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Older Persons Month Ambassadors

This year’s Older Persons’ Month Ambassadors embody active, purposeful lives.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has chosen Mrs. Janilee Clifford and Mr. James Powell as ambassadors for Older Persons’ Month 2016 this October.

The seniors, who hail from George Town and West Bay respectively, were recently selected for the honour in recognition of their outstanding and continuing contributions to local life.

As the faces of this annual observance, the pair is expected to attend several of the events co-ordinated by the Department.

The ambassadors have also been photographed for the forthcoming Older Persons’ Month calendar, which will publicise all the events in which senior citizens can participate during the month. Over a dozen events are scheduled including socials, church services, island tours and church visits on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Mrs. Janilee Clifford is well-known to generations of Caymanians as a former teacher at Cayman Prep Primary School. During her 30-year tenure, the educator saw many students thrive academically and is still recognised by her former pupils today.

The 84-year-old mother and grandmother retains her zest for life through her community work and still enjoys driving, swimming, cake making and organising various church and community events.

She said that she was “grateful for the recognition” from the department. Mrs. Clifford added that society can embrace the month’s motto to ‘Take a Stand Against Ageism’ by “recognising and utilising the abilities of members of the community who have reached the age of 60 and over.”

Apart from raising her family and teaching, Mrs. Clifford remarked that her most rewarding community contributions have been through the church.

“For the past 22 years I have chaired ‘Happy Senior Fellowship Committee’, a monthly event started by the Elmslie Memorial United Church, which has grown tremendously and now involves five churches in our Islands and the DCFS,” she commented.

Her co-ambassador, Mr. Powell, is a voracious reader of political and financial news. The long-time cricketer and cricket fan said that being nominated to represent local elders throughout October was “a great honour.”

A man of few words but towering achievements, the 75-year-old father of two daughters and seven grandchildren is widely recognised as a pioneer of local tourism resort development. As a contractor, he built many condominium complexes along Seven Mile Beach including Christopher Columbus, Heritage and Tamarind Bay.

Mr. Powell is also a keen sportsman and is widely recognised as a generous contributor to district causes, churches and charities.

The Minister responsible for Community Affairs, Youth & Sports, Hon. Osbourne Bodden wishes to extend his congratulations to the recipients as they both demonstrate the important role older persons play in our society.

Together, Mrs. Clifford and Mr. Powell embody the purposeful lives led by many Caymanian elders who continue to play an active part in the community, inspiring respect and gratitude from their fellow citizens.

For further information contact: Elphina Jones




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