Sam was born in Golconda Village in Trinidad and Tobago. Passing on an acceptance to medical school in 1966, he was the first in his village to leave the country. Sam moved to Canada, initially settling in Montreal to attend what is now Concordia University. A year later he transferred to the University of Western Ontario and became the first in his family to obtain a degree.
Sam had two passions in life: his family and cricket. While at university, Sam asked the love of his life for her hand in marriage, but was initially rejected. He immediately flew to Trinidad, not to ask for Lenore's hand, but to advise her mother he was taking her daughter to Canada.
Lenore and Sam did marry, and enjoyed 43 loving years together. Settling permanently in London, Ont., they raised their two sons, Mark and Michael.
Sam was both a loyal Trinidadian and Canadian, and embodied the very best of both cultures. He worked for the federal government for 35 years.
He was a fierce advocate for cricket, "the gentleman's game." Described by some as the best cricketer to come out of Trinidad, Sam played for UWO, the Forest City Cricket Club, the Southern Ontario Cricket Association and the Ontario Cricket Association.
He was president and captain of the London Cricket Club for many years, once playing India's national team. In that match, Sam took the wicket of all-time great Kapil Dev and finished the game with a massive six off bowler Ravi Shastri, another international star.
Sam coached countless players, mentoring them on and off the field. Beyond cricket, he engaged in soccer, boxing and car slalom racing with varying degrees of success.
His sons were once told (to Sam's chagrin) that he'd played soccer for South Trinidad. He hadn't been good enough to secure a spot on the touring team, but was an alternate. On the way to a game in Guyana, the goalkeeper took sick and Sam convinced the team he had sufficient skill to be put in net. His efforts that day were less than spectacular, leading to a 12-1 loss for the Trinidadian team. After the terrific night of partying that followed, the team sent him home.
Since his death, many stories have emerged about Sam's generosity of spirit. His tenants say he periodically bought groceries for them when money was tight at month's end. One family credits Sam with saving two lives. Decades ago, he saved a young girl who'd fallen into a river during a cricket match, the daughter of one of his teammates. Despite being unable to swim, Sam had jumped in. That beautiful young girl grew up to save the life of her own father through kidney donation.
Sam was a well-loved man. We will miss him terribly.
Mark Mohan and Susan Nickle are Sam's son and daughter-in-law.