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Mills educated a generation of journalists

Saturday, January 4, 2014
A 1993 cartoon by the Guardian’s Dunstan E Williams celebrating Therese Mills after she won a regional journalism title.

Tributes continued to pour in following the death of veteran journalist Therese Mills, founder of the Newsday, who passed away on New Year’s Day, at the age of 85. Here are some more responses from those who worked with her. Her death has left a void at Newsday, where she held the positions of editor-in-chief, executive chairman and chief executive officer. Her funeral will take place on Tuesday at 9.30 am at the Church of the Nativity, Crystal Stream, Diego Martin.



Lenny Grant, former editor-in-chief of Guardian and Express newspapers:
“The grande-dame figure that Therese Mills represented had no equal in T&T journalism or media. “The lady lived and worked by her own lights, and ran matters in accordance with her own wisdom. “We had time in common at the Guardian, but such a respectful distance was maintained between us, that we never became either friends or enemies. 


“Newsday reflects the image and likeness of Therese Mills’ vision or prescription for how to make a difference in T&T newspapers. “I cannot conceive of the paper without her guiding hand and inspiration, but we shall see.”



Maxie Cuffie, former Sunday Guardian editor and current columnist for the T&T Guardian:
“Therese Mills educated a generation of journalists on what it means to be a reporter. That will be her lasting legacy. “You could love or hate her approach to journalism or even do both at the same time, but once you worked with her, her influence was difficult to ignore. I am grateful for having had the pleasure of working with her and seeing the passion she brought to her work. RIP, Mrs Mills.”



Ken Gordon, chairman of the Integrity Commission and former chairman of the Caribbean Communication Network, publishers of the Trinidad Express:
“Mrs Therese Mills was a lady I knew for more than 40 years. She was someone I learned to have a great deal of respect for as a journalist and as a person. We worked on competitive sides as she was at the Trinidad Guardian and I was at the Express. Long before there was a call for top female executives, she simply did it. She made the grade by merit. She was an outstanding journalist in every respect. It is a great loss to the country.”



Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union:
“The Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union (BIGWU) joins with the rest of the national community in acknowledging the passing of Therese Mills, veteran journalist and chairman, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Newsday newspapers of T&T. “BIGWU is the recognised majority trade union representing the workers of Daily News Ltd (Newsday) and so would have had close contact with Mrs Mills in the pursuance of negotiations and other workplace-related issues relative to its members.


“Whilst acknowledging the sometimes adversarial nature of the relationship in the cut and thrust of collective bargaining, the union also recognises her pioneering drive in opening the way for many young female journalists especially to have more than just a dream of reaching high up in the ranks of the media fraternity.


“BIGWU extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs Mills at this time of mourning but also as they celebrate her many achievements in the world of journalism. Her contribution to the development of journalism, the free press and by extension to the nation of T&T must always be remembered.”



Citizens for a Better T&T head Harrack Balramsingh:
“She was an outstanding journalist who went on to become the first female editor and editor-in-chief of a major daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago at a time when little or no opportunity was given to our women. Today, we have women at the helm of the other two major daily newspapers in the country. “Trinidad and Tobago has lost one of its finest daughters. Mills’ record over the years was a clear indication that she took her profession very seriously.


“She gained many friends for her outstanding work as a journalist but lost many as well. That’s the price she paid as an individual to ensure that the media was free and fair. “She was a woman whose lessons led to great achievements in her journalism career...and she had contacts with all levels from diplomats, government officials to local citizens and different business personnel. “Trinidad and Tobago owes Mills a huge debt of gratitude.”




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