June Milne, President Kwame Nkrumah's research assistant, who later became his publisher and literary executrix, passed away in Norfolk, England, on 8 May, aged 98.
Loyal to Nkrumah to the last, June (as she was affectionately known by her admirers) was with Nkrumah when Ghana's first President died in Romania in April 1972.
In his will, Nkrumah appointed her his literary executrix, and left her all his published and unpublished papers. Because of the political climate in Ghana at the time and also, for lack of a conducive library space, June placed most of Nkrumah's papers at his alma mater, Howard University, the historically black university in Pennsylvania, US.
June's real wish, though, as she repeatedly told New African's former editor, Baffour Ankomah, was to return Nkrumah's papers to Ghana, if a fitting library space could be made available in Ghana. That wish was not granted.
Another wish of hers, as she again repeatedly told Ankomah, was for her ashes (when she died) to be taken to Ghana to be scattered in the sea off Accra, the capital, as a memorial of the many days she had spent in Ghana and the work she did on behalf of Nkrumah, Ghana, and Africa.
June was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1920. She first met Nkrumah in 1957 in the company of her husband, Evander 'Van' Milne, who...