Two long-serving elder care workers were celebrated by colleagues, management and a ministerial delegation from Grand Cayman at a retirement luncheon at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort on Feb. 9.
Kirkconnell Community Care Centre’s longest-serving staff members Carmen Francis and Yvonne Earle were honored for their dedicated service of more than 25 years and 19 years, respectively, in caring for Brac senior citizens at the 30-bed residential facility.
Minister of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports Osbourne Bodden, Ministry Chief Officer Dorine Whittaker, Assistant Chief Officer Joel Francis and the head of the Department of Children and Family Services, Felicia Robinson, were all on hand to offer their congratulations.
Their supervisor, Frances Clyne, praised both retirees for having given unstintingly during their careers.
“Popular evening and night-shift workers with colleagues and residents alike, they were acknowledged as hardworking and conscientious,” a press release states, noting that Ms. Francis worked in home care for the Department of Children and Family Services before the center was built, transferring once the facility opened. An exuberant and energetic caregiver, she was told that she will be most remembered for her lively and outgoing ways, the press release states.
Mr. Bodden said 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.
The release states that the most poignant part of the retirement leave-taking was a speech for Ms. Francis, written and read by her friend and colleague, Sonia Creary, Ms. Francis’s co-worker at the Centre’s Tibbetts Annex.
“This phase in life is not about giving up, losing yourself, slowing down or feeling old,” said Ms. Creary. “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.”
Both retirees received gifts from their colleagues, as well as floral baskets, awards and cards from the ministerial team. After the buffet lunch, guests enjoyed sharing a retirement cake.