Five Get Immigration Epaulettes
"This is a serious responsibility - take it seriously," the Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon., JP advised the Immigration Department's newest recruits at their graduation.
On Friday, 18 July 2014 held at the University College of the Cayman Islands, Mr. Manderson reiterated that as Immigration Officers at border controls, they would be the first civil servants that visitors encountered.
"How you interact will be the first impression they have of the Cayman Islands," he told Devin Bodden, Staciemae Jackson, Yannick Powell, Jarrett Terry and Marco Thompson.
Regardless of personal bad days from ill-health, lack of sleep or emotional upsets, they had a job to do well, he said, while congratulating them on their resolve to take on vital postings in the community.
He also advised them that the path up the corporate ladder is to "get noticed in a very good way" by being consistently reliable, punctual and providing the best customer service possible. Alluding to his own humble civil service beginnings in the Immigration Department, the Deputy Governor shared his early determination to give a good impression through hard work. He also advised the new officers to remain ambitious.
Warmly welcoming the four men and one woman into the Immigration family, Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans emphasised their role as the Islands' gatekeepers. She added that the well-structured induction programme which involved 12 months of extensive training, would prove an asset in this regard.
She asked them to maintain a positive and helpful attitude towards customers and fellow workers, as well as remaining good immigration officers and good civil servants. She also advised them to concentrate on teamwork, a vital component of a good immigration service; and to keep up their knowledge, especially about relevant laws, regulations and policies, as well as maintaining respect for authority.
Equally importantly, she reminded them to be open to change and provide feedback to help solve problems and enable the department to remain dynamic. She also said she looked forward to seeing each of them progress in their careers.
The five officers received their certificates from Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Gary Wong and pins, epaulettes and gifts from Ms Evans.
The most improved overall award went to Mr. Powell, while the award for consistency in effort and application of laws, policies and procedures went to Officer Thompson. Ms Jackson received both the highest overall proficiency and highest academic average awards, while the officer rating highest on 33 skills encompassing attitude, knowledge and expertise was Mr. Bodden.
Selected by his peers for the Spirit Award, Officer Terry also gave the student address. Underscoring the importance of their training, he said the new officers were unanimous in their gratitude towards their teachers and mentors, who had empowered them to do their jobs well. Emphasising their achievement in completing the training period, he remarked that they looked forward to challenging but exciting careers.
Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Chief Officer Wesley Howell challenged them to bring to their jobs their innate charisma and their willingness to serve. Underscoring the importance of character, he pointed out the vital importance of representing themselves well in and out of uniform.
Additionally, he noted they would have to learn to strike a balance between their commitment to their job and their families, both prime components in their lives. Advising them to carry out enforcement duties in a positive and pleasant way, he quipped, "Fantastic is a state of mind!"
Assistant Chief Immigration Officer Nicola Solomon also welcomed the five officers. Meanwhile, in her welcome address, Immigration's Training and Development Manager Jennifer Gager-Sterling celebrated their accomplishments to date and reminded them that the uniforms they now wear represent the department but the country as well. "So wear it with pride and dignity," she urged.
For further information contact: Bina Mani