Charlestown-Nevis—She danced her way into the Jessups Community Center, not being fully aware that the wonderful persons assembled there were waiting to celebrate her and her significant contribution to the Nevisian community.
Mrs. Janet Herbert had been invited to be present at the Jessups Community Center on Thursday 19th May. She was told to bring along her husband, Cecil but she was not told that the entire program was dedicated to honour her in her retirement.
So, she was obviously surprised that she was given a special seat at the head table and then formally informed by chairperson, Mr. Eric Evelyn that the day truly belonged to her.
She was clearly overwhelmed and just about reduced to tears of joy.
Mr. Evelyn in his remarks, admonished all present to treasure and appreciate their loved ones and others, while they are yet alive and not wait until they have passed on, to pay them glowing tributes.
Care Giver Glorita Vaughn rendered the invocation, while Care Giver, Mrs. Orelia David read a passage of scripture.
The official welcome was delivered by Care Giver, Mrs. Yvette Ingles who also paid a glowing tribute to her former co-worker.
Among those speaking at the elaborate ceremony, was the Director of the Social Services Department, Mrs. Sandra Maynard who had high commendations for the work ethics and polite demeanour of Mrs. Herbert. She noted that when the idea of adding Caregivers for the seniors to the Community Services Department, was implemented in 2003, by then Minister of Health, Hon. Jean Harris, Mrs. Herbert was the first one hired.
She later used her to train others and she was the department’s rep at many related seminars.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, lauded Mrs. Herbert for her many years of service as a Caregiver and thanked her on behalf of the Nevis Island Administration; the Ministry of Social Development and people of Nevis in general. He referred to her as a ‘model employee.’
He also advised the other Caregivers present to emulate the celebrant.
Representatives of the seniors’ groups across the island also paid tribute to Mrs. Herbert in song.
A key moment in the proceedings, were special presentations made to the honouree:
Mrs. Sandra Maynard presented a fruit basket on behalf the Ministry of Social Development, while Mr. Glasgow presented a nice plaque on behalf of his Ministry and Seniors’ Coordinator Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson presented several key tokens on behalf of the seniors, which included a cake; a bottle of apple cider and a gift voucher of $500.00 for her to purchase groceries at a supermarket of her choice.
Not to be outdone, husband of the celebrant, Cecil Herbert, volunteered a few sentiments. He referred to his wife as a virtuous, loving and caring woman and thanked God for allowing her to ‘take his heart.’
An overwhelmed Mrs. Herbed thanked God for his many blessings and thanked the Ministry, the officials, caregivers and seniors for making the surprise day such a wonderful one for her.
She pointed out that in her giving care to the seniors, she did not simply work by stipulated hours. Whenever, she was dealing with a senior, she dealt with the individual on a case by case basis and once there was a need and she could assist, she would do so, no matter how long it took.
All present then partook of a sumptuous luncheon and the vote of thanks was delivered by Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson.