Ignatius Charles Gunraj
Ignatius Charles Gunraj was born in Vreed en Hoop, British Guiana (now Guyana) on March 27, 1925 to Theresa Samuels and Cyril Gunraj. His sister Celles, was born 2 years later. Known as Charles (or Charlie Boy to some), he enjoyed travelling to places where the sun shined and where he could walk on the sandy beaches.
When he was just three years old, Charles mother tragically passed away in childbirth, along with his twin siblings. Life was not easy for Charles after his mother passed away. Despite his difficult and turbulent childhood, Charles was able to rise above it and lead a long and prosperous life. He had ambition and an adventurous nature, which led him to the doorstep of Mary Agnes Ramsaran, whom he married in Guyana on August 1, 1948.
Charles was a hard-worker who wanted to provide the best possible life for his family. He emigrated to England in 1959 and after four years of working and saving, he was able to buy a four-storey home and bring his wife and six children from Guyana to join him. Together, Charles and Mary Agnes worked hard to provide for and raise their now seven children.
Charles was married to Mary Agnes (known as Ismay to many) for fifty-one years before she passed away on August 3, 1999. Fortunately, they were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary the year before, where they both tried to outshine each other in their fancy outfits. Instead, they complemented each other and shined radiantly together.
Charles is survived by his seven children: Susanna, Elizabeth, Paul, Rohan, Margaret, Richard, and Ernest; his eight grandchildren: Stephen, Dawn, Joanna, Andrea, Antony, Nicholas, Kelby, and Caleb; his two great-grandchildren Melissa and Michael; his son-in-law Raymon; his daughters-in-law Liza and Peggy-Gail, and his grandchildren-in-law Sean, Vidya, and Martin.
Charles will be greatly missed and remembered for his long life (92 years to be exact). Although he became tired and weak towards the end, his mind remained sharp and he still saw the funny side of life, often laughing at his own jokes. He said he wanted to be remembered for how strong and independent he was, which is why we will end with the poem ‘Remember’.
Fill not your hearts with pain and sorrow,
but remember me in every tomorrow.
Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles,
I’ve only gone to rest a little while.
Although my leaving causes pain and grief,
my going has eased my hurt and given me relief.
So dry your eyes and remember me, not as
I am now, but as I used to be.
Because, I will remember you all and
look on with a smile.
Understand, in your hearts, I’ve only gone
to rest a little while.
As long as I have the love of each of you,
I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.
Ignatius Charles Gunraj
Forever in Our Hearts
1925 - 2017