Social activist Sheila Solomon is dead at 82
Wednesday, October 16 2013
Sheila Solomon, former international public servant, and social activist has died at the age of 82.
She was also a Congress of the People nominee for alderman on the Port-of-Spain City Corporation seat in the upcoming Local Government elections.
The former Chairman of the TT’s National Commission for UNESCO, died of a suspected heart attack on Monday morning at the Westshore Medical Centre, after falling ill over the weekend.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in extending condolences and “prayerful support” to Solomon’s family, recalled that Solomon distinguished herself through her contribution to national development.
As a social activist for many years, Persad-Bissessar said, Solomon “founded the Trinidad and Tobago Citizens Agenda Network (TTCAN) in an effort to organise meaningful representation for the voiceless.”
Solomon’s strength of character, courage, and dedication, she said contributed significantly to the strengthening of local government services, and to promoting constitutional change.
“One of her passions was her support of initiatives to improve the status and condition of women and girls worldwide, and her life’s work was of immense value to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Also expressing condolences was Education Minister and President of TT UNESCO Commission, Dr Tim Gopeesingh who wished her family “God’s strength in this time of mourning.”
“She had been leading UNESCO for the last 17 years, and had been the foundation member of UNESCO Trinidad in the 1970s. So we mourn her loss,” he said. A pioneer in many respects, Solomon, founded the TT National UNESCO Commission in 1970, and was its head until 1987, when she moved to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris as Director for the Bureau for Coordination of Field Units. That job, her daughter Juliet Solomon, who works with the UN office in Lima, Peru told Newsday online yesterday, required her mother to be on call 24 hours a day since she was in charge of all the field offices worldwide.
As a pioneer, Solomon assisted in setting up the Maltese Mission to the United Nations.