(CNS Local Life): More than 400 people attended the Public Service Pensions Board (PSPB) pensioners’ appreciation event at Pedro St James on Wednesday, 12 April 2017. The programme, which was organised to celebrate the PSPB’s 25th anniversary, included live entertainment, speeches, prizes and a buffet. Kearney Gomez, the former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Works, presided over the five-hour event as the master of ceremonies.
In his opening remarks, the 43-year civil service veteran shared anecdotes and introduced the special guests and entertainers.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson also addressed those gathered, who included National Hero Sybil McLaughlin and John Jefferson Jr, stated a government press release. Speaking without notes, he thanked several people including Jewel Evans Lindsey, the PSPB’s managing director who had run the board since its inception, and her staff.
In outlining the contributions of the fund’s 1,800 pensioner members, Manderson said that the retirees were among those civil servants who had laid the foundations that enabled the year-on-year growth of the PSPB fund, which is now worth more than $1.5 billion.
“Today is about you,” he said of the crowd, adding when he scanned those in attendance, he saw “many of our legends before us and those who made my job easier. People I worked with and admired.
“It really is a great pleasure to be in your presence…we all want to be where you are (retired)”.
In her vote of thanks, Evans Lindsey said that the pensions fund allowed its members to retire with dignity and respect. In thanking the deputy governor, she described his speech as “warm, generous and spontaneous, reflecting the high esteem we hold our pensioners”.
Young music group Jubilate then performed several pieces, followed by the John Gray High School band, which played a medley of time-honoured standards.
Artist Nasaria Suckoo Chollette read three of her poems, which were well received by the audience. Swanky Kitchen Band closed out the live entertainment, playing a selection of Cayman folk music arrangements.
Staff of the Health Services Authority, CINICO, Meals on Wheels, the Seventh-Day community outreach, Lions Club Food Pantry and the PSPB set up booths for the evening, offering a variety of advice, giveaways and provisions in addition to free blood sugar and blood pressure tests.