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Veteran Officer Retires

Colleagues share a laugh: (L-R) Mrs. Jessie O'Donnell, Mrs. Kerry Nixon, Mrs. Sonia Gould-Thomas and Mrs. Josefina McLean.

The Immigration family honoured one of their best last week, during a retirement dinner for long-serving officer Mrs. Sonia Gould-Thomas.

With 37 years of service under her belt, the departing Airport Supervisor was surrounded by colleagues and family members during the farewell dinner.

"Cayman is losing a great ambassador, one who has represented us exceptionally well at our borders, who never refused a challenge, and who has always been dedicated and committed," said Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson. "We thank you for your hard work, over what, if we include overtime, doubtless amounts to 40 years of effort."

When Mrs. Gould-Thomas joined the Immigration Department in 1972 there were just over 10,000 residents. It was the same year that the Cayman Islands Constitution and local currency were introduced, and the tourism and financial industries were only fledgling developments.

"We grew up together," said Acting Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Kerry Nixon. "We shared lessons on life, economics and family matters, and we won't be far away if you ever need us."

Others, including Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor, Acting CIO (Enforcement) Bruce Smith and other colleagues paid tribute to the colleague they dubbed "stateswoman." Mrs. Gould-Thomas also received gifts and other accolades from Immigration staff.

Applauding the consistent impact of her leadership, young Immigration Officer Ezron Anderson gave the closing remarks, thanking Mrs. Gould-Thomas for her inspiring leadership.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian