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Staff of Her Majesty’s Prisons are stars and unsung heroes

Staff of Her Majesty’s Prisons are stars and unsung heroes

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EDITOR: Someone said, “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.”

Today, I left my office to “show my face” at the funeral service of a colleague’s brother. I had no idea that I would have found myself in the company of stars and unsung heroes.

I cannot say that I have ever met any of the people who wowed me, but I sat musing at the good I was able to see and experience. I felt proud. ‘I felt like beat my chest’. I felt hopeful, I felt encouraged. I saw strength in our people.

They were staff from Her Majesty Prison. They were all exceptional. I do not have the time to write about them all but these days when the media is populated with so many negatives, I am careful not to believe that all is lost. I was moved with excitement for the approximate hour and 30 minutes I sat in the audience at the Wilson Hill, New Testament Church. I was intrigued by the way in which ASP Clarke articulated himself as he paid tribute to his fallen colleague and friend. He was fluent, clear, engaging. He spoke with ease and confidence. There are so many people who cannot do what he did and so, I pause from my busy schedule to say, “you did great ASP Clarke”.

Then, I was mesmