Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Charmaine Callum leads a family of builders

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM
CONTRIBUTED Charmaine Callum, flanked by (from left) son, Matthew Callum, brother Dennis Henry nephew Nyoke Donaldson.
PHOTOS BY CARL GILCHRIST Charmaine Callum with her certificate.
One of the buildings that Callum worked on.


Charmaine Callum stood tall and proud, last Thursday at Armadale, as the only female among a group of HEART/NTA approved graduates, who had volunteered to renovate the former correctional facility to be used as a training institution.

The 18 who graduated formed the first batch of graduates from the new institution, Armadale Skills Training Centre, and having volunteered to work on the project, earned the required credits to qualify for graduation.

The 17 men in the group of graduates had nothing on Callum. In fact, three of them are her relatives - her son, Matthew Callum, 19; her brother Dennis Henry, 34, and her nephew Nyoke Donaldson, 20.

"We all graduated today, all of us in the same field, construction," Callum told Family and Religion, shortly after the graduation ceremony. "My brother is more advanced than I am, he specialises in plumbing, tiling, carpentry, masonry, everything."

Callum is, in fact, following in the footstep of her mother, who was employed in the construction sector at one point.

"The course I did is general construction, but I specialise in tiling," Callum explained. But her work at Armadale went beyond tiling.

"I did the tiling, I did painting, I put on doors, general construction work," she explained.


Asked why she chose to do construction, Callum said: "From I was small, I always liked to do rough work like construction."

At 36 years old, Callum has been involved in construction work for more than 10 years and with her newly achieved qualification (General Construction, Level Two, NVQ-J), she is quite happy.

She now has her sights set on bigger things.

"We're trying to build a company, all four of us, and get it registered," she said, explaining that there is strength in unity. The company would offer services that cover most areas in the construction industry.

Callum said she wants to make use of whatever opportunities her new qualification brings.

In the meantime, she stands tall and proud. The construction field is not exactly a man's world anymore

"I feel very proud and very happy for this moment," Callum said.