By anguillian February 27, 2015 09:56



DSC_0095 DSC_0078 DSC_0084 DSC_0079Retired persons in the public and private sectors, and members of the Anguilla Retired Persons Association, spent two hours worshipping at St Mary’s Anglican Church on Sunday, February 22. It was one of the most recent public events for the retirees who, after a number of years, having left their original jobs, are still being thought of highly as examples to their successors at the various workplaces in Anguilla.

Bishop Errol Brooks delivered the sermon in which he likened their retirement as entering into the wilderness unless they are fully prepared for it. He was at the time referring to the strange Biblical account where Jesus, having been baptised and glorified, was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, rather than being protected by that Spirit.
“Retirement brings with it many challenges,” Bishop Brooks stated. “Naturally, of course, there are concerns about age; the care of the elderly; and finances…There are some people who tell you when you retired, you are re-tired – in other words, you put on new tyres; and there are some who will tell you that when you retired, you are busier than at your normal workplace.
“We thank the Anguilla Retired Persons Association for all that they are seeking to do to develop and promote programmes that encourage and sensitise families and communities to care for the older persons; and encouraging retirees to stay active rather than becoming [inactive]. There are people who think that when you retired, you are supposed to go on the shelf. You are not supposed to get in anything. So we thank the Association for trying to change that [thinking]; to develop programmes for retired persons to share their expertise and skills and their experience with others in the community.
“Persons who spent many years in the workplace would have honed many skills that can benefit our younger people. So, rather than pushing retirees aside, we should look for ways and means of involving them in our youngsters…They know the pitfalls and what it takes. Our young people need to listen to the older ones.”

Mrs. Yolande Hodge-Richardson

Mrs. Yolande Hodge-Richardson

Rt. Rev. Bishop  Errol Brooks

Rt. Rev. Bishop
Errol Brooks

The Right Reverend went on: “Thank you for devising ways and means for helping individuals to understand that they have a responsibility to prepare for later years. It always surprises me that when retiring is drawing near for some people, they are lost because they haven’t made any preparation for that point in time that they would have to leave their regular workplace. We need to prepare ourselves…All of us need to see this as our responsibility. Don’t depend on anybody to do it for you…You have to make your own preparation. This is not just about retirees. It is about all of us.”
Executive Director of the Retired Persons Association, Mrs Yolande Hodge-Richardson, thanked Bishop Brooks and St Mary’s congregation for accommodating the Association members and other retirees at the service.

She reported that the Association had been in existence for four years and was kept afloat with the assistance of Mr Clive F Smith, the officer responsible for the Elderly and the Disabled in the Ministry of Social Development, and his supporting staff; and Mr Don Mitchell, retired Judge and Legal Adviser to the Association.
Mrs Hodge-Richardson continued: “Last year, Mr Smith and Mr Mitchell, with the support of retired persons, embarked on a mission to create a vibrant Anguilla Retired Persons Association with those who had the expertise and experience in institutional development and project planning and development. To this end, I was brought on board. Other persons, whom I know, have taken the process forward and have come up with ideas – and that is why we are here today.”
She said the Association members and the retirees were “celebrating life and health and strength and giving thanks to God, while remembering those who are ill and shut-in at their homes and other institutions.”

The Association’s Executive Director hoped that, as her organisation assists the Anguilla Government with its policy for older persons, the Government would provide assistance for the Association in its efforts “to strengthen the ability of the public, private, voluntary, and non-government sectors of the Anguilla society to work together for the benefit of older persons.”

By anguillian February 27, 2015 09:56


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