16 July 2011

On the Passing of Rose Janniere, Former Mayor of Arima, Friend of the Carib Community of Trinidad

Rose Janneire, at Balisier House, on Republic Day 1998.
© Maximilian C. Forte.
I was sadly surprised to learn of the passing of former Arima Mayor, Rose Janniere, from reading the Trinidad news this morning. She passed away on Thursday, 14 July, 2011. I first met Rose Janniere about 16 years ago, in 1995, at the Carib Community Centre, when she was then Mayor of Arima and closely associated with the Santa Rosa Carib Community. Janniere was the first, and only, woman to have become Mayor of Arima. In the years that I did my research with the Caribs (1995, 1998-1999, 2001-2003, 2006) I would meet her very often, especially as my research expanded to include the Arima Borough Council where she sat as an Alderman next to Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, head of the Carib Community. She was for a long time a staunch promoter of the Carib Community. Like Ricardo, and most members of the Carib Community, she was also a loyal supporter of the People's National Movement and, if I recall correctly, had at one time been the secretary to Dr. Eric Williams, and later was the Public Relations Officer for the PNM. Thanks to her, I was able to attend and document the PNM's celebration of Republic Day in 1998, where I saw how Trinidad's Caribs were prominently featured (in part due to the work of Rose Janniere), and where I also met Patrick Manning, then Opposition Leader. Later Rose Janniere also became active in the National Association for the Empowerment of African People (NAEAP), which today has also written its condolences:
The National Association for the Empowerment of African People (NAEAP) joins the nation in recognizing the many services Ms. Janneire rendered to the nation. Ms. Janneire joined NAEAP in 2000, two years after it was founded, and worked arduously with the organization to transform the landscape of African people in this country. She served as a trustee in the organization and for many years controlled the finances of the organization.

For most of her eleven years in NAEAP she was the chairman of NAEAP’s Annual Emancipation Dinner and made sure she found the finances to run NAEAP’s day school. She served conscientiously in these roles and gave of herself unstintingly to make NAEAP a better organization. That is why NAEAP members such Oscar Gooding, Marcia Toney, Marion Simmons and Annette Valdez took care of Ms. Janneire in the final days of her life while her daughter lived in Barbados and her son served as a priest in New Jersey.

NAEAP regards her as faithful servant who worked hard to advance the cause of African people in Trinidad and Tobago. We thank her for such services on behalf of the black community. Selwyn R. Cudjoe, President of NAEAP says of Ms. Janneire, “She was a good and faithful servant who served her nation well. We will all miss her as an organization.” NAEAP will not hold its annual Emancipation dinner this year in respect for the life that Ms. Janneire’s lived. We will use the time to reflect on the many contributions that she made to her country.
Even via NAEAP, Rose Janniere continued to support the Carib Community, and once again it was thanks to her that I met Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe who came and advised at various community planning meetings in the Carib Centre. Rose Janniere became a Senator, and from that point I do not think I saw her again. While we certainly had our differences, I must say that Rose always showed herself to be very gracious and kind in my regards. I am certain that her loss is felt not just by her family, but also by many people in the Carib Community, not least of whom is the current Carib chief.

Rose welcoming the Caribs as they enter the Church for the Santa Rosa Festival
Rose dancing with Cristo Adonis of the Carib Community
Rose and the author of this post, at the Carib Centre in August of 1998

Rose Janniere dies from pancreatic cancer
First published in the Trinidad Express
Story by Anna Ramdass
Jul 16, 2011

Former mayor of Arima and member of the People's National Movement (PNM) Rose Janniere is dead.

Janniere died on Thursday at the Port of Spain General Hospital from pancreatic cancer.

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, in a statement yesterday, described Janniere as a "servant to the people of Trinidad and Tobago".

"As a member of the PNM, Ms Janniere served in the constituency of Arima as Deputy Mayor from 1983 to 1987 and as Mayor from 1992 to 1996. She was actively involved with the Carib community and also served on the management team of Arima United Sports Club," stated Rowley.

He further noted that Janniere gave yeoman service to the PNM as assistant general secretary, public relations officer and a member of the Women's League.
"Her public career saw her act as a senator between 2002 and 2007. She also served as a director of the Port Authority and, up to 2010, was employed at the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago," stated Rowley.

He added, "Rose Janniere was a tried and true servant of the People's National Movement and, by extension, the people of Trinidad and Tobago. On behalf of the PNM family, it is with a great sense of loss and sadness that I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ms Janniere. May she rest in peace."

PNM general secretary Ashton Ford told the Express he had known Janniere for a very long time and praised her for her service to party and people.

"I worked with her when I was a member of Parliament. She became a councillor and moved on to be the first female mayor of Arima. She was well loved and served the party at all levels," said Ford.

He added that Janniere was a people's person who was actively involved with the sporting community and loved Carnival and playing mas.

He also pointed out that Janniere was instrumental in having the statue of Calypso King "Lord Kitchener" erected in the country.

Arima Mayor Alderman Ghassan Youseph also expressed sympathies to Janniere's family, adding that a condolence book will be opened at Arima Town Hall for all Arimians who wish to pay their respects.

He said the Council will be in contact with the family to determine what role the Council can play in the funeral arrangements.

"On behalf of the Council and staff of the Arima Corporation, and all Arimians, and on my own behalf, I extend condolences to the family of the late Rose Janniere, especially her mom Ms Rose Hilibrand and children Mrs Natasha Lashley and Fr Nigel Mohammed," Youseph said in a press release.

He pointed out that Janniere, who came from a well-known Arima family, served Trinidad and Tobago and the Arimians, as Mayor of Arima, for almost four years, between 1992 and 1996.

"Ms Janniere's passing is a sad loss for the borough of Arima and all of Trinidad and Tobago," he added.

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