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Harry Basil Hinds

Harry Basil Hinds was a former Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard and Commandant of the Guyana People’s Militia. He joined the QCCC at the age of 15 years and entered the GDF as an officer cadet in 1966, attended Mons Officer Cadet School (MOCS) in the UK in March 1966, wining the appointment of Under Officer (UO).

He was the first officer to attend the Mortar Officers’ course at the School of Infantry, UK (1967); the first officer to attend the Support Company Commanders’ Course at Netheravon, UK (1970); the first Officer to qualify as a parachutist at Abingdon, UK (1968); and was only the Second GDF officer to attend the Junior Command and Staff Course at Warminster, UK (1971).  As a result of this qualification, he was able to join the Training Corps to conduct the first formal junior and senior staff courses.  He was later to attend the Army Staff Course at Camberly, UK (1984) and the Civil-Military Strategy for Internal Development Course in Florida, USA (1995).

Harry Hinds was the founder, and the first Commanding Officer, of the GDF Coast Guard.  From 1974, he undertook the Herculean task of trying to establish a maritime base by reconstructing the old BG Airways amphibious aircraft ramp at Ruimveldt, while the national economy had started its slide.

Although trained as a ground force officer, he became involved in the administration of the small Marine Wing while serving as the Adjutant of the 1st Infantry Battalion in the Camp Ayanganna where the Force’s few sailors then lived.  His greatest contribution to the Force and the country was to transform the Marine wing into an effective Coast Guard.

Harry Hinds was also the first military commissioner of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).  He helped to design systems for the Commission and chaired the committee which was engaged in negotiating the World Bank loan for the Guyana El Nino Emergency Assistance Project.

Born on 7th October, 1946, Harry Hinds’s lifelong passion for military matter found expression in maritime defence, especially information systems, analysis and enforcement.  He was saddened by the smuggling, narco-trafficking, piracy, pollution and poaching taking place in Guyana’s territorial waters fishery and economic zones.

He was awarded the Military Service Medal (MSM); Efficiency Medal; Boarder Defence Medal; Independence Medal and Military Commemoration Medal.  Military worth, though, is, a measure of ideas and it is for ideas, not awards, that he will be remembered.

Harry Hinds retired in 2000 and died in January 2003.

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