(CNS Local Life): After a 16-week course run by the Customs Department, 14 trainees have graduated as customs officers, an achievement celebrated at a ceremony held Friday, 10 March. Receiving their certificates were Stephen Anderson, Vannasa Bailey, Prisilla Berry, Eddree Fisher, Leonard Hydes, George Jackson, Miguel McFarlane, Christopher McField, Colbert Miller, Marcia Myles, Jessie Peynado, Everett Smith, Teresa Watler and Kishana Whittaker.
The graduates then started work in the department Monday, 13 March.
On hand to present awards and certificates were Acting Governor Franz Manderson, Financial Secretary and Chief Officer Kenneth Jefferson, Assistant Financial Secretary Anne Owens, Collector of Customs Charles Clifford, Deputy Collector Marlon Bodden and Assistant Collector Lisa Kelly.
Class valedictorian Anderson was also named best overall student for not just his academic performance but also his knowledge about business, political and social issues and for being able to face practical assignments with confidence, assurance and innovative thinking, stated a government press release. He also achieved an individual average of 97% throughout the course to earn best academic performance honours.
Berry earned the best academic paper nod for “communicating with credibility, confidence and clear analysis” in her 3,000-word paper and 20-minute oral presentation”, said the press release.
Myles received the customer service award and most improved student was Miller. Whittaker took the class captain award for being the best among all the trainees who took turns at that position.
The acting governor advised the new officers to serve the government with passion, courtesy and consistently high-level customer service.
Jefferson noted that in the line of duty they would be tested by a whole gamut of behaviours from the arriving public. He exhorted them to master the principle behind the rules they will have to apply to the ever-changing situations they encounter daily on the job.
Owens delivered remarks on behalf of Minister for Finance and Economic Development Marco Archer, in which he asked the 14 chosen from among 300 applicants to employ their resolve to the coming challenges and become exemplary personnel. “Remember that you serve a cause greater than yourself,” he said.
Clifford pointed out that six of the graduates are former police officers including a senior customs staffer. He said they bring additional law enforcement experience into the department, which continues to collaborate well with the other agencies.
He asked them to put country before self and exercise their considerable authority with humility, good judgement, common sense and excellent customer service.
Valedictorian Anderson acknowledged that their trainers focused on the job as well as personal development and overall welfare. “From day one you taught us the motto, ‘No one left behind’, and showed us what was expected of a leader by assigning weekly a class captain,” he said. To modify a saying, pressure makes diamonds, he quipped, adding they all are, shining for the department and the country.
Category: Civil Service