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Norma Keizer Scholarship Foundation launched

Norma Keizer Scholarship Foundation launched

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A scholarship foundation, set up to honour the legacy of Norma Keizer, has been launched by Interactive Media Limited (IML).

Keizer, the first editor of Searchlight newspaper, which is published by IML, and a former headmistress of the Girls’ High School (GHS), passed away on February 19, 2013 {{more}}at the age of 78.

During a church service last Sunday at the Arnos, Vale Covenant Assembly (AVCA), chair of IML Corletha Ollivierre announced the formation of the Norma Keizer Scholarship Foundation.

Taja Young-Cupid, worship leader at AVCA and herself a past student of the GHS, made the first contribution to the Scholarship Foundation on behalf of her church.

She presented a cheque valued at $1,000 to Clare Keizer, the current editor of the newspaper and chief executive officer of IML.

The church service was attended by members of the board of directors of IML, staff members and founders of the newspaper and members of their families, in observance of the commencement of activities to mark 20 years of existence of the company and the newspaper.

Clare, who is the daughter of Norma Keizer, on accepting the donation, said that the company was grateful for the contribution, which she considered a blessing. She said that the gift meant a great deal to the Foundation and thanked the church for its generosity.

“When we began talking about our 20th anniversary celebrations, it just came to me that we should begin the celebrations by coming to this church,” Keizer noted.

“I have known Pastor (E Walford) Thompson all my life, and I knew we would be welcomed and I also knew that we would receive a tremendous blessing. I was thinking about a spiritual blessing; I had no idea that it would include this (the donation).”

Keizer said she could not help but marvel at the way God works.

“When we began to discuss the attendance of the staff at church with Pastor Thompson, he did not know that we had decided, as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, to honour my mother by establishing a scholarship foundation. While we were speaking, he asked if we were thinking of honouring her in any way, so I mentioned the scholarships. He said that is exactly what he had been thinking of. To God be the glory!”

Pastor Thompson, the lead pastor at the Assembly, pointed out that he had known the late Mrs Keizer since they were both pupils at the Kingstown Methodist School, and has followed her career as an educator and newspaper publisher. He said Norma had been an outstanding example of a person with great vision and it was an honour to pay tribute to her by building on the great work she had started.

“This morning we want to be one of the first to make a contribution to the Norma Keizer Scholarship Foundation, and to assure the continuity that this would not be the end of our contribution, but that we would continue to do so in the years to come.”

The pastor also said that the Scholarship Foundation contribution fits into one of the principles of his church, which is that it donates half of the offerings they receive to various outreach programmes.

Chair of the board of directors of IML Corletha Ollivierre indicated during the service that the first scholarships would come into effect at the beginning of the next school year, and that selection for the award would be based on merit, as well as need.

She stated that the Foundation is a separate entity, both financially and legally, from the rest of the business of IML, so that persons who are interested in investing in the lives of young people can feel satisfied that their monies would not be mixed up with the rest of the business of the company.

“However, we have committed to sustaining the scholarship on a long-term basis, so that when persons might be a little short of money, we would need to provide the money to make sure that the scholarships continue,” Ollivierre said.

Norma Keizer became editor of Searchlight in 1995, when founders, Sebastian Alexander, Renwick Rose, Adrian Fraser and Oscar Allen, decided to establish a newspaper.

Prior to her stint in journalism, the well respected educator was a teacher of the Girls’ High School from 1954 to 1990, with 15 of those years as headmistress.

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