It was a morning full of cheers and glad tidings as Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Dr. Rodney Williams paid the annual Christmas visit to the Fiennes Institute today ( Tuesday).
The occasion attracted a number of dignitaries and in attendance was the Royal Police Force Band with Instrumental performances and a spirited Musical Selection by Trevaughn Weston.
Among the throng were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, Hildred Simpson, Father Emerson Richardson of the Anglican Church, Master of Fiennes Institute Alton Forde, Matron Clarissa Christopher, Valerie Williams, who is the Ministry of Health’s NCD Coordinator and Principal Nursing Officer, Elnora Warner.
During his brief address, His Excellency issued a call for the staff at the Institute to continue the hard work and do all they can to maintain the high standard of services that the facility is renowned for.
“The Fiennes Institute is a very important Institution because after our people have made their contribution to life, to the country and to their families and they reach to this age and there is not adequate accommodation in their own homes then it is only reasonable that we should have a place where they can come and be treated with dignity and respect and be shown the appreciation that they deserve and so I want to commend the staff of Fiennes for the awesome work that they have been doing and so therefore we must do our best to ensure that we give the best care to our elderly and our senior citizens”, The Governor General said.
Matron of the Institution, Alton Forde declared that the staff and resident at the historic home for the elderly is always excited when December comes around because they know that the Governor General’s visit is just around the corner.
He also spoke of the history that the home for the elderly continues to make with the recent birthday celebration of the oldest living resident at the facility.
“A special and warm welcome is extended to Your Excellency on this your second visit to the Institution since Your Excellency’s elevation to the esteem position of Governor General. Your Excellency’s predecessors embraced the Fiennes Institute and provided support and encouragement to the Management, residents, and staff, and the residents in particular are always excited when the Governor General visits the Institute. This year, 2015 has been another interesting and rewarding year for the Fiennes Institute, on November 29th of this year, Ms. Mary Martin reached another milestone as she celebrated her 102nd birthday at her residency here at the Institute, it was indeed a proud moment for us”, Forde noted.
Matron Clarissa Christopher also made brief remarks and during her discourse, the Head Nurse called for an Acute Ward, a more modern facility for the individuals who are very ill at the facility.
“An Acute Ward, we are saying that we need to have an overhaul at Fiennes because Fiennes is over eighty years and counting so we would want to see a more modern facility that will incorporate an Acute Ward for those persons who are very ill because you don’t want to have them been cared for in an open area with the others, they should be able to get their privacy and of course continue to give them the care and dignity they deserve for their age and so this is something we are pushing for”, Christopher said.
There were speeches as well from Permanent Secretary, Hildred Simpson and Mrs. Taril Walker Bowen who gave the vote of thanks.
Earlier, some of biggest applauses and shouts came during the Musical rendition by Trevaughn “Lyrics Man” Weston, a performance that saw many of the elderly jumping, dancing, clapping and waving as Weston belted out King Obstinate’s “A Police Tief Me Hog “and How Will Santa Get Here.”
The Royal Police Band was equally impressive as they delivered a number of Christmas Carols.
Following the ceremony, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams was then taken on a tour of the facility where he inspected a number of wards and greeted a few of the residents.