Honors 91 Year Old Elyse White
Elyse White, who lives and works in Harlem, New York was 'enstooled' at the American Travel Market in Orlando just prior to her 90th birthday. The event was part of a gala Africa Night, hosted by Ghana Airways and the Ghana Ministry of Tourism. One of ATA's most exciting and youngest-thinking members, Elise is a personal friend of our Associate Editor Muguette Goufrani, who first met her at the ATA Biannual EcoTourism Symposium in Marrakech, Morocco, 1996. Since then, we've enjoyed being in her company at an exciting series of events in Africa, and as her guest while in New York. Elise is a founding member of the Africa Travel Association, and has attended all ATA World Congresses in its 24 years of operation. Elyse's experience of being honored by Ghanaians as a Queen of Africa is reflected in her own words. "The news came to me as a complete surprise, when I received the phone message from the Africa Travel Association, "Elise, you are to be enstooled as a Ghanian Queen Mother! The ceremony will take place in Orlando, Florida."
My answer was one of
complete bewilderment. " What does that mean? What do I do
?" I did not want to appear ungrateful. I knew that this was
one of the highest honors that could be bestowed upon a non
Ghanian. Puzzled, I wondered out loud," Do I deserve it?" I
spoke to my daughter Carol later and told her the news.
" Yes. I had to
agree. Africa had been an important part of my life
Mrs. White was born on October 1, 1908 in Roanoke, Virginia. She earned her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Howard University in 1930. Mrs. White went on to achieve her post baccalaureate degree from Catholic and American Universities. After the Great Depression, Mrs. White worked as a social investigator for the New York City Department of Welfare. Later, she worked at several New York City hospitals as a medical social worker. In 1960, she began yet another career as a teacher with the New York City Board of Education. And at the age of sixty-one, Elise White left the Board of Education to become a travel Agent/consultant, a career that she is still pursuing at the age of ninety. She has visited over twenty-five countries in Africa and more than eighty countries worldwide. Recently "enstooled" as an honorary Ashante Queen Mother by the Government of Ghana, she was honored for helping to bridge the geographical and cultural boundaries that separate Africans. An active member in many civic and cultural organizations, Mrs. White encourages all to be perseverance and to never stop having goals and aspirations.
Associate Editor/ Publisher Muguette Goufrani is producing a special "Africa Travel Personalities Section" for the ATA 2000 Congress in Addis Ababa. If you have items on this topic, fax them to Muguette at 604-681-6595 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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