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Tuesday 21 January 2020
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Senate pays tribute to Carter-Hunt

REST IN PEACE: Donna Carter.
REST IN PEACE: Donna Carter.

Former PNM senator and government minister Donna Carter-Hunt was remembered for the stories she told in the post-apartheid era in South Africa where she served as Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner. Leader of Government Business in the Senate Franklin Khan said Carter-Hunt and himself were close colleagues.

They sought election to public office at the same time in 2000. They both lost the seats they were contesting. Though Carter-Hunt, a former teacher, did not enter the race again when he won the Mayaro seat in 2002, Khan said, she was appointed a senator for a few months in 2002 when she served as a minister in the Office of the Prime Minister.

She was later appointed TT’s high commissioner to South Africa until 2008 after which she migrated to Costa Rica. She died in Costa Rica on December 28, 2017. Her ashes is to be brought to TT for final burial.

From her sojourn in South Africa, Khan said in the Senate on Tuesday, Carter-Hunt had unique stories to tell of the post apartheid period. Apart from the “wonderful experiences” of the leadership provided by that country’s late president Nelson Mandela, he said, she saw the country grow from a very divided society to one that was uniting for the betterment of all as the days go by.

He said that South Africa still has its challenges but it continues to be a model on the African continent as to how the country can very maturely foster the course of development for all.

“It is called the rainbow country just like Trinidad and Tobago. Despite its historical challenges, Khan said, it is fast overcoming them.

“It was this context that I remembered her,” he said. He said when she decided to spend the last days of her life in Costa Rica, he never questioned why.

Also paying tribute was Opposition senator Khadijah Ameen who noted that even though her tenure in the Senate was short, it showed her desire to serve in public office. A minute’s silence was observed in Carter-Hunt’s honour.

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