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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has urged retirees and seniors with specialist skills to become more involved in voluntary projects, community initiatives or development programmes, where their expertise and experience can be utilized.
“I do not think that anyone with specialist skills, who can still make a contribution, if we (the government) can use the expertise, that we should have them just staying at home,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. She was making the main address at the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association’s 40th anniversary luncheon on Saturday, September 2. The function, was held at the Alhambra Inn under the theme: ‘Acknowledging past contributions, dignifying present lifestyles, inspiring continued national service’.
The Prime Minister pointed out that research on aging had shown that the more active and involved persons were in their senior years, the more intellectually alert, emotionally satisfied and healthy, they would be. “It is a win -win situation. The society will benefit from your accumulated experience and knowledge and you will benefit in spiritual, devotional and social enrichment,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller further stressed that “your service to the community and to the nation, should not end with your employment to the government service. Indeed, you have such a reservoir of knowledge, experience and wisdom that it would be a great disservice if the nation were to be deprived of it. We cannot in this 21st century, entertain any notion that when our people reach their senior years, they have no further contribution to make”.
Indeed, she noted, “there are many luminaries, inventors and founders of great corporations, who had their greatest achievements in their senior years. In any event, for a country like ours, you who have acquired such a breadth of experience, wisdom and judgment over many years, must be able to impart this to others, particularly, the younger ones. the younger member of our society desperately need the kind of moral guidance and direction you are able to give”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said seniors and retirees had paved the way and cleared the path for the younger generation and that the nation was indebted to them. She emphasized that, although formally retired, many seniors still continued to serve the country.
“We want to thank you for the bricks you have laid in the building of our country. Though we could never fully innumerate the boundless energies you have displayed in turning out your duties in years of active service, we want to make sure you can live a life of dignity in your golden years,” she told the gathering.
The Jamaica Government Pensioners Association was founded in 1966 by senior government pensioners and embraces, all public officers and employees who have retired from the service and are in receipt of a pension under the existing pension laws.