Categorized | Local, Opinions

Elsa Morgan’s Team is all tall!

By Claude Gerald

When light shines in enveloping darkness, it is seen. It forces commentary.

In the indifferent standards across the Public Service, that this year’s budgetary allocation favours disproportionally, the Post Office and its staff stand as tall as its tallest employee.

I learnt that there was a package to be collected. However it was not what I had expected.

Predictably a call came in from the epicentre of the Postal Services, one Annesta Maggie Weekes, notorious for her – Jack of all trades, master of none, though often times better than master of one – to inform me that there were two items manifested on the last occasion instead of one.

I announced my presence to frontline staff.  With clock-work precision there emerged an image of ethereal beauty, marginally at length with me, commanding my attention. When a woman out-does me for height as does Tiffany Christopher,  I am distressed  but that hardly mattered as the elegant demoiselle, with a modelling career beckoning, proceeded to crisply, with elongated fingers dangling appropriately and sincerity etched on the face, issued a most touching apology for what management thought was their error.

I played down the official blame, being happier for the arrival of the document.  She out-did herself and department with a sense of dignity and commitment to service, whilst providing measured calm in the midst of the daily monotonous grind, on what is yet a Paradise in many respects.

My lasting memory of that episode centred on her ‘we are sorry Sir’ as she bent protectively to enter the six-foot eight inch enclosure, to continue the obvious nurturing that senior staff, headed by the dedicated but often overlooked and forgotten, Elsa Morgan, much of it conditioned by her own philosophy of serving without grandeur, an enviable and rare trait to possess.

I was thoroughly impressed and called management at short notice to register my complete delight and encouragement in this stellar moment of fleeting joy and hope  –  for an island  without a rudder in the toughening ‘hard to deal with’ days of our time  –  and wish for the local positive attributes that reside in that fast evolving business of a post office  –  a symbol of essential British culture and facing extinction –  may somehow infect the rest of the public service on Montserrat for our everlasting good.

The Public Service is the face of our world and that of the wider world. Nothing comparable exists.

The present staffing set up at the Post Office has a rich legacy of efficiency in service. The soundest carry-over from Plymouth, it is founded in personalities like former post mistresses Thelma Dyer-Lee and Fernella Barzey; outstanding inter-national Edith Beatrice Fenton; and the English cultured, Montserrat born Annie Lassie Weekes;  mother of the Deputy Governor, who mothered many at Baker Hill, my formal stomping ground and whose maternal traits and influence, inspired a generation.  Maggie Weekes remains stalwart testimony to her efforts.

None of these women boasted any academic degrees or certification, now ironically thought to open doors to a paradise of good and the passage to power and influence. Until we contain this passion to promote this secular path to succession and to use it sensibly, realizing that a person is valued, not on the ‘what’ possessed but on the ‘who’ in the belly that shapes character and substance, and that exposure to a world of learning, is only useful when applied with courage, grit and common sense to the ways of civilized interactions.

Maggie Weekes is not an acknowledged intellectual in the academic sense. She learns and applies the rudiments of her trade. Humbly yet proudly she extends herself within the confines of her calling and ensuring that at the end of the work day, she has flourished in her continuously changing environment.

Empowering people through service seems to be the goal at the Post Office. It is suggested that new recruits to public service corridors ought to have an experience there, to become indoctrinated into the elements of elevating service to others.  And that decision making is the key to good service when done without fearing or favouring.

Elsa Morgan needs no whip to effectively direct a newcomer as her very demeanour suggests order and high standards. She can leave that to Maggie as needed and the petite Pentecostal, Peggy Phillip can anoint or counsel and with some ever ready old time gospel tunes, dance her way, instructively into the minds of the impressionable young recruits.

Young ‘Mr. Christopher’ is an industrious face to meet up front. He is as immaculately dressed as he is courteous, engaging and well bred. A good find, he needs positive guidance to bolster the fortunes of real men in public life, which Alfred the post man can aptly furnish.

We remember at this time the lone and humble Galilean man with His Way, Truth and Light message.  Neither accolades nor honours were important to His importance. Humbly He exposed the fallacy of ignoring the moral foundation of our human existence based on empowering others.

Like Him and the story of Gethsemane; like the staff at the post office, we must give priority to others, beginning in our thoughts and then systematically translating them into meaningful action for the general good.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator who lives on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

When light shines in enveloping darkness, it is seen. It forces commentary.

