His Life

Family Life

Sam Sahoy was born on the 12th of May 1928 in Aurora, Essequibo Coast in Guyana, South America. He had four siblings, met the love of his life, Doreen Paulsingh, at the age of sixteen and married on the 11th of August 1949. Prior to moving to London, England to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer, he had four children; Amorette, Yvette, Amelita, and Ouveta. A decade later, his fifth and youngest daughter, Neraun, was born.

Over the next 50 years, four of Sam’s daughters had children of their own, which became his prized grandchildren, named Nalini, Chris, Ellisha, Duane, Kerina, Jason, Justin and Brittney.His grandchildren had children of their own which became his precious great grandchildren, named Krystalle, Katherina, Samual, Talia, and Georgia.In addition, Sam has two Macaw Parrots named Robb and Coo, which traveled with him from Guyana and fostered in Canada by him and his youngest daughter.

Sam is preceded in death by his four siblings, his wife Doreen, and his eldest daughter Amorette.

Career Life

In January 1958, Sam boarded a ship bound for London, England to pursue studies at the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. In April 1960, he graduated as a Barrister-at-Law and was called to both the English Bar and the Guyana Bar a month later in May. Sam was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II for achieving his LLB in record-setting time whilst supporting four children back home in the Commonwealth of Guyana.

In May 1960, Sam returned to Guyana where he commenced his first practice and appeared in all the various levels of Courts for both contentious and non-contentious matters. Over this eight-year period, he was appointed to a number of prestigious positions within his community: Chairman of the Suddie Hospital Committee, Essequibo (1962); Governor of the Gibson Fischer Government School, Essequibo (1962); Justice of the Peace & Commissioner of the Oaths To Affidavits, Guyana (1964); and Chairman of the Rice Assessment Committee, Guyana (1968)

In 1968, Sam was appointed Magistrate of the Georgetown Judicial District and Magistrate of the Interior Courts; these appointments were considered to be one of the highest in the judicial system, equivalent to a Provincial Superior Court Judge, in Canada, where he would eventually settle with his wife, five daughters, and first granddaughter, Nalini.

Circa 1970, Sam made a difficult decision to emigrate to Canada and leave behind an illustrious career during the chaos of the Forbes Burnham government. Burnham was regarded as a ‘strongman’ who embraced his own version of socialism based on autocratic and nationalistic policies. Burnham ruled Guyana from 1964 until his death in 1985, a period marred by repeated accusations of Afro-supremacy, state-sanctioned violence, electoral fraud, and corruption.

That year, Sam settled in Canada and was employed by numerous corporations as in-house Counsel between 1972 and 1978.And in 1979, he simultaneously attended McGill University and the University of London to complete his studies in law. In 1981, Sam achieved an LLB from both universities and added a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University which opened his doors to practicing law in Quebec.

In 1982, Sam was called to the Ontario Bar and subsequently called to the Jamaican Bar in 1984. Between 1982 and 1996, he managed a General Law Practice for Civil, Family, Criminal, Real Estate, and Immigration Law, employing two junior solicitors and a support staff of eight. Sam appeared before the Federal Courts of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada, Ontario Court (General Division), Appellate Courts, and various Administrative Tribunals before closing his practice due to medical reasons.

Throughout his career, Sam held himself and his family to the highest standard of the law, fought against injustices for thousands of clients, and protected their constitutional rights and freedoms. He had a particular enthusiasm for Immigration Law and took on countless Pro-Bono cases for immigrants and refugees fleeing their homeland to start a new life in Canada. This was his way of giving back to the global and local communities in which he served with great pride!

End of Life

Leading up to his final days, whilst living at a long-term care facility in Markham from mid-2018 to 2020, Sam's health and medical condition quickly deteriorated. Sam would sustain regular falls, injuries and bruising to his appendages whilst under the care of the facility.  His family had inquired and made several complaints about the quality of care that Sam and other residents were receiving with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, but such calls went unanswered.

In February 2020, the news of a global pandemic, COVID-19, swept across Canada and killed thousands of vulnerable senior citizens in long-term care homes. Around the same time, Sam’s immediate family installed a surveillance camera in Sam’s room to monitor his health and safety. Within days, a horrifying discovery had been made; the surveillance camera caught a personal care worker stealing Sam’s evening snack then feeding him the balance using the same spoon she had just used to feed herself, during a time of rapid infection of the COVID-19 virus.

Shortly after, during the lock-down of all long-term care facilities across Canada, the family refused to allow Sam to die alone in what would surely be his death sentence. His family called for immediate action, removing Sam from the long-term care facility on legal grounds, so that he could live out his final days with loving family. Sam was moved from the facility on the 24th of March 2020 and quarantined with his daughter and great granddaughter during the global pandemic, at their residence in Markham, Ontario.

Twenty-eight days later, at approximately 10:45 am on the 21st of April 2020, Sam finally succumbed of natural causes, at the young age of 91. He was not alone, did not suffer, and got the privilege to say ‘goodbye’ to a few members of his immediate family.

At the time of this writing, Covid-19 is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of senior citizens globally, who never stood a chance to say ‘goodbye’ to anyone.

Sam was a firm believer in Natural Law, inspired by Civil Rights Leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who said::

“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”

  • Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)