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Tributes to Mrs Mills

Friday, January 3 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Therese Mills...
Therese Mills...

Newsday acknowledges and thanks our readers for their kind words on the passing of our Executive Chairman/CEO and Editor-in-Chief Mrs Therese Mills. The following is a brief statement by the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief as well as some tributes from well-wishers.

(See Page 11A)

“Mrs Mills built a rock solid foundation at Newsday and created succession in every area, preparing the staff and management to carry on. While we all mourn her passing we

will honour her teachings and legacy by continuing to provide the news that people trust.”

— Camille Moreno,

Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief

“I have known Mrs Mills for all of my professional life both in and out of active journalism. Our relationship has spanned more than four decades

during which time she was a friend, colleague, mentor, stakeholder and even competitor.

I had the distinct honour of succeeding her in 1993 as Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian newspapers, an office which for me was made much easier because of her years of distinguished leadership of that institution, the respect she generated for it and by extension for journalism, and the many persons both of her generation and more recent vintage that she wielded into a powerful and committed team that positioned the Guardian as one of the outstanding media products of the Caribbean.

She was a gentle soul most times, always graceful and generous with her time and counsel, but just as much the iron lady of the profession, not given to suffering fools gladly and eschewing attempts at press intimidation.

We had quite a lengthy conversation just about three weeks ago in which we discussed more than our trade, delving into family, the state of society, the challenges facing the establishments we both served and, understandably, how tired she was becoming.

We joked that this was the price we had to pay for chalking up so very quickly the latter years of life’s journey. Little did I know that she was going to end so suddenly her side of the journey that we both felt so blessed to be on for such a long time.

I am saddened by her passing but will always celebrate her life as an outstanding professional, a woman of substance, class and stature, and an exemplar more than worthy of emulation.

My condolences to her family including her children and grandchildren, and her

sister with whom I attend church most

week-ends in Arima. May she rest in peace.”

— Jones P Madeira, veteran journalist/Court Protocol and Information Manager, Judiciary

“Today is a sad day. Therese Mills, founding Editor-in-Chief of the Newsday is no longer with us and the field of journalism today is much poorer at her passing.

Her sterling contribution to the development of media in Trinidad and Tobago will never be forgotten neither will be the work that she has done in mentoring young journalists who themselves have gone on to contribute so much to media development in our rainbow country.

Ms Mills has demonstrated that against all odds she possessed the tenacity to be excellent, rising to the top in a male dominated world and shattering the glass ceiling to emerge as the first female editor and female founder of a media house.

Her work must be applauded not merely for these achievements but also for the quality of work she demanded and produced.

One cannot argue that here was one who was committed to truth, fair reporting and the presentation of balanced editorials.

She epitomised excellence in her field and if ever there was one who could have easily walked on to and excel globally in the world of journalism then Therese Mills is that one.

Today the ILP and I mourn for her loss. We are sad at her passing but we can celebrate her life. There is so much that we could have still learned from Ms Mills; so much which we still could have been taught, however, we cannot and should not let her lessons be in vain.”

— Jack Warner, ILP leader

“The Therese Mills I knew had been much more to Trinidad and Tobago than a journalist of distinction. Therese was a patriot, seeker of truth, and an artist of words. She was a teacher of the craft, a mentor, children’s story teller, and lover of the best of art and culture. Her indomitable, emotional and mental strength never wilted... and she had an unexceptional will-power to forge ahead.

— Helen Drayton,

Independent Senator

“The TTPBA joins the media fraternity and the national community in mourning the passing of an outstanding daughter of the soil and a pioneer in the media industry with strong journalistic roots. Mrs Therese Mills’ focus on newspaper journalism and administration has been unparalleled.

Mrs Mills was a trailblazer who paved her journalistic journey of success as the first female Guardian Editor-and-Chief, first female Chairman and CEO of a national newspaper, forever expanding the boundaries for women in media in Trinidad and Tobago. Many in the industry admired her resilience, commitment and integrity.

The TTPBA extends condolences to the family of Mrs Mills and at the same time we say to our member, Newsday (The Daily News Ltd), that it is evident that her ethical and journalistic standards along with her prowess with a pen will live on through its pages on a daily basis.”

— Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association

“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and condolences on the passing of Mrs Mills. For the brief time I knew her she really made an impression on me. She was that special sort of person who could do that and who I will remember always. She lived life fully, daringly, courageously and passionately. I’ve never had the opportunity of meeting her family, but I know a few of her Newsday family, you all, and I know her passing will be felt deeply by all of you. May the sorrow you feel in your heart be lightened by the love that surrounds you.

— Rajesh Ramoutar, Legal Advisor, Telecommunications Authority of TT

“I am so sorry to learn about the passing of Mrs Therese Mills, your Chairman and founding Editor-in-Chief. Even way back in my childhood years, we knew her name in the Guardian.

A true journalist, par excellence. May her soul rest in peace.”

— Irma Burkett, Caribbean Industrial Research Institute

“My dear, deepest sympathy to everyone at the Newsday on the passing of such a great lady, Mrs Mills. May she rest in peace.”

— Sally Ann Henry, Media Manager, Rostant Advertising

“Mrs Mills represents a precious generation of citizens not only to our country but also to our city — a generation who recognised work to be an opportunity and a privilege and who stayed, like so many others of her time to the end, in meaningful occupation and leadership. Everywhere we look, our city and country continues to lose such stalwart nationals and our hope, in Mrs Mills’ memory, is that her life will be an unmistakable example to all her countrymen of dignity, honour and the virtue of hard work.”

— Gregory Aboud, president, Downtown Owners and Merchants Association

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