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.
 
PNC Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Friday, October 10, 2003