NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 03, 2020) — Five older persons and two caregivers were honoured by the Senior Citizens Division of the Department of Social Services in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), as the curtains closed on Seniors Month in Nevis.
At the Senior Citizens Awards Ceremony & Luncheon at the Jessups Community Centre on October 29, 2020, one senior citizen from each parish received a commemorative plaque and gift basket.
The awardees were Bernadette Lewis of St. Paul’s, Constantia David of St. Thomas’, Violet Perkins of St. James’, Reuben Williams of St. George’s and Carlton Pinney of St. John’s.
The caregivers awarded were Janet Herbert and Essie Delashley, both of whom worked in different areas of the Department of Social Services over the years.
Ms. Joyce Moven, Deputy Director in the Department of Social Services, noted the importance of recognising persons while they could still appreciate being honoured.
“As we salute and acknowledge the contributions made to the development of Nevis by our awardees, we want to commend them for all of their efforts and to let them know that their pioneering works have not been in vain…The Department of Social Services Senior Citizens Division, we love to honour our people as you can see here today, and so today even though we would have honoured five recipients from each parish on Nevis, we thought it best that we continue to give people their flowers while yet alive,” she said.
Ms. Moven also had high praise for the caregivers receiving awards, saying the service they gave was exemplary.
“They still continue to do it even though they are not being paid for it, so they are doing voluntary service to the community right now,” she said.
The awardees were treated to lunch with family members and staff from the Department of Social Services while being entertained with songs and poems.
Delivering remarks at the event, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Social Development in the NIA, also congratulated the awardees as persons who have contributed to the development of Nevis.
He assured that even though the ministry had to significantly trim the usual activities to commemorate Seniors Month this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, care for the island’s elderly remain a priority.
“We at Social Services and we at the Ministry of Social Development and we in the Nevis Island Administration, we are always taking time to make sure that our seniors are very well taken care of. Of course we know that this year has been a very different year for us…Normally in October we have a host of activities, numerous activities, a variety of activities to celebrate our seniors…I just want to remind all of us and remind the seniors on Nevis that, even though we have scaled down, the care and attention that we continue to give to our seniors will never be scaled down.
“We are going through a pandemic since March and ever since the pandemic struck the Department of Social Services has been very busy to make sure that our seniors continue to get the care and attention that they deserve…so COVID or no COVID…we continue to take time to look after you and that is something that we will always do,” he said.
Mr. Evelyn stressed the NIA’s commitment to continue looking after the affairs of seniors across the island.
“You have the commitment of this department and the commitment of the Nevis Island Administration that you will never be forgotten. We always have you at heart and that will always continue,” he said.
The minister commended the staff at the Department of Social Services and caregivers in the Senior Citizens Division for their continued yeoman’s service to the vulnerable group.