A woman of grace, dignity, emotional sophistication, patriotism and integrity who has left an indelible imprint of service were some of the words used to describe late former independent senator Dame Louise Horne at her funeral on Wednesday.
Her godson Dr Lennox Pierre read the eulogy at the Santa Rosa RC Church in Arima. She died on March 28 at the age of 107.
Those who paid tribute to her described her as an icon, and a woman who was compassionate and resourceful and who touched the lives of many.
Her rich legacy in the political arena from 1976 until 1991 resulted in her being known as the longest-serving independent senator in TT’s history after she was selected to serve in the Parliament by late president Sir Ellis Clarke.
“Love of God, love of country and fellow man and woman, dedication to duty and service, particularly to those less advantaged, were some of her core values,” Pierre said.
Horne also left a significant mark in the education system where she piloted plans to introduce the school feeding programme after she was assigned as chief nutritionist.
She taught at the Arima Boys RC School before heading to the Government Teachers Training College, Chaguanas Government School and Tranquility Girls School.
She lectured at the teachers training college, studied at the University of London and was later honoured with the Medal of Merit Gold for her work in the fields of nutrition and social services in 1982.
Pierre said Horne taught calypsonian Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts English and poetry.
“So teacher Horne can stake some claim to assisting him in the development of some of the subject matters and quality of Kitch’s calypsoes. So when you hear January Girls, Women’s Figure, think of Kitch and also remember Louise Horne.”
Horne served on several NGOs and community service initiatives throughout the country. The confidence, determination and love she displayed in public reflected her personality in private during the time she spent with close family and friends.
Pierre recalled the time when Horne came face to face with a bandit inside her Arima home and the way she said she “left him have it.”
He said she stood for what she believed in, was very secure in her opinions, and confronted impunity.”
The service was officiated by Fr Steve Duncan.
Those who were present to say farewell included Arima MP Penelope Beckles, Arima Mayor Cagney Casimire, D'Abadie O'meara MP Lisa Morris-Julian.
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.
Horne was laid to rest at the Santa Rosa RC cemetery.