‘A local hero’- Education Specialist Olato Sam laid to rest


For many he was seen as a hero not only for his contribution to the education sector but his impact on their lives.

One who balances work and leisure effortlessly, placed the needs of others before himself, a karaoke lover and a local hero – that was how Education Specialist, Olato Sam was remembered as tributes poured from family members and friends, during a viewing at the Merriman’s funeral parlor at Bent Street, Georgetown, on Saturday.

Dressed in black and white, outfitted with green ribbons and a pin bearing his picture, mourners gathered in their numbers to pay their final respects to Sam.

The former Chief Education Officer was struck by a stray bullet on August 4 (Photo: News Room/August 19, 2023)

“…He was one of the persons who you can talk with whenever you had any problem…He was the person who will notice you even when you decide not to notice him…He encouraged you when you think you had no hope,” a colleague of Sam shared as she fought to hold back tears.

Apart from his professional life during which he contributed significantly to the educational sector, most of Sam’s leisure time was spent with those who were dear to him, particularly his friends.

Their fond memories with him are those spent liming together, especially during his karaoke sessions, which was a norm.

“Condolences to the education fraternity on the loss of a giant. Condolences to humanity on the loss of a man who taught of others before himself in many ways,” a friend of Sam said.

Meanwhile, for his family, they are still trying to come to grips with his sudden death.

Education Specialist, Olato Sam’s, coffin is being escorted to Soesdyke (Photo: News Room/August 19, 2023)

“…I am still reeling with shock from Dr Olato Sam’s sudden and tragic death…Sam, as we all called him, was truly an extraordinary individual who showed brilliance in every capacity…With him gone, visiting Guyana would not be the same. The limes wouldn’t have the same vibes and karaoke would be missing his voice and style,” a relative said.

Following the two-hour viewing, the funeral procession was escorted to the St Mary’s Anglican Church at Soesdyke for a funeral service followed by burial at the Soesdyke ceremony.

The former Chief Educational Officer was struck by a stray bullet on August 4. At the time, he was hanging with his friends at a bar on the Plaisance Railway Embankment, East Coast Demerara. Sam leaves to mourn his parents, grandmother, wife and children.

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