Born in Barbados on 30 October in 1934,Sam came to the United Kingdom in the 1950s and started his working life with London Transport as a conductor and later a driver of trolley and diesel buses. He worked with London Transport until 1986,when he was retired on medical grounds.
His political and trade union activity started in 1958. He played a very active role in the 1958 bus strike and served on the Transport and General Workers Union until his retirement. He campaigned for changes to the 1968 Race Relations Act and stood on the Home Secretary’s Standing Advisory Council on Race Relations for seven years. In 1982 became the first Black Mayor of the London Borough of Hackney, having served as a Council Member of Council from 1968 to 1986, and Member of the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority.
He served as a Member of Industrial Tribunals from 1976 until 1996, and on the Employment Appeals Tribunal from 1984, only retiring on 31 March 2005 at the age of seventy years. From 1967 he served as a Member and/or Chairman of a number of Statutory and Voluntary Bodies, Schools, Colleges, Polytechnics, and the Guildhall University, as well as commercial undertakings. He was a member of the London Employment Conciliation Committee of the Race Relations Board.
He spearheaded the Twinning of Barbados with Hackney in 1982 and is a Founder Director Trustee of the Barbados UK Education Bursary Trust. In 2004 he was elected as Chairman of the Democratic Labour Party(UK),an Associate Member of the Barbados Democratic Labour Party. He is a Trustee of the Hackney/Barbados Education Bursary Trust, Caribbean Families and Friends in Crisis, and was Chairmanof the Errol Barrow Memorial Statue Fund.
In 1976 was awarded the MBE for services to Race and Community Relations and in 1984 admitted to the Freedom of the City of London. Appointed a Deputy of the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, he served until 2010.He was thef irst recipient of the Caribbean Times Award and has played a significant role in the development of Carnival Arts and Steel Orchestra.
He came out of retirement to be a Director and develop the Southbank Enterprise and Training Agency, and has also become a Director of the Lea Valley College where he served as the Director of HR and Compliance.