Thursday, December 13, 2012

PM wishes her office staff a happy, holy christmas

Edited excerpts from PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar's speech at a luncheon for her staff on Wednesday.

At this time we gratefully take a few hours from our usual work routines to socialize and interact, in the spirit of the Christmas Season, with friends and colleagues – enjoying that very special ambience which surrounds the celebration of Christmas and the season of goodwill. 

Today we also find ourselves enjoying our staff Christmas luncheon on a rather unique date - the 12th day of the 12th month, 2012. I am advised that this is the last repeating date of the current century and whether on a personal or national level, perhaps we could use this date as the start of a new positive chapter in our developmental journey.

Additionally, this year, a very special element has been included in our celebrations. 

Today, the Office of the Prime Minister recognizes and pays tribute to six (6) of our distinguished colleagues who have retired during the course of this year…six dedicated professionals who collectively...have selflessly served the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago for 227.

Mrs. Bejai, Mrs. Foncette, Ms. George, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Kissoon, and Mrs. Leung Woo-Gabriel…thank you for jobs well done; service delivered on a consistent and timely basis; and sacrifices, probably too many to mention, all made to ensure the smooth and effective running of the departments and Ministries in which you may have served – particularly the Office of the Prime Minister. 

Each of you underscores OPM’s Core values of Caring, Integrity, Results Oriented, Innovation/Creativity, Commitment to Service, and Professionalism; values which challenge us to be honest; considerate of the views and opinions of others; to focus on the task at hand; to strive for excellence, creativity; and to treat colleagues with respect and dignity at all times.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have often said that the public service is the backbone of any government. Without dedicated and committed public servants, the much needed goods and services provided by government in a timely and efficient manner would not be possible. 

I know that we have highly dedicated and hardworking staff at the Office of the Prime Minister and I wish to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to duty and to making the Office of the Prime Minister one of the best Ministries in which to work. 

As our nation celebrates 50 years of independence, the contribution that you the retirees have made over these years has been significant. Your critical support and implementation of government policies during your collective employment have made a positive difference in the lives of countless citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Many times you have had to work under extremely challenging circumstances and situations but you have risen to the occasion and have delivered on, and at times, beyond your mandate of service. 

Sometimes you have had to work long hours – even sacrificing time with your respective families. I take this opportunity to publicly extend my appreciation and thanks to each one of your family members for their understanding and support during those occasions when duty to country may have overwhelmed personal duty. 

I believe that each one of our retirees have demonstrated the golden standard of public service, recently acknowledged and promoted by the Ministry of Public Administration. This Ministry has also set the tone for the diamond standard of service, and for those of us who continue to work in the public service, we have been challenged to achieve this standard within the next 10 years.

We are also in the midst of the Christmas season – a time during which we tend to be excessively busy and preoccupied. But I encourage you now to pause and reflect on the real meaning and value of Christmas. 

As the Book of the Prophet Isaiah says, in Chapter 9 verse 6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 

My friends, let us not lose sight of the message of the Christ Child: Peace to all people of goodwill! Let us be mindful of the fact that this is the time, more than ever, when we are called to give and share with those who are less fortunate than ourselves. 

This is the time to put aside all manner of indifference and to open ourselves and our homes to the peace that the Christ Child brings. 

On this very special occasion, on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and on behalf of my own family, I say a special thank you to our OPM Retirees and wish them all the best in their retirement. 

And, to all gathered here this afternoon: Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings you happiness…may it be yours this Holiday Season and throughout the coming year. 

I wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Brighter and Prosperous New Year. God bless you and God bless our Nation.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai