Dana Seetahal loved Bishop Anstey High School (BAHS) and her alma mater loved her right back.
The former Old Hillarian, who was brutally murdered on May 4 in Woodbrook as she was returning home, was celebrated as the embodiment of what a “Bishops” girl should be by her former schoolmates and other friends, who held a memorial service for her yesterday at the
All Saints Anglican Church, Marli Street, Port of Spain.
Seetahal attended BAHS from 1966 to 1973.
Leading the tributes was Seetahal’s sister Susan Francois. Francois recalled how hard her sister worked to pass for her first-choice school—even attaining a scholarship for her efforts. And from the time she re-
ceived her school ring in Form Six, Francois remem-
bered it never left Seetahal’s finger until the day she died.
Francois quoted the school hymn, “Who would true valour see”, words she said perfectly embodied Seetahal’s spirit.
“She lived the vow she took as a lawyer; she was an inspiring lecturer, mentor,
advocate for what she be-
lieved in. She was a hard taskmaster, and those she loved most, including her sib-
lings and nieces and nephews, were all familiar with the ‘Dana bouff’...but she always remained caring and
humble,” Francois said fondly.
Delivering remarks on behalf of the school’s board of management was Wanda Bernard, and evoking treasured memories about school
days relatable to every Bishop’s girl in the congregation, Dr Jennifer Rouse brought remarks on behalf of the Alumnae Association.
Anglican Bishop the Right Rev Claude Berkley delivered the homily, based on the gospel reading from John, chapter 11, verses 21-27, where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
“With Jesus, we have hope. Hope that we can
recover from this (Old West)
style state of affairs where
bounties are offered; that
Dana’s murder will force
a transformation of life in
this country. We have hope
that law and order must be
encouraged and enforced,
that all must be subject to the rule of law, not untouchables. We have hope that prayer and social justice will regain priority in our lives. We have hope that Dana’s death will not be in vain,” Berkley said.
As the country seeks to deal with the shock and hurt at this “complex situation” of crime in the country, put in perspective by Seetahal’s murder, Berkley said there was a series of “iffing”, trying to find an explanation for the grievous strike among us.
“It seems as if no one is
safe and there is nothing that can be done. This is an assault on our sovereignty, dignity and citizenship. The
Constitution offers us certain
rights as citizens but what good are they if we are unable
to exercise them responsi-
bly? Our sister, Dana, embraced her rights and freedoms whole-heartedly and served her country well. All
she stood for—was that a reason to kill her? Because she was a good character? Wasn’t she taught and trained to be like that,” he said.
Seetahal spoke the truth, he said, not her truth but the truth.
“But we know how the
world deals with truth. The
world tries to kill the truth and
its bearers. This is what was
done to Jesus and any other who would dare to share and represent truth—they would suffer. Our world history is testimony to that. It is the way
of the strong, faithful, brave
and game-changers of this
world—truth-telling. And this is what we will embrace as we commemorate this great person who lived among us,” he said.
Concluding the service, the Lydians Choir performed a rousing rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.