and research was the economics of developing countries. After eighteen months at MIT, Mr. Ellis went to the East Caribbean Central Bank in St Kitts as an economic adviser appointed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After four years in St Kitts, he was appointed Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank, moving on, after three years, to a similar post with the Inter American Bank (IDB). After leaving the IDB, Mr. Ellis worked as an international consultant for many years.

Mr. Ellis played a key role as a representative of Guyana in negotiations with the World Bank, the IMF and the IDB. He also travelled widely as a member of delegations in connection with bilateral negotiations with numerous countries. Over the years, he developed a reputation for selfless devotion to his work as a public servant, or as he preferred to say, to his work for his country. He also had a consuming interest in Caribbean integration and held very strong views on the evolving process as he saw it. His unconventional thinking on many issues clashed with the views and approaches that seemed to have currency in the region.

In a deep psychological sense, Mr. Ellis never left the village of Queenstown, the place of his birth. He saw himself as a villager and used every opportunity in his busy career to return to his roots. His burning ambition was to return to Queenstown to live out the concluding chapter of his life and apply his experience and knowledge towards the development of the community. Illness intervened to frustrate his plans.

His wife, Patricia Ellis, nee Moore, of 36 years died in 1999. Survivors include two sons: Gareth Ellis, who lived with him in Bowie, and Malcolm Ellis of Bethany, Connecticut; two daughters: Cyrine George of Georgetown and Saran Ellis, who lives in Zambia; two stepchildren: Compton Haynes and Pamela Haynes both of London, England; nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren; four brothers: Purves Ellis of Montreal, Canada, Dennis Ellis of Springdale, Maryland, David Ellis and Claude Ellis, both of Brooklyn, New York,; four sisters: Maude Williams of New Amsterdam, Berbice, Bernice Franklin of Queens, New York, and Gwendolyn Neblett of North Port, Florida.

Preceding Clarence in death are his sisters Berthnell Swan-Beckles and Noreen Ellis and brother Lloyd Ellis.

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