Tributes paid to Anna Mahase

Anna Mahase. - Photo courtesy Kenneth Shawn Mahase
Anna Mahase. - Photo courtesy Kenneth Shawn Mahase

Former principal of St Augustine Girls' High School (SAGHS) Anna Mahase, 91, died early on Friday at Medical Associates Hospital, St Joseph.

Mahase, the principal of SAGHS for over 30 years, was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold) and Medal of Merit (Gold) for public service, and two honorary doctorates.

Speaking with Newsday on Friday, Shawn Mahase said, “My aunt was an innovator and an absolute trailblazer.”

Mahase said his aunt will be dearly missed by all family, friends and past students for the joy she brought into their lives.

Mahase said while his aunt had no biological children, “She claimed she was a mother to thousands of daughters who passed through her during her time at SAGHS” and to her nieces and nephews from the Mahase and Nath families.

A statement from the SAGHS Alumnae Association described Mahase as a “visionary leader, a compassionate mentor, and an unwavering advocate for excellence in education.

“Her commitment to fostering a nurturing and empowering environment at SAGHS has left an indelible mark on our community.”

The statement praised Mahase for moulding her students into model citizens.

“Through her guidance, she instilled values of integrity, resilience, and intellectual curiosity in every student, shaping us into the women we are today.”

The statement said Mahase’s memory will live on through her impact on the school.

“As we mourn her loss, we also celebrate her life and the profound difference she made in the world. Dr Mahase’s memory will live on through the countless lives she touched and the enduring impact she had on our alma mater.”

MP for Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh, whose daughters attended SAGHS, said he was fortunate to have known her personally.

“My association with Dr Mahase spanned many years. I was fortunate to have known her as both my daughters attended SAGHS and my wife Allene was vice president of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for many years. “

Indarsingh said her legacy left a mark on the “nation's girls, hundreds of teachers, and countless families through her service as an educator and principal.”

Naparima Girls' vice principal Naomi Adonis-Woodsley praised Mahase’s contributions to young people.

“We join in expressing our condolences as we acknowledge the passing of one of our educational icons in TT. Her reach extended beyond education, her interests were always for children at heart.”

The TT Red Cross Society (TTRCS) reflected on Mahase’s half-century of dedication to the organisation.

“She began her enduring relationship with the TTRCS in 1954 while working as a teacher. By the age of 20, she was already deeply committed to addressing the needs of children.”

Mahase served as president of the society.

“Her passion for children’s welfare was evident in her active involvement with the Red Cross Children’s Carnival reflecting her lifelong motto, ‘For the love of kids.’”

Health and training liaison of the Red Cross Dr Alana Roach said she was honoured to be among the last of "Ms Mahase’s girls."

“I am committed to perpetuating her legacy through service, innovative thinking, poised leadership and a steadfast commitment to equity and inclusion.

“Rest in peace, your impact endures.”

Mahase was born in the village of Guaico to Kenneth Mahase, a headmaster, and Anna Mahase (Sr), a teacher at several Canadian Mission schools and the first Indian woman to become a teacher, in 1918.

Mahase attended the Guaico CM School and then Naparima Girls' High School in San Fernando.

She then went to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, graduating with a BSc and BEd.

After returning to TT, Mahase was the first local woman to be appointed head of SAGHS.

She was awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees from Mount Allison University and UWI.

Mahase was one of the founding members of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and served on the University Council of UWI.


"Tributes paid to Anna Mahase"

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