The lengthy careers of two of Kirkconnell Community Care Centre’s longest serving staff members were celebrated by colleagues, management and a ministerial deputation from Grand Cayman at a retirement luncheon, Thursday, Feb. 9.
Carmen Francis and Yvonne Earle’s dedicated service of more than 25 and 19 years respectively was celebrated at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort with speeches, gifts and a buffet.
Minister of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, Osbourne Bodden; his Chief Officer, Dorine Whittaker; Assistant Chief Officer, Joel Francis and the Head of the Department of Children and Family Services Felicia Robinson each gave well-received speeches.
Both retirees who are of Jamaican descent were said by their supervisor, Frances Clyne, to have given unstintingly during careers at the 30-bed residential facility for Brac’s senior citizens.
Popular evening and night-shift workers with colleagues and residents alike, they were acknowledged as hardworking and conscientious.
Ms. Francis worked in home care for the DCFS before the centre was built. Once the facility opened she transferred over. An exuberant and energetic care-giver, she was told that she will be most remembered for her lively and outgoing ways.
The Minister, in outlining his ministry’s appreciation for her years of service, remarked that he was grateful for, “the meticulous care she gave to her clients.” He also told the gathering that he was assured that she would be, “a tough act to follow.”
Ms. Earle was said to be quieter than her colleague but equally valued for her “sterling contributions and her unflappability in an emergency.”
She was also thanked for her, “willingness to pitch in at a moment’s notice,” when called on to cover for other staff.
Both received gifts from their colleagues, as well as floral baskets, awards and cards from the ministerial team.
The most poignant part of the retirement leave-taking was a speech for Ms. Earle, which was written and read out by her friend and colleague Sonia Creary.
Her co-worker at the Centre’s Tibbetts Annex said: “This phase in life is not about giving up, losing yourself, slowing down or feeling old. Retirement is about enjoying the longest holiday of life. It’s about doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it and how you want to do it.”
The retirement buffet followed, topped off with the cutting and sharing of a retirement cake and more photographs.