High Commission in London Honours Veteran Employee


Donovan Hammond, Office Manager at the Jamaican High Commission in London, was recently honoured by the High Commission for more than 30 years of dedicated service.
At the reception, which also served to celebrate his conferment with an Order of Distinction in this year’s National Honours and Awards, Mr. Hammond, who has worked with the High Commission since 1974, was praised for his loyalty and commitment to country, as well as his dedication and steadfastness in ensuring that the job was also done well.
“I appreciate it very much,” said the veteran employee, who expressed pride and gratitude for the recognition. “It is good to be rewarded when people see that you have done a job well. Sometimes, you may feel that your work and your efforts are not fully appreciated so it is good when others recognise you and your work,” he stated.
Originally from Allman Town in Kingston, Mr. Hammond moved to the United Kingdom in 1962 to live with his grandmother and complete his schooling.
It was while working at the electricity board in the early 1970s and newly married that Mr. Hammond, in seeking a job with better opportunities, started working at the High Commission as a driver.
During that time, he interacted with several High Commissioners, Prime Ministers, Government Ministers and other officials.
“It was a very interesting period because I worked with so many and different people – Prime Ministers, Governors General – and found that they were normal people that you could talk to without any reservations,” he told JIS News.
His dedication to work did not go unnoticed and he was soon transferred to the registry where he did clerical duties, before being promoted to acting office manager and then to the post of office manager, which he still holds today.
Mr. Hammond said that his calm demeanour, his ability to get along with a wide variety of people and build good working relationships, has been an important aspect of his job as office manager. “There have been many challenges and I feel that I have been able to meet them and successfully deal with them. I get on with everyone,” he told JIS News.
He also credits the love and support of his wife of 33 years Yvonne, and his five daughters, for his ability to successfully do his job.
“It was difficult for them during the early years. My wife did all the school related things because daddy usually had to work long hours and even on weekends, but they were also supportive,” he pointed out.Mr. Hammond, who is recovering from cancer, said that the National Honour takes on special significance as he goes through the recovery process.
“Sometimes, I don’t believe that I went through a serious illness. I still have some of the side effects and see my consultant every six months and I am trying to follow the doctor’s advice to take it easy,” he told JIS News.

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