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A passion to serve the poor - Poor relief worker gives decades of service and counting

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer

AFTER GIVING 41 years of service to the St Catherine Parish Council, poor relief officer Vera Rhoofe still has the zeal to serve the dispossessed.

Rhoofe is now serving as coordinator of the recently established Care Centre in the parish.

''I was told that I am a caring person and while working as poor relief officer, I became convinced that it was my duty to take care of people and it is something that I plan on doing as long as I am able," Rhoofe told The Gleaner.

She said that the centre was set up to help street people who needed a facility to have a bath and get a hot meal each day.

"To share with these persons gives a feeling of fulfilment that cannot be compared to anything else and that is enough encouragement for me to continue, '' Rhoofe said.

"We thank God fi Miss Rhoofe as she is really a caring person, dem people deh mek special and di country needs dem for persons like me who don't have one to care fi dem,'' 76-year-old Martin Brown reasoned.

Similar sentiments

Other persons who spoke with The Gleaner echoed similar sentiments on the contribution Rhoofe has made to the less fortunate.

Chairman of the St Catherine Parish Council, Dr Andrew Wheatley had high praises for Rhoofe, saying the country needed more persons like her to help the needy.

"At the council, caring for the poor forms a part of our mandate, therefore the centre is an extension of the Poor Relief Department. We really appreciate the work of Miss Rhoofe and those who care for the people,'' Dr Wheatley said.

The centre, which is partly funded by Food for the Poor, was officially opened in December last year, and caters to more than 100 persons on a daily basis.