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Courts staffer moves on to higher calling

| 28/09/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Janis McLaughlin (centre) is flanked by fellow Judicial Administration staff (L-R) Rosita Ebanks, Charmaine Bodden, Lillian Curbelo-Bush and Jawanda Evans.

(CNS): Long-serving Judicial Administration employee Janis McLaughlin will tally her cash for the last time on Wednesday, 30 September, to become a full-time minister of religion. McLaughlin has served as one of the cashiers at the finance counters of the Judicial Administration for 13 years, and has worked at the courts for more than 18 of the 25 years of her civil-service career.

Court administrator Kevin McCormac spoke of McLaughlin’s dedication to the job since he arrived four years ago. “Our finance centre deals with a huge volume of payments coming in for a variety of reasons (sometimes from people who really do not want to pay),” he said.

“It is a real tribute to Janis that she has handled so much money from so many people for so long with such skill and efficiency – she will be missed by many of our regular customers as well as by us all.”

She started as a clerical officer at the courts in March 1997, and later became an executive officer. “When I go to a department, I like to make a difference,” she said. Her first job in the civil service was a switchboard operator in 1990, after which she soon moved into filing where she quickly challenged her peers to think about ways in which they could work smarter. “I like to work better, not harder,” she added.

Her supervisor, Lillian Curbelo-Bush, the administrative and finance manager of the Judicial Financial Centre, said: “It has been an immeasurable pleasure working with Janis. She has been an important member of the Judicial Administration’s Financial Centre for the better part of 14 years and, prior to that, Government as a whole for many more years.”

Curbelo-Bush added while it was difficult to see McLaughlin leave, “her future ambitions are the most admirable and we certainly cannot compete with her purpose in life”.

McLaughlin said throughout her career she has adopted a thankful, uncomplaining and willing attitude. “I give God thanks. I started with three young children and my supervisors gave me opportunities to prove myself. I am grateful, and whatever hurdles came up, I trusted in God and He always gave me grace to see me through. And I have always been willing to try.”

She will be joining a full-time ministry beside Bishop Oral McLaughlin of the Eastern Apostolic Church in East End; she was ordained in May 2011 and has 14 years’ experience overall.

Her motivation for this career change began as she watched one of her sons grow up. Now 18 years old and about to go overseas to study auto mechanics, he was born with a number of medical issues, she said.

It soon became more than she as a young mother could handle, so she turned to prayer, she said, explaining, “I found Christ in the crisis.” Despite the resistance of people around her, she persevered in her trust in God and faith that her son would overcome the challenges. Against the odds, her son graduated primary school and, most daunting of all, high school.

By that time, she had five children. She recalled that she said to God, “If you help me to raise these children to where they can stand on their own,” she would dedicate her life to His service.

Her youngest, a daughter, is now in nursing school and working part-time, so McLaughlin explained it was time to fulfil her promise, and turn her attention to praying for others.

As preparation for her new career, she earned an online counselling degree from Rockville University in 2007.

McLaughlin said she expects her first undertaking will be a trip to a women’s retreat in the US, followed by visits to branches of her church in Jamaica and Honduras, but she will primarily focus on supporting the work of Bishop McLaughlin in the Cayman Islands.

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Category: Civil Service

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