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TRIBUTE TO AINSLEY MARK By Cecil Paul

posted 22 Aug 2014, 05:51 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 22 Aug 2014, 05:52 ]
The late Ainsley Mark, former University of the West Indies lecturer and Dean has passed on. Ainsley Mark was also a well-respected partner of a major auditing firm and an advisor, tutor and friend to peoples’ organizations such as trade unions, the Steelband Movement and credit unions where he promoted the principles of proper accounting standards and accountability to members. 
 
Ainsley was steeled in the politics of the left progressive movement of the 1970’s and so understood his responsibility to educate workers so that we (workers) understand and change the financial system that was geared to serve the elite classes at the expense of working people. 
 
He always advocated that workers build their credit unions and make them the major institutions of workers financial transactions of savings and borrowings instead of high price loans and astronomical hire purchase charges. 

For many years he organized cultural events at his former school. He not only exposed new national talents but supported the education expenses of under-privileged working people’s children. 
 
Ainsley Mark at Bukka Rennie's book launch, August 2012.
My first close encounter with Ainsley Mark came in 1977. The late great George Weekes, then President General of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, had a passion and dream to create a cadre of “intellectual workers” to meet the challenges we faced in Trinbago of neo-liberal policies and increasing global exploitation of working people. 
 
Weekes also sought to reduce the dependence of the trade unions and other people’s organizations on opportunist professionals who used and are still using our unions as a springboard to launch their careers and then turn against working people when they gain prominence in their professions, businesses and political careers. 
 
Ainsley Mark, among others from the University, was recruited to achieve Weekes’ noble and forward thinking plan. Weekes wanted a high degree of self-reliance for the working class movement. He wanted working class leaders to have the capacity and knowledge to influence progressive and democratic policies in the interest of those who labour. Ainsley Mark’s work proved that he was in sync with George Weekes’ dream. 

It was in that setting of a workers school of learning in 1977 that others and I got our lectures from the late Ainsley Mark. He tutored us rank and file workers on the Economics of the Financial System, Finance Capital Formations, the Class nature of the Financial System and the politics and laws which promoted the exploitation of workers Savings and Pension Funds being used by the ruling elites as Investment Funds while they sent their monies overseas. 
 
Ainsley Mark was an unassuming and humble progressive of the left. He not only tutored but also practised his responsibility to raise the knowledge and consciousness of working people in our country by assisting working peoples’ organizations. His was a commitment also made by departed champions of the left progressive movement like C.L.R James and George Weekes. 
 
Rest In Peace Comrade. You have made your contribution towards Peace, Bread, and Justice and to the educational advancement of working people in Trinbago.
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