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Farewell, dear ‘Brother’

Tuesday, May 13 2014

click on pic to zoom in
MILITARY FUNERAL: Resplendently garbed in uniform, members of the local Defence Force took part in the funeral for the former Chief of Defence Staff, ...
MILITARY FUNERAL: Resplendently garbed in uniform, members of the local Defence Force took part in the funeral for the former Chief of Defence Staff, ...

The family and friends of Brigadier General Roland Garth Maunday, who retired as Chief of Defence Staff in 2011, will always remember him as a kind and loving man who was known to many in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment as “brother.”

Maunday’s funeral mass was held yesterday at the Santa Rosa RC Church, Arima with full military honours, and later interred at the Military Cemetery, St James. Maunday passed away last week at his home in Arima due to a heart attack at the age of 57. Maunday was survived by his wife, Wendy, and his daughter, Gabrielle.

The church was overflowing with mourners, some of whom had to sit under tents in the park. President Anthony Carmona, former President George Maxwell Richards, Minister of National Security Garry Griffith, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and Mayor of Arima George Hadeed were all present.

“Everyone fondly referred to General Maunday as brother since that was the very way he greeted his troupers. General Maunday had a genuine sense of care for the morale and welfare of anyone and everyone who engaged him… Although many times he would appear intimidating, Maunday really was a gentle giant,” said Major General Kenrick Maharaj.

Maharaj succeeded Maunday as Chief of Defence Staff after his retirement in 2011. Maharaj said his predecessor received many awards and commendations during his 33-year-long career in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment. These include the Efficiency Medal, the Long Service Medal and the Medal commemorating his service during the attempted coup in 1990, for service to the nation.

However, Maharaj said one of his greatest accomplishments was the dedication and leadership he showed to those around him.

During the Homily, Monsignor Christian Pereira stated most people question the reason for death, but he reaffirms the reality that death is inevitable. Instead of asking why did this person die, people must ask how society can find these people who can fill the void that the deceased has left.

“One thing we have to agree with regardless of when, how or why, is that death creates a space. It opens a void and we feel that emptiness… We must ask ourselves what we are doing to put in place the transition. What are we doing to repopulate the void? ” Pereira said.

Mentioning the recent deaths of former President Arthur NR Robinson and slain Senior Council Dana Seetahal, Pereira said their deaths leave a great void, but if society prepares the future generation for succession, then the space these deaths make would not be as great.

Following the service, Maunday was given the honour of a military-led procession to the St James military cemetery for burial.

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