Joseph Seeraj was born in Devonshire Castle, Essequibo Coast, Guyana on July 1, 1936. He was the youngest of eight children all of whom pre deceased him.
His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Somwaru were shopkeepers but after his mother passed when Joe was very young, his father gave up shopkeeping and decided to work with government in the Public Works Department overseeing road works.
Joe attended St.Laurence Anglican school in Hampton Court, Essequibo Coast where he passed the Primary school certificate examination which was the highest examination the school offered in those days.
After leaving primary school, and there being no high school in the area, he obtained employment as a clerical assistant and with the money earned, purchased self study courses from the Rapids Results College and Wolseley Hall College in London.
He was largely a self taught man and passed 14 Ordinary Level subjects and 3 Advanced Level subjects from the University of London Examination body....no mean feat for a person who never had the opportunity to attend High school!
Joe loved medicine and wanted to qualify in that field but was unable to do so as it would have been too financially challenging so he decided to become a teacher instead.
Today, countless number of young people in the schools in which he taught owe their success to Joseph Seeraj for he was a selfless, kind, caring and compassionate teacher whose greatest joy was not in,"dollars and cents" but in his students' achievements.
Joe also loved singing and on several occasions when dignitaries would visit the Essequibo Coast he would take out his students,"line" them up on the road and sing the national anthem. Although not trained in music, his skills as a conductor was of a high standard.
About 2 years after he graduated from Teachers' College Joe left for Toronto,Canada. His leaving was a tremendous loss to the teaching profession in Guyana.
In Canada he continued to work conscientiously and assiduously in the teaching profession earning his teaching degree and other credentials and receiving high commendation for his work.
Joe also taught Sunday school for the Presbyterian church in Guyana.
In his youth he enjoyed Doris Day's singing and would often hum the song,"Que Sera Sera (Whatever will be, will be).The future's not ours to see. Que Sera, Sera. What will be, will be".
Joe's achievements can be summed up in the poem." The heights of great men reached and kept. Were not attained by sudden flight. But they while their companions slept .Were toiling upwards in the night".
Joe was pre-deceased by his loving wife Lynette on September 22, 2009. He found it very difficult to go through life without her but with God's grace he was able to cope and continued to be a loving, caring father and grandfather.
Left to mourn are his son Dr. Tyron Seeraj, daughters Arlene Bonita Dhillon and Jacqueline Seeraj, grandchildren James Wyatt Seeraj, Isadora Caitlin Dhillon, Isabella Joella Dhillon, daughter-in-law Dorothy Seeraj and son-in-law Manny Dhillon.
May his noble soul rest in peace.