Thu | Jul 18, 2019

'To God be the glory' - Former Gleaner editor celebrates 45 years of service to the company

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Long-service awardees of The Gleaner Company (Media) Ltd during the companies long service awards and pensioners' luncheon held yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
RJRGLEANER Communications Group Chairman Oliver Clarke presents Phyllis Thomas with her 45-year long-service award.

Former Gleaner editor Phyllis Thomas shared that all her successes at the award-winning newspaper, where she spent 45 years in a variety of roles, must be credited to God.

She was the toast of an afternoon where the company paid homage to 24 current and former employees for their contribution to the media giant, at its Annual Long Service Awards and Pensioners' Luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew.

"It's been a learning experience, a real mixed bag, but in all, I say, to God be the glory, because without God I wouldn't' have made it," Thomas said.

"I think He [God] had put me there for a purpose and I'm hoping that my days fulfilled the mission I was placed there for."

Thomas, who retired earlier this year, said that the mission was to reach people and to make a difference in their lives, "not necessarily through information and whatever we do in media, but just being there for people".

She said that all she had accomplished during the more than four decades at 7 North Street, where she started as a Star trainee reporter, is only what God would have her doing.

"I had a wonderful relationship with The Gleaner, but like any relationship, it had its ups and downs. However, I treasure the relationships and I treasure the experiences," she said.

The "great memories" Thomas had have been chronicled in her soon-to-be-released memoir.

Guest speaker at the awards function, the Reverend Astor Carlyle, pastor of the Webster Memorial United Church, likened the merged RJRGLEANER Communications Group to that of a couple who have been married for many years.

He said that nothing tests communication skills and commitment more than marriage.

Continuing, Carlyle explained, "A story is told of a man who looked at his wife and said, 'You know I was a fool when I married you. The wife quipped, 'Yes, you were, my dear, but back then, I was young and couldn't' recognise'."

He said that the important thing in any relationship is the commitment to stay, as demonstrated by the long-service awards recipients, who have given sterling service and dedication to the cause.

Those awarded for 10 years' service were Associate Editor Arthur Hall and Star News Coordinator Sadeke Brooks, among five others; while acting Editor-In-Chief Robert Hart, Integration Editor Damion Mitchell, and Multimedia Photo Editor Ricardo Makyn, were awarded along with Sales Executive Dale Dunstan and Information Systems Manager Sheree Rhoden for 15 years of service.

Thirty-year award recipients were Western Bureau administrator Desreen Anderson and operations coordinator Errent Murray.