elevated iKqYe Obituary – A Life Lived
Education, food, looking out for his family, migration, and a message: the “fallen” are also loved
Michael Naik 26 July 1940 – 14 September 2022
elevated iKqYe Michael Naik was born on the 26th July 1940 at Plantation Farm on the East Bank of the Demerara River in the county of Demerara in British Guiana (now called Guyana). He grew up at Providence and at Herstelling, next to Farm. His mother was Sukhi Naik (nee Ramoutar, aka Rose) from Farm and father Ramasami Naik (aka Cecil David) from Georgetown, British Guiana.
elevated iKqYe As per information from the National Archives of Guyana, his paternal grandmother (Ramasami’s mother) Valliama (aka Juliana, D. Permaul) was from Georgetown and paternal grandfather (Ramasami’s father) Chengappa Naick (aka David) was from the outskirts of Madras (now called Chennai) in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Chengappa left in 1885. Valliama and Chengappa Naick were Ramasami Naik’s parents.
elevated iKqYe His maternal grandmother (Sukhi’s mother) Pahaladi was from the district of Hardoi and grandfather (Sukhi’s father) Ram autar (aka Ramoutar) was from the district of Basti. The districts of Hardoi and Basti are in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India. Pahaladi left in 1891, returned to India and then left again for British Guiana in 1906, while Ram autar left in 1900. Both departed from the port of Calcutta (now called Kolkata). Pahaladi and Ram autar (aka Ramoutar) were Sukhi’s parents.
elevated iKqYe His maternal grandmother Pahaladi doted on Michael. He accompanied her on her banana and methai (sweets) selling business. She taught him accounting, i.e. how to record credit and payment. He did not meet the other grandparents. Ram autar (aka Ramoutar) and Valliama died before he was born or when he was young. Chengappa Naick had already returned to India.
elevated iKqYe Michael’s siblings, sisters’- and brothers’-in-law are Doreen Naik-Taharally spouse Robert Taharally, Gladys Hazell (nee Naik) spouse late Henry Hazell, Burchell Naik spouse Lucy Naik (nee Lewis), Jean Holder (nee Naik) former spouse Gunter Holder, Patrick Naik spouse Kerri Naik (nee Ghani), Margaret Sasaki (nee Naik) spouse Robert Sasaki, and George Naik spouse Mehroonnisha Moola. Michael is survived by several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.
elevated iKqYe In the 1940’s and 1950’s, through out the world and as was in colonial British Guiana, children helped their parents with household chores. Michael helped his parents, Sukhi and Ramasami. He helped in fetching water from the communal water supply for their home, as there was no piped water to individual homes yet in that region; he helped with the kitchen garden and in the rearing of chickens. Despite receiving a childhood injury from a falling coconut that hit his head, which caused him to lose consciousness, he pursued his education and also assisted his father Ramasami. Ramasami, who was a carpenter by profession, constructed houses, built furniture and boats, and made wooden toys.
elevated iKqYe Michael completed his high school education and wrote the General Certificate Examinations or O-levels. British Guiana was a colony of Britain and thus the G.C.E. papers, in different subjects, were set and graded in England. His favorite subjects were chemistry, biology and mathematics.
elevated iKqYe Having passed his G.C.E. subjects, he worked at the Sugar Laboratory at Diamond Sugar Estate on the East Bank of Demerara. Subsequently, he was employed at the Distillery Laboratory at the same Diamond Estate. Whilst working at the Distillery Laboratory, he studied part-time for his advanced levels or A-levels. After his positions at Diamond Estate, he worked at the Berger Paints laboratory.
elevated iKqYe During this time, Guyana had gained its independence from England. External interference in Guyana caused political instability and violence. This initiated Doreen to pioneer the family’s migration to Toronto. Michael arrived in 1973.
elevated iKqYe In Toronto, his laboratory skills from Guyana enabled him to be employed at the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital. He worked as a research technician in Dr. Victor Ling’s Laboratory, where cancerous cell biology was studied. Dr. Ling made an important discovery. The discovery was a cell surface efflux pump associated with multi-drug resistance. The efflux pump is called P-glycoprotein and it is up-regulated, increasing the transfer of anticancer drugs from inside to outside of cancerous cells conferring resistance against the anticancer drugs. This would then provide protection for the cancerous cells instead of destroying them. Michael co-authored research papers with his team, which were published. After working at the Ontario Cancer Institute for several years, Michael decided to study theology. Michael attended Elim Bible Institute in the USA and then attended Canada Christian College, where he earned a Doctorate of Theology in 1999. His thesis is entitled, “God’s Saving Grace”, in which he explores the nature, need, proclamation, salvation, faith, the Holy Spirit and life in saving grace. Perhaps, the first sentence of his thesis embodies its essence: “The grace of God in its entirety expressed His love for a fallen creation.” Which affirms that the “fallen” are also loved.
elevated iKqYe The family remembers Michael in several ways. He is remembered as a father figure, as an ever ready brother to assist his brothers and sisters without saying anything and without hesitation, as good and kind, as intelligent, as a valuable contributor to a sibling’s tuition in childhood which enabled the achievement of their educational goal as an adult, as a role model to pay it forward, as helpful, as respected, as closely loved, as feeling very close to him, for touring together, for going on picnics and drives, for planting trees together in the backyard, for his physical help for building a fence in the backyard, for cooking shake and bake, for Mandarin buffet outings, as being a confidante, for eating his lamb curry, for enjoying his mango achar and pepper sauce, for going out for peanut punch, for long night “mek-and-bruk-law” post-dinner conversations over several cups of coffee, for never saying no when he was asked for help.
elevated iKqYe In his willingness to tutor, Michael and others used a blackboard, which became a permanent décor in the living room at Herstelling. Education was central to his family philosophy, as Sukhi expounded, “Money can done [finish], but education can never done.”
elevated iKqYe Michael loved food, whether it was Guyanese or Chinese dishes. Some siblings recall going with him on his motorcycle to Georgetown for Chinese food – his go to was “Tylee’s” and New World. Georgetown is about 4½ miles (7 Km) from Herstelling. He continued this tradition in Toronto. In Toronto, he took siblings to his favorite Chinese restaurant called New Golden City and later had other spots in Mississauga where he resided. He thoroughly enjoyed the breakfasts served at Wyndham Manor and home cooked meals and treats brought for him at Wyndham Manor by family members.
elevated iKqYe Michael Naik resided at Wyndham Manor Extendicare since 2017. Michael died on the 14th of September 2022 at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital on the birth anniversary of his mother. He succumbed to complications of COVID-19 and had underlying medical conditions. He was 82 years of age.
elevated iKqYe Michael’s ancestral genes have travelled across British colonial lands. Starting from Tamil Nadu in South India and from Uttar Pradesh in North India, across the Oceans, to British Guiana (Guyana), then to the Dominion of Canada, and now, finally to rest in Toronto of Treaty 13, at Assumption Catholic Cemetery on the 24th of September 2022 together with his mother Sukhi. 21 September 2022.
Written by George Naik.
Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Catholic Cremation Services
6933 Tomken Road, Mississauga, ON L5T 1N4
elevated iKqYe Funeral Service
Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.
Catholic Cremation Services
6933 Tomken Road, Mississauga, ON L5T 1N4
elevated iKqYe To view the funeral service, please click HERE
elevated iKqYe Entombment
Assumption Catholic Cemetery – Our Lady of Fatima Mausoleum
6933 Tomken Road, Mississauga, ON L5T 1N