Tributes have been pouring into the chess and the University of the West Indies (UWI) communities following the sudden death of Dr Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, co-founder of the Point Fortin Chess Centre (PFCC).
Dr Sewlal passed away peacefully at the ICU of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital on Sunday. She was just 40 years old.
Dr Sewlal was born in Point Fortin, educated in south Trinidad eventually earning her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at UWI, St Augustine. She quickly established herself as a scientist of international repute and the Caribbean’s leading expert in the field of arachnology, serving on many professional bodies worldwide.
She is the author of 46 scientific publications and 676 general publications on ecology, environmental issues and biodiversity and the recipient of numerous international fellowships.
More recently together with business colleague Raymond Aaron she founded the PFCC with the express mission of introducing chess to schools and the wider community. This organisation has grown to become one of the premier chess groups in the country and has trained some 174 students in its four years of existence.
In paying tribute co-founder Aaron said, "Jo-Anne’s contribution to the community, the world of science and the Chess fraternity, in particular, is immeasurable and my greatest fear is that she may be irreplaceable. May God continue to bless her soul."