Former independent senator and centenarian Dame Louise Horne is as a woman of grace and a model for all women in this country to emulate, Express Children's Fund (ECF) chairman Dr Allan McKenzie has said.
Horne was the guest of honour on July 11 when the ECF launched "The Louise Horne Scholarship" at Express House, Port of Spain.
"Although you have accomplished so much in your life...you have always approached what you are doing with extraordinary humility and grace...(and) always willing to give the Lord recognition for using you as a special human agent to bless and to do so much for humanity," said McKenzie.
He noted that Horne, who served on board of the ECF for more than 20 years before retiring last December, was always inspirational when she attended meetings and had a "singular focus" on children in need.
Shida Bolai, chief executive officer of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), parent company of the Express and TV6, said that until she retired, Horne "brought to bear her unique resources of knowledge and experience in social development, and in the critical area of nutrition".
"The Louise Horne Scholarship that we are here to launch commits the Express Children's Fund to a promise of future excellence, while it salutes an incomparably long and distinguished career in the service of human development in Trinidad and Tobago," she added.
She noted that since 1989 the ECF "has given effect to the Trinidad Express newspapers' perhaps most far-reaching exercise of corporate social responsibility".
She said the focus of the scholarship was on the "most precious, and also most vulnerable, sector of the population" —children up the level of secondary school.
Also in attendance at the launch were One Caribbean Media CEO Dawn Thomas, Express general manager Gilbert Ramkissoon and ECF board members, including Zalayhar Hassanali, wife of former president Noor Hassanali, now deceased.
Horne said she was very surprised by the honour, having not been informed before.
"I say not only thank you but God bless you," she added.
She recalled teaching at Arima Boys' and one pupil who did not want to do his homework but wrote about a pregnant, unmarried lady in the area. That boy was the late Aldwyn Roberts, who would grow up to become the great calypsonian Lord Kitchener.
She spoke about her teaching career, work in food and nutrition in Sweden, Italy, France and other countries. She said the country's problems began when US soldiers came to this country during the Second World War and fathered children with local young women, children who would never know their fathers.
She noted that the Education Ministry was attempting to teach about parenting but it was important to understand the history that led to the current situation in order to improve it.
Horne, who turned 100 on May 13 this year, has been recognised for her work in nutrition and social services.
She noted as a young pupil at Arima Girls' her parents ensured she went to school on time, did her homework and came straight home after school.
"Parents daily make the children...what they are," she stressed.
She was "extremely proud" to be a pupil of the Arima Girls' Government Primary School, where she later became a teacher. The school was the first recipient of the scholarship yesterday.
While handing over the cheque, she told the school's principal Ursula Thomas-Gittens: "Bless you and take care of our Arima children."
Thomas-Gittens said the school's current academic successes were partly because of the legacy that Horne had left. She reported that two needy pupils, one in Standard Two and one in Standard three would be receiving the scholarship of $5,000.
The scholarship will be awarded to the same school annually.