Mahase Didn’t have affair with Williams

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By Prior Beharry

THE late Anna Mahase did not have an affair with Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams.

She had told Presbyterian Minister Rev Adrian Sieunarine that people began to spread rumours that Williams was her boyfriend after he had visited St Augustine Girls High School (SAGHS) where she had been principal since the age of 28.

Sieunarine revealed this at a wake service for Mahase at SAGHS on Sunday, saying that she put an end to those rumours in her familiar style.

Mahase died on Friday at the age of 91 at Medical Associates in St Joseph. Her funeral takes place at 10 am on Tuesday at Aramalaya Presbyterian Church, Tunapuna, thence to the Belgroves Funeral Home in Tacarigua for cremation.

At the wake service, Sieunarine recalled a conversation he had with Mahase. He said, “Aunty Anna called me one day and said, ‘Adrian you and I have something in common,’ I said what is that, she said, ‘people like to spread rumours about us, damn fools,’ forgive my language, (those) were her words.”

Sieunarine said, “She said, ‘I am going to tell you something listen, the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago spoke at a graduation at SAGHS,’ I said yes Dr Eric Williams, I remember hearing about that when I was a child. She said yes.”

Dr Eric Williams

He said, Mahase said, “‘What you don’t know or what you may not have heard is that everybody said I was having an affair with Eric Willliams.’

“She said, ‘and I had to face the school board,’ and she said, ‘you know what I did Adrian,’ she said, ‘I went into that room and everybody looked at me and they wondered if I would be ashamed, if I would be embarrassed, if I would be frightened.’”

Sieunarine said she said that she stood up and looked at all of them and with sarcasm said, “‘Well as you all have heard Dr Eric Williams is my boyfriend. Any of you have any questions’.”

Saying that he will leave out some of the language she used, he recalled Mahase said, “’Not one of them had any single question’.”

Sieunarine said that was Mahase, adding, “She would take things that she heard, if you intended to use it against her it wouldn’t work. It was like the old story about an animal that falls down a well and somebody tries to bury it by throwing rocks down the well, and the animal makes that into a bridge to climb out. It’s about the wisdom. It’s about the journey and it’s about that sense for love for God, for self, for others that made sure that nobody could every bring you down if God intended to bring you up and to build you up.

“So in our lives today as we think about her and as we reflect on all the many meanings that her life has for us, I want all of us to remember in our own way the wisdom, the journey, the love in whatever way you are remembering and cherishing that right now and in what ever way aunty Anna spoke of that with you and in what ever way you are carrying that forward into your life right now to make this school, this community, this nation, this world the kind of place that she and all that she stood for could make it.”

Rev Adrian Sieunarine

Sieunarine also gave a story of a school supervisor who went to SAGHS and thought that there was no school as he saw few vehicles and no sound emanating from the school.

He said when he walked down the corridor, he saw a slim person in heels and he discerned it was Mahase. He said there was indeed school with every class in session and “you could hear a pebble drop.”

Sieunarine said that wasn’t a cliche as when the supervisor was walking on the stones his shoes was making a lot of noise.

He said the supervisor asked himself how could a school of hundreds of teenage girls be so quiet.

Sieunarine said the supervisor said, “‘That was my introduction to what I consider the miracle of Anna Mahase. Because she stood on the corridor and there was quiet.’”

He said, “There was a charisma, there was an aura, there was a power of her persona, there was an effect of her presence.”

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