Last update: 12-Dec-2013 11:17 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Sheilah Solomon an inspiration to many
Compassionate, kind, good, a warrior, someone who touched an array of people. An inspiration, a pillar of strength, energetic, committed. These were the words used to describe Sheilah Solomon yesterday. Solomon, 82, a social activist, died of a suspected heart attack last week Monday morning. Her funeral was held yesterday at the All Saints Anglican Church, Marli Street, Port-of-Spain. Solomon’s daughter Elizabeth gave the eulogy on behalf of herself and her brother and sister Paul and Juliet.
Elizabeth said her mother founded the T&T Citizens Agenda Network (TTCAN) and served at Unesco for 17 years, becoming director general of the Bureau of Field Co-ordination. Solomon was born on a pimento farm in Montego Bay, Jamaica and studied at the University College of the West Indies, Oxford and Columbia University. She later married Denis Solomon and adopted T&T as her home.
“Sheilah did not compartmentalise her life. She was a full-time mother and a full-time career woman and fully committed to social reform. Her three children were part of everything she did,” she said. Elizabeth said Solomon, who was dedicated to reforming society, had argued recently that a clear “prescription for change was needed for our society. “We have tried maximum leaders and ethnic politics,” Sheilah Solomon had written.
“We have tried steupsing in a corner and burning tyres, we have tried the blame game. The truth is we came into independence as a fractured people and in many subtle ways, we have remained so. “So it is we citizens who must now establish the principles and institutional framework by which we ourselves and those aspire to represent us agree to be guided in re-forming our society.” Bishop Claude Berkley, who delivered the homily, said Solomon was a visionary who was optimistic, sensitive and a humanitarian.
Berkley said Solomon inspired many with a trail of energy. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran, Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah, former independent senator Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, Zalayhar Hassanali, widow of late president Noor Hassanali, Prof Norman Girvan and former members of the Tapia House Movement were among those who attended.
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