In the indifferent standards across the Public Service, that this year’s budgetary allocation favours disproportionally, the Post Office and its staff stand as tall as its tallest employee.

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I learnt that there was a package to be collected. However it was not what I had expected.

Predictably a call came in from the epicentre of the Postal Services, one Annesta Maggie Weekes, notorious for her – Jack of all trades, master of none, though often times better than master of one – to inform me that there were two items manifested on the last occasion instead of one.

I announced my presence to frontline staff.  With clock-work precision there emerged an image of ethereal beauty, marginally at length with me, commanding my attention. When a woman out-does me for height as does Tiffany Christopher,  I am distressed  but that hardly mattered as the elegant demoiselle, with a modelling career beckoning, proceeded to crisply, with elongated fingers dangling appropriately and sincerity etched on the face, issued a most touching apology for what management thought was their error.

I played down the official blame, being happier for the arrival of the document.  She out-did herself and department with a sense of dignity and commitment to service, whilst providing measured calm in the midst of the daily monotonous grind, on what is yet a Paradise in many respects.

My lasting memory of that episode centred on her ‘we are sorry Sir’ as she bent protectively to enter the six-foot eight inch enclosure, to continue the obvious nurturing that senior staff, headed by the dedicated but often overlooked and forgotten, Elsa Morgan, much of it conditioned by her own philosophy of serving without grandeur, an enviable and rare trait to possess.

I was thoroughly impressed and called management at short notice to register my complete delight and encouragement in this stellar moment of fleeting joy and hope  –  for an island  without a rudder in the toughening ‘hard to deal with’ days of our time  –  and wish for the local positive attributes that reside in that fast evolving business of a post office  –  a symbol of essential British culture and facing extinction –  may somehow infect the rest of the public service on Montserrat for our everlasting good.

The Public Service is the face of our world and that of the wider world. Nothing comparable exists.

The present staffing set up at the Post Office has a rich legacy of efficiency in service. The soundest carry-over from Plymouth, it is founded in personalities like former post mistresses Thelma Dyer-Lee and Fernella Barzey; outstanding inter-national Edith Beatrice Fenton; and the English cultured, Montserrat born Annie Lassie Weekes;  mother of the Deputy Governor, who mothered many at Baker Hill, my formal stomping ground and whose maternal traits and influence, inspired a generation.  Maggie Weekes remains stalwart testimony to her efforts.

None of these women boasted any academic degrees or certification, now ironically thought to open doors to a paradise of good and the passage to power and influence. Until we contain this passion to promote this secular path to succession and to use it sensibly, realizing that a person is valued, not on the ‘what’ possessed but on the ‘who’ in the belly that shapes character and substance, and that exposure to a world of learning, is only useful when applied with courage, grit and common sense to the ways of civilized interactions.

Maggie Weekes is not an acknowledged intellectual in the academic sense. She learns and applies the rudiments of her trade. Humbly yet proudly she extends herself within the confines of her calling and ensuring that at the end of the work day, she has flourished in her continuously changing environment.

Empowering people through service seems to be the goal at the Post Office. It is suggested that new recruits to public service corridors ought to have an experience there, to become indoctrinated into the elements of elevating service to others.  And that decision making is the key to good service when done without fearing or favouring.

Elsa Morgan needs no whip to effectively direct a newcomer as her very demeanour suggests order and high standards. She can leave that to Maggie as needed and the petite Pentecostal, Peggy Phillip can anoint or counsel and with some ever ready old time gospel tunes, dance her way, instructively into the minds of the impressionable young recruits.

Young ‘Mr. Christopher’ is an industrious face to meet up front. He is as immaculately dressed as he is courteous, engaging and well bred. A good find, he needs positive guidance to bolster the fortunes of real men in public life, which Alfred the post man can aptly furnish.

We remember at this time the lone and humble Galilean man with His Way, Truth and Light message.  Neither accolades nor honours were important to His importance. Humbly He exposed the fallacy of ignoring the moral foundation of our human existence based on empowering others.

Like Him and the story of Gethsemane; like the staff at the post office, we must give priority to others, beginning in our thoughts and then systematically translating them into meaningful action for the general good.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator who lives on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com