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
Chapman talks about her retirement experience

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