Loyalty pays off for civil servants - More than 500 workers honoured for long service
The broad smile on Michael Nicholson's face aptly reflected the elation he felt about being among 502 civil servants who have been honoured for their years of invaluable service to Jamaica.
Although he is readily recognised as an actor, having portrayed the character 'String Beans' in the very popular local television series Royal Palm Estate and its successor, The Blackburns, among other roles, Nicholson has served the Government for 27 years, having worked with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) since 1990, where he currently holds the position of events and commemoration coordinator.
Nicholson, along with colleague civil servants who have served for 25 years or more, were honoured during the Jamaica Civil Service Association's long service awards ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Friday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness headed the list of government officials who presented medals to the honourees.
This award holds even greater significance for Nicholson, who was bestowed with a badge of honour last year for long and faithful service to the JCDC.
"The fact that the Government (and) the Jamaica Civil Service Association noticed (my hard work) means a lot to me," he said.
Nicholson's delight at being honoured was shared by another awardee, Dr Herbert Lawrence, who is attached to the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), which he has served for more than 26 years.
"I really feel good about it, as over the years I have worked tirelessly to serve the people of the northeast region," he said.
Another honouree, Lavern McNish, who has been a cleaning attendant with NERHA for the past 25 years, was also appreciative of the recognition.
"It has been a very good experience. I have no regrets working for the public," she said.
Georgia Morris-Josephs, who has served the Government for 27 years through the Office of the Services Commission, also expressed gratitude for the recognition, adding that she felt very proud to be honoured.
In his remarks, State Minister for Finance and the Public Service Rudyard Spencer thanked the honourees for their exceptional service and hard work, noting that they have been, and continue to be, role models for others.
The awards ceremony was originally scheduled to take place on the lawns of King's House last November, but was postponed because of inclement weather.