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By JOHN MITCHELL Pho­tos by IVAMERE ROKOVESA SHE was once amongst the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in the cor­ri­dors of Par­lia­ment. To­day, in her twi­light years and en­joy­ing life away from the lime­light, for­mer Sec­re­tary Gen­eral to Par­lia­ment, Mary Chap­man,72, is bask­ing in peace and quiet. maiLife mag­a­zine vis­ited her re­cently at Taro, Bau in Tailevu for a catch up and to find out how she is spend­ing her re­tire­ment. With her days in the spot­light now over, Mary Chap­man feels con­tent be­ing just an­other or­di­nary ci­ti­zen. Rem­i­nisc­ing over a ca­reer that has spanned decades, she said it felt good to fi­nally throw in the towel. “For me ev­ery­thing ended af­ter 2006. You didn’t have Par­lia­ment and you didn’t know what kind of Gov­ern­ment you’ll get so you were on ten­ter­hooks all the time. I left at the time of the coup be­cause I was Sec­re­tary Gen­eral to Par­lia­ment and what they wanted was to get rid of the top guns in cer­tain min­istries and in­sti­tu­tions.” Mrs Chap­man, who got her­self in hot wa­ter many times dur­ing her term, said en­joy­ing re­tire­ment years was a beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­one must plan for and en­joy. “We first came here (Taro) a few years ago with a few for­mer staff from Par­lia­ment. Now we are here quite of­ten be­cause this is our bush par­lia­ment. From here, we an­a­lyse ev­ery­thing and no­body hears it ex­cept the mon­gooses and the bees who are our neigh­bours.” She said while she missed cer­tain as­pects of her for­mer job, re­tire­ment had done won­ders for her. “When I re­tired a few years ago one of the things my doc­tor said was: ‘Mary, you must be the only one that has ben­e­fit­ted from the coup (2006) be­cause it’s the only time I’ve no­ticed your blood pres­sure go right down.” Her hy­per­ten­sion she said was the re­sult of many hours of work in a pres­sure cooker work en­vi­ron­ment such as the leg­is­la­ture. “Back then it was a dif­fer­ent kind of Par­lia­ment. We

Chap­man talks about her re­tire­ment ex­pe­ri­ence

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