NASSAU, The Bahamas – What began as a small, In-House Christmas Decorating competition for staff of Buildings A and B at the Department of Social Services Head Office, Baillou Hill Road, quickly turned into an extremely competitive event that brought out the creativity of participants.
Ms. Kim Sawyer, the Acting Director of the Department of Social Services who signed off on the competition when the idea was broached to her, said the Holly Jolly Christmas Decoration competition was designed to bring a bit of Christmas Cheer and relief to staff members at Head Office who would have worked through the COVID-19 Pandemic to ensure that new clients who came on board as a result of the Pandemic were serviced, while still providing service to their regular clients. (The individual Centres that fall under the remit of the Head Office host similar Christmas celebrations.)
Acting Director Sawyer said staff across the Department, and across islands, have been called upon to provide an even greater service in the aftermath of the monster storm, Hurricane Dorian, and the COVID-19 Pandemic even though they themselves, have been negatively impacted by those events. She applauded those efforts.
“Our work is vast because we deal with people in all aspects of life, all aspects of society and as Essential Workers, we would have worked through the COVID-19 Pandemic to ensure that our clients’ – both new and existing – needs were being met,” Ms. Sawyer said.
“When COVID-19 struck, there was a new grouping of persons that fell into that category and so we had to up our game to assist those persons because of the increased demand, all the while performing all of the other work of the Department – our work with the elderly, our work with children, our work with families, our work in Disaster Management and Response, and our work with persons with disabilities,” Ms. Sawyer added.
Ms. Sawyer said the competition provided a “much needed relief” for the employees. Categories included Best Decorated Door, Best Decorated Desk and Best Decorated Office. Participants were judged on Execution of Theme, good use of Christmas colours and creativity.
“Competition indeed. It certainly was. As some staff members started decorating their doors and others saw what was going on, they entered the competition. It got so competitive that some persons re-did their doors two and three times over, and then were so inspired that they expanded their efforts to include their desks and offices and entered the additional competitions for Best Decorated Desk and Best Decorated Office,” Ms. Sawyer added.
The Competition for the Best Decorated Office ended in a three-way tie for First Place between Mrs. Marion Astwood, Ms. Patrice Curry and the members of the COVID-19 Unit. Second Place went to Mrs. Gillian Bethel and third to the Supplies team tandem of Mrs. Linda Rolle and Ms. Sonia Johnson.
The Best Decorated Desk First Place prize went to Indira Carey. Second place was awarded to Preva Deveaux, while Shakeira Higgs was adjudicated the third-place finisher.
Best Decorated Door was won by Mrs. Michelle Nottage. There was a three-way tie for Second Place between Marion Astwood, Patrice Curry and the Supplies tandem of Linda Rolle and Sonia Johnson. Mrs. Lorraine Duvalier received the Third-Place prize.
“The camaraderie and inspiration the Competition brought was amazing,” Acting Director Sawyer added.
Mrs. Michelle Nottage was declared the winner of the Best Decorated Door Competition during the Department of Social Services Head Office’s Holly Jolly Christmas Decoration Competition; and Ms. Patrice Curry finished in a three-way tie for Second Place in the Best Decorated Door Competition with Mrs. Marion Astwood and the COVID-19 Unit.
Source: Bahamas Information Services, By Matt Maura
(BIS Photos/Ulric Woodside)