Relatives of Dana Seetahal said they were appreciative of the national award of the Chaconia Medal (Gold), which was to be bestowed on the deceased senior counsel, but they were “simply unable” to attend yesterday’s ceremony.
This was revealed in a message by Seetahal’s niece Danielle Francois, sent via Twitter yesterday morning.
In the message, Francois noted that any statement that the family is “blanking” or “boycotting” the national awards was a distortion of facts and the truth was that they were simply unable to attend the event.
“The family remains appreciative of the award bestowed, we are simply unable to attend the event, however, we will be accepting the event at a later date,” Francois said.
Her message added: “The call was made yesterday to Ms Susan Francois, who expressed appreciation on behalf of our family and apologised given the family’s inability to come sign for the award due to the time constraints, but indicated that we would be available on a later date.
“We were only informed that Dana Seetahal would be honoured with a National Award, but were not informed of what the award would be. Concurrently, we were aware that the nomination submitted by the powerful ladies of Trinidad and Tobago was for the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, (and) the assumption was that this nomination had been successful.
“In that context, when members of the media called and told Susan Francois she would not be receiving the highest award, she of course expressed her disappointment. The family remains appreciative of any award bestowed on our beloved aunt and sister,” the message concluded.