Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mara steps out front


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For 22 years, she was the politician’s wife.
Today, Mara Thompson is the politician, doing house-to-house canvassing and preparing to address political meetings, asking people to vote for her.
From all accounts, she did not envisage anything but playing a support role for her husband, late Prime Minister David Thompson, who died in office on October 23.
However, Mara said she could not turn down the many calls from the people of St John to be the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) candidate for the January 20 by-election to fill the seat left vacant by her husband’s death.
The low political profile she assumed until recently might have been a surprise to some, considering that her father, the late Henry Giraudy, Q.C., was “a political powerhouse” in St Lucia in the days when the late Sir John Compton was Prime Minister.
Giraudy, a prominent lawyer, was often referred to as simply “The Chairman”, in recognition of his title in Sir John’s United Workers Party (UWP).
His daughter’s shift from political supporter to candidate seems only natural in the circumstances, politicians say.
Mara told party members at her recent nomination that for 22 years she had been taking messages from constituents, visiting their homes and analysing their demands and concerns with her late husband.
She admitted that she did not see herself as a politician or a great orator but had “embraced the opportunity and the invitation to serve the people of St John as their representative”.
Marie-Joseph Mara Thompson was born in St Lucia on October 4, 1961 to Monica and Henry Giraudy.
Her early education was at St Joseph’s Convent in Castries.
Later, she studied at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, from 1979 to 1983, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education.
She went to Howard University in Washington DC from 1986 to 1988 and gained a Master of Science  degree in physical education.
Mara also studied at the Barbados Community College from 2005 to 2007 and obtained a certificate in paralegal education.
PE teacher
She taught physical education from 1986 to 2005 at several institutions – the Owl School, Washington DC, Immaculate Conception High & Prep Schools in Kingston, Jamaica, Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, St Lucia, Christ Church Foundation School and Combermere School.
As a paralegal, she has worked at her late husband’s law firm, Thompson & Associates.
Her hobbies include playing tennis, golfing, swimming, cycling and jogging. She enjoys cricket, reading and listening to music.
What few people know is that she is not big on cooking or shopping.
She has three daughters: Misha, 20, Oya, 17, and Osa-Marie, 9.


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