STATEMENT TO THE PRESS FROM THE FAMILY OF VIOLA BURNHAM
Broward County, Florida, Mrs. Viola Burnham, O.R., wife of the late Linden
Forbes Sampson Burnham, First Prime Minster and Executive President of the
Republic of Guyana, passed away in Florida on October 10, 2003 following a
short battle with cancer.
“Comrade Vi” as she was popularly known, was a former teacher of Latin. She
entered active politics in 1976 when she became a member of the Central
Executive and the leader of the women’s arm of the People’s National Congress.
Cde. Vi led Guyana’s delegation to two major world conferences on women,
Mexico (1975) and Denmark (1980).
In the late 80’s, she served as Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-President of
Education, Social Development & Culture. Cde. Vi later retired from public service
to pursue farming and her lifelong interests in painting and design.
She will always be remembered as a champion of women’s causes, a teacher and
mentor; and one who loved animals and farming. Viola Burnham is survived by her
children Melanie, Ulele, Kamana and Asante, eldest of her seven grandchildren, her
sisters and brothers and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Her family honours Cde. Vi’s request to be cremated and for her ashes to be returned
to Guyana. An ardent supporter of the Guyana Cancer Society, it was her wish that
donations be made to the society in her name. A memorial service will be held in
Florida for the immediate family; and a further memorial will be planned at a later date
in Georgetown, Guyana.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Northwest Georgia Oncology Center and the
VITAS Hospice at the Memorial Hospital in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Congress Place, Sophia,
Friday, October 10, 2003
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