Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Loys Smith charting her own path and blazing the trail

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Loys Smith, Gas Pro Plant operator in spur tree Manchester.
Loys Smith with members of her team at the Gas Pro Plant in Spur Tree Manchester.
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MANDEVILLE, Manchester: IT WAS an innate drive, a passion for beating the odds and the need to harness strength she never thought she had that saw Loys Smith stepping out of her comfort zone to owning and successfully running a business, while being true to her duties as a mother and a partner.

Since 2011, Smith has been the Gas Pro plant operator for the parishes of Manchester and St Elizabeth, and has been in the field of business since 1997. Certainly, her level of expertise makes it easy for her to do her job well, but it doesn’t lessen the rigours of the day-to-day operations that require dedication, patience and tolerance. “I’m a workaholic: I am basically here seven days a week for the past four years.

It’s really all about business, but what I have found to be very helpful is having a good nanny and housekeeper. They allow me to be able to stay at work the hours that I stay. I have to be very instrumental in everything, from loading a vehicle that goes to a householder to loading a vehicle that goes to wholesalers to receiving the bulk delivery, and sometimes that can run up to midnight or even one the next morning – and that is sometimes a regular day.

A mother of three – twins (girl and boy), aged four years old and a 17-year-old daughter – Smith, realising the importance of structured family time, said she has made a concerted effort to leave work by eight and devote a day on the weekend to the children. “It’s all about the children on a Saturday. I try to give them my undivided attention. My work week is hectic, but I try to get home early enough to put the twins to bed by nine. I try to get a facial done every Sunday, go to church and that’s my ‘me time’.” Every human being has a breaking point, but, more important, many persons, including Smith, are aware of what they need to do to alleviate the stressors.

“Initially, I took a lot of vitamins. Now, since I’ve started attending church, I find that once God is at the centre of everything, things tend to flow a lot better – things have stabilised. I’m less miserable; I’ve learnt how to control my temper; I’ve learnt to be mindful, and because of that, it alleviates a lot of stress. I find that once I remember that basic principle of allowing God to lead, things always work out.”

Adding to the strategies of maintaining her sanity, Smith explains that support from those closest is crucial. “I am not privileged to have the support of family the way others do, but I have a good relationship with my workers. Of course, my children and my life partner. Our (Smith and partner) day begins at six; we workout for an hour. It’s his responsibility to cook, mine is to get the children ready. We have the driver pick them up, and then we head off to work.”

Though the working mother has other aspirations, she believes in taking life in strides and keeping things simple. “I have always wanted to do holistic medicine, but unless it is being offered online, that won’t be possible for now. I appreciate where I have grown to and who I have become. My children help to inspire me as they have the potential to be great in particular fields. I really can’t complain.”

Having seen the blessings of God being bestowed on her life continuously, Smith has, through her company, given back to several local schools, sponsored events and outreach programmes. It was as a result of her work that she was awarded with the Manchester200 Women Award recently.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com