October 29, 2007
Minister of Social Development Hon. Hensley Daniel had high praise and words of encouragement for the residents of the Flambouyant Nursing Home on Friday October 26, 2007, when he told them that they formed part of the living history of the island and their work was not done. He said they were an important component in an initiative by the Ministry of Culture, to document their life and times.
The Minister who also holds the portfolio for Health and Culture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) made remark at an open day, the Home’s final activity in the month of October which had been set aside to celebrate the life and times of the elderly.
“God is not finished with you yet, there is still more work for you to do and the young people in this country have a tremendous amount of information to gain from you.
“In the Ministry of Culture we are starting a documentation of the life and times of the outstanding work and achievements of our elderly people. So please hang around till we get it started it is going to be soon. I want them [Department of Culture] to be able to come and talk to you so that succeeding generations will recognise that the society did not start with all these paved roads and television,” he said.
The Minister noted that the NIA placed high value on the contributions of the elderly and therefore had taken measures to ensure that they were cared for and treated in a humane manner.
“Our government is mindful of the way we treat our elderly people as they near the distal end of the life course, that speaks to our humanity and that if we treat them well, it shows that we are a humane and caring society, if we don’t it shows that we don’t recognise them and we don’t value their contribution.
“For us in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, we value the contributions of the elderly people and we seek with their contribution, to appreciate the past, celebrate the present and move to the future. While we do that we carry you who have been with us in the past, you are here in the present and of course I believe many of you will say you have a future as well,” he said.
While he addressed the residents, Mr. Daniel also admonished the youthful care givers at the Home and elsewhere to continue to care for the elderly and reminded them that they too would need care takers in the future.
“For you here at the Flambouyant Nursing Home, you have reached a stage in your life where we make a change. There was a time when you cared for people like myself and so it is now our time to care for you.
“As you move through the life cycle if you move past 80 and beyond or maybe even before, you might need somebody to care for you and my message to today’s young people is this that old people are ourselves and we have to bear in mind that we may need a caregiver long before we arrive at 60, 70 and 80,” he said.
Meantime, three of the Flambouyant Home’s oldest residents Ms. Edna Smith, Ms. Doris Richards, and Ms. Christina Crooke were honoured by the staff. Short profiles were read for each then there were presented with a gift.
Another touching moment came when a minute of silence was observed and a tribute to the late Nurse Sheila Daniel who passed away one year ago. A teary eyed staff member described her as one who love the residents and had served them well, as a mother a friend and as one who was sadly missed but not forgotten at the Home.
Also during the ceremony, a 21″ LG television was donated by the Nevis Lions Club. The presentation was made to Alexandra Hospital Administrator Mrs. Vita Morton for the Flambouyant Nursing Home by Lion Mr. Spencer Howell on behalf of his organisation.
Other remarks came from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mrs. Joslyn Liburd Nurse in charge Ms. Heather David and Mr. Walter Morton (chair person). The national anthem was rendered by Ms. Techyana David. The profiles were read by Ms. Martina Quailey, Ms. Twana Williams and Ms. Faith Jeffers and a solo was rendered by Ms. Andrea Winston. The musical entertainment was rendered by Santoy and Jazzique and the Vote of thanks was done by Ms. Jakeisha Pollock.