Mae Thompson is a familiar sight to drivers near Jose’s Rubis every morning where, in rain or shine, she delivers a daily dose of good humor along with the newspapers she sells to commuters.
The newspaper vendor received a surprise early Mother’s Day treat on Friday when the Westin resort rewarded her with some gifts and a personal “thank you” for her cheerfulness and uplifting spirit.
“I feel so great. I am so surprised,” Ms. Thompson said after Locksley Haylock and Bertha Ebanks from the Westin turned up with the surprise gifts, which included a stay at the resort, spa treatments, a makeover with clothing and shoes from Lorna’s Exquisite Fashions, dinner at The Wharf and a taxi service from Kennedy Tours.
Ms. Thompson has been selling the Cayman Compass to commuters for the past 11 years. The mother of four children, all of whom live in Portmore, Jamaica, has lived in Cayman since 1994.
Speaking to the Compass shortly after the Westin staff delivered their surprise at her regular spot on Agnes Way, Ms. Thompson said, “This morning when I woke, the first thing I did was pray … then I asked the Lord to bless me. Every day I look forward for someone to bless me. When I turned around looking to sell a paper, I saw these people coming toward me and they said ‘God bless you’ and I said it back to them. They told me they were going to give me a makeover and dinner.
“It was such a surprise. I did not even have time to choose someone on the spot, but I will be taking someone along with me to enjoy.”
Known for her smile and friendliness to the many customers to whom she sells papers, Ms. Thompson said drivers often tell her they love to see her beautiful smile early in the morning. “It makes my day, so I just keep on smiling.”
Congratulating Ms. Thompson, Westin’s Human Resource Director Mr. Haylock said she had been chosen by the hotel’s Care Committee as someone deserving in the community.
Ms. Ebanks, the Westin’s supervisor of PBX, who passes Ms. Thompson every morning on her way to work, nominated the vendor as a candidate for the committee’s Mother’s Day special award.
Tony James, the hotel’s Human Resources manager, said the Care Committee, wanted to honor a woman in Cayman for Mother’s Day “who deserved to be recognized for her work in the community.”