Thursday, January 2, 2014

OBIT: Therese Mills - 1928-2014

Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of the Newsday, Therese Mills, poses with the Honorary Degree of Doctors of Letters (DLitt),conferred on her by The University of the West-Indies, following the institution\'s annual graduation ceremony at UWI in October 2012. She was also
awarded the Choconia Gold national award in 2012 for her contribution to journalism
(Newsday photo and caption)

JYOTI is deeply saddened to report the death of journalist Therese Mills.

Mills, a mother of three, grandmother and great grandmother, was an award winning journalist who began her career in journalism in 1945.

Her first job was at the Port-of-Spain Gazette, a newspaper made famous by one of the outstanding editors in Trinidad’s history, Andre Paul Terence Ambard, who fought a contempt of court case all the way to the Privy Council in 1934, settling once and for all the doctrine of Freedom of the Press.

After living in England for eight years, Mills returned to work at the Trinidad Guardian where she became Editor-in-Chief in 1989, the first woman to head a national newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. In the course of her long career, Mills covered many major international conferences for the Guardian.

She retired in June 1993 and was immediately asked to be the first editor-in-chief of a new daily newspaper, Newsday, a position she held until her passing.

Four years after its launch in 1993, Newsday became Trinidad and Tobago’s largest selling newspaper, holding this position for eight consecutive surveys. She was appointed Executive Chairman in 1997.

Mills was a foundation member of the Commonwealth Journalists Association in Cyprus and served as a CJA executive representative for the Caribbean.

She was also a foundation member of the Journalists Association of Trinidad and Tobago. She served as vice chairman of the National Commission on the Status of Women, a post to which she was appointed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in 1975 during the UN International Women’s Year. She also conducted a number of courses for journalists, including one in Guyana in July 1993.

In 2012 the University of the West Indies conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt)) on Mills. That same year the state recognised her contribution and warded her the Chaconia Medal (Gold) - her second national award. In 1987 she also received the Humming Bird Medal, also for her contribution to journalism.

In the citation presenting her to UWI Chancellor, the Hon Sir George Alleyne, Professor Surujpal Teelucksingh praised her pioneering role in local and regional journalism and said that “the path that she blazed paved the way for the current vibrant role and leadership that women now exert in the industry – in lunar speak: a small step for Therese Mills has produced a giant leap for womankind.”

Teelucksingh referred to her “prolific pen” which, in addition to her newspaper writing and editing, also authored several books for children, including Great West Indians (Longmans), Canefield Fire (Mc Millan) and several published in Trinidad and Tobago. A number of her children’s stories have been converted to DVD format by the Ministry of Education for use in schools.

She was also honoured in 1997 by the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago for dedicated service to journalism.

Editor's note:
Much of the content of the above story was reproduced unedited from a Newsday 
story on October 28, 2012. You can read the original source story by clicking on this link: Newsday’s Mills gets Honorary UWI degree - Sunday, October 28 2012

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai