Though I had met RIPE Samuel Owori few times earlier, my real acquaintance with him happened when we attended the Directors Elect orientation programme at San Diego and Evanston.
Most of the time we were sitting together and I found in him a true Rotarian, lawyer-turned-economist, and above all, a good soul. Norah and Sam were extremely simple and kind to everyone, including Mala and me.
I was really amazed by the depth of knowledge he had in various subjects including corporate governance, world economy, marketing strategies, microfinance, employment relations, etc.
His passion to upgrade his qualifications by continuously pursuing study in leading institutions such as Oxford, Harvard and Stanford carved him out as a true leader with very high capabilities.
One of his areas of focus in Rotary was encouraging Rotaractors so that they develop as better Rotarians and better citizens of the world. He fondly called the Rotaract as “life insurance for Rotary.”
I still remember his words suggesting that India should aspire to have at least one per cent of the population as Rotarians. His vision was to have 1.2 million Rotarians in India alone.
It is a great challenge indeed, but he said when Sweden has achieved this percentage why not other countries? It is unfortunate that a visionary and a performer who was to lead the Rotary world in 2018–19 is not here with us today.
Friends, Sam is no more and now we will follow his legacy. A far-sighted Rotarian and a gentleman among leaders, Sam Owori’s untimely demise is an irreparable loss to the Rotary world.
Mala joins me in conveying our heartfelt condolences to Norah and the bereaved family. May his noble soul rest in peace.
(The writer is RI Director)