|‘Brother’ Maunday dies |
By RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS Wednesday, May 7 2014
MERE days after being the one of the pallbearers at the ecumenical funeral service of former President and Prime Minister ANR Robinson, former Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Roland Maunday passed away from a heart attack early yesterday morning.
Maunday’s grieving widow Wendy Maunday said he awoke early yesterday morning experiencing a shortness of breath. The family rushed him to the Arima District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at about 5.30 am.
At Maunday’s home at Olton Road, Arima, several friends, relatives and colleagues gathered to console each other and reminisce on the life of a man who was both a soldier and a gentleman.
Retired Colonel George Robinson said he knew Maunday since he (Maunday) entered the military in 1978, and described him as a people person who was also a family man and took his people-oriented approach into his professional career.
“Most soldiers saw him as a brother in arms and a confidante a number of people have held him in high esteem as a result of his approach to his work and life. He continued in that kind of way so that we knew he was deeply committed to his family,” Robinson said.
Also commenting on the character of the Maunday, Brigadier Ancil Antoine, retired Chief of Defence Staff said everyone had nicknamed Maunday “Brother”, because that was the way he referred to all the people around him regardless of age.
Mrs Maunday remembered her husband as a strong and family oriented person. She said although they had been married for 30 years, they met as high school sweethearts ten years before their marriage.
“We were married in 1983. For Roland, family came first...but he was a soldier through and thought. He loved his work. He made sure everything was in order before he left his home. Even while he was working if anything happened he would drop everything and get to his family’s side. Beside us he always looked after extended family. His aunts, even my sisters they were all a major part of his life,” she said.
Brigadier General Maunday assumed duties as Chief of Defence Staff on November 6, 2011 after serving as Defence Attaché at the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington DC from September 2009.
Maunday enlisted in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment on June 1, 1978. He attended and graduated from the Canadian Force Officer Candidate School in Chilliwack and the All Arms Training School in Gagetown, Canada, between 1978 and 1979
He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer at the rank of Second Lieutenant in 1979. He held many administrative and operational posts during his career from Platoon Command to Formation Command and finally Chief of Defence Staff.
Maunday’s experience spanned over 33 years of service, during which time he was involved in training exercises and operations, both nationally and internationally. These exercises include Fuerzas Humanitarias – Disaster Exercise in El Salvador and Guatemala. Operationally he completed an overseas tour in Haiti as the Staff Officer Operations and Military Liaison Officer for the CARICOM Forces, as a member of the Multinational Force between 1994 and 1995, and was awarded the Medal of Merit by the US Command, for his service in Haiti. Maunday will be laid to rest following a funeral service next Monday at the Santa Rosa RC Church.