Joseph Mahfood was a generous soul
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The recent passing of Mr Joseph Mahfood, one of the founding fathers of the Wisynco Group Limited, brings back fond memories of my past association with the company, and I wish to pay him tribute.
Several members of my family have worked at the Wisynco factory in Twickenham Park from the 1970s to the 1990s. At that time, the company made water boots and plastic cups, among other things, and had a fashion section.
Domino tournaments among the companies in that area were a feature of life at that time and my brother-in-law, who also worked at the company, was the main cook tasked with preparing the curried goat. My eldest sister approached Mr Joseph Mahfood and asked him to grant me a summer job at the company.
I was invited to speak with Mr Mahfood, which was the first time I met him. He was very cordial and encouraged me to work hard and excel in school, an advice that I heeded. He granted me my first summer job at the company. My task was to remove defective cups as they moved along the conveyor belt and count off cups in batches of 50 for packaging.
My family members who worked at the company recommended other members of my community of Thompson Pen for jobs. Mr Mahfood did not discriminate against any person from Thompson Pen but welcomed them, so long as they were willing to work hard and be honest. He believed in family, and so workers would approach him and request jobs for other family members. He would always try to help where he could. He also gave HEART trainees the opportunity to gain work experience.
He was approachable to the workers and operated an open- door policy. He would also spend time with workers at their stations, visiting and making jokes with them. He was greatly loved by his workers, and his generosity was well known. One worker who was suspended recalled that when she told her side of the story to Mr Mahfood, he told her to abide by the suspension, but he found a way to continue her salary, presumably from his own resources.
My sister Polly, who worked with the company for 19 years, recalled that a worker was not paid because the office could not locate her sick leave form so she was upset. Mr Mahfood hugged her and asked what was the problem? Once he heard the situation, he asked the office to pay her and have her submit another sick leave application.
Polly also recalled that someone was stealing clothing from the fashion section of the business. One day, as the man was going through the gate, wearing the stolen clothes beneath his own clothes, Mr Mahfood, who was unaware of the man’s wrongdoing, held the person’s hand with the intent of speaking to him. The man thought Mr Mahfood knew about his actions and ran off. Mr Mahfood had a good laugh at the entire incident.
I express sincere condolence to Mr Mahfood’s family and the Wisynco staff – past and present. May his memory live on and be a blessing.