MARGARET & FRANCIS NKRUMAH
Many eminent colleagues and institutions that she served with such esteem and élan will have much to say about the distinguished and public service that Theresa Striggner Scott rendered in her long and productive life, but Francis and I just want to remember a friend who was part of our lives for almost 50 years. She was, is, and will forever be one of the three women (Frances Ademola, Theresa Scott and Sarah Ribeiro) of whom Shakespeare was thinking when he wrote, centuries before they were born; “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”
Thérèse is also one of the few Francis and I consider “friends of the heart". We were neither relatives nor school mates but something else — friends of our gilded and enchanted youth, a friendship which grew, matured and morphed into an old age we barely recognized as "old". Whether at Scott House with Winky at the famous Boxing Day lunches or at more intimate dinners there and elsewhere; or without Winky, during our years in Zimbabwe when Therese learned to navigate so successfully on her own, we remained fast and true friends. Even after she left us in Zimbabwe for ambassadorships in France, Italy and elsewhere, the thread remained unbroken, with Mansa spending some months with her in Paris between her O and A levels.
Our friendship of shared youth and values saw us through many transitions, including the death of her husband and later her beloved sister, Auntie Ruth Botsio — that connection included the fact that when Francis was informed of his father's death in Romania, it was Uncle Kojo Botsio whom he called in London to accompany him to escort his father back to Conakry. Her daughter and nieces and nephews are part of a wider family along with our own.
We have remained fast friends to the last, and were it not for Covid 19, we would have continued our joyous and laughter-filled lunches and dinners and conversations to the end.
As it is, both Covid and untimely death have managed to separate us, but like so many hiatuses or pauses which have interrupted but never broken our friendship, it is but temporary because we will surely meet again and pick up where we left off.
Meanwhile, rest well and keep remembering the good times, Theresa — till we meet again.
Margaret and Francis Nkrumah