ARIMA has lost a legend in former independent senator Dame Louise Horne who died on Sunday at the age of 107.
Horne was elected to serve in the Parliament by the late president Sir Ellis Clarke from 1976 until 1991 and is credited with pioneering the school feeding programme for the State to provide free meals for children.
The Prime Minister, who served with her in the Senate between 1987-1990, expressed condolences to her loved ones. Dr Rowley said he learnt a lot from her.
"The nation benefited from her many insightful contributions. We are all poorer for her passing having been enriched by her sterling lifelong service to TT."
Arima MP Penelope Beckles described Horne "as a walking encyclopedia."
Beckles said she was an authority on most subjects, which she presented in perfect English, and she often sought Horne's wise counsel whenever she had to present in the Parliament.
"She loved to share her experiences and she had a great sense of humour. Even though she retired from public office, she was sought after for her opinion and knowledge and continued to give lectures until she was placed in a residence as she aged."
She was cared for at Mt St Benedicts until her death on Sunday.
Beckles credited Horne’s great nutritional values for her long life. She was remembered for her advocacy for pension for Senators, and her ability to fend of bandits who invaded her Lopez Street, Arima home, where she lived alone.
She recalled Horne’s home was like a museum filled with plants, Senate documents, and artifacts passed on from generations and from her vast travels abroad.
Former Arima mayor Ashton Ford said Horne assisted every mayor and MP in Arima regardless of their political affiliation because of her love for Arima.
“She gave us all advice whether or not you asked for it. Sometimes it may have come over a little rough, but it was done with a good heart and served us in good stead at the end of the day.
He recalled her objection to disallow people aged 75 from driving which led the to late prime minister Dr Eric Williams withdrawing this proposal by his then attorney general Selwyn Richardson.
Horne was honoured by Pope John Paul II and awarded the Lady of the Order of St Gregory the Great which gave her the title of Dame.
A postage stamp was also issued in her honour in 1980.
Her many credits include author, having published a book – The Evolution of Modern Trinidad and Tobago.
“Arima has lost an icon,” Ford said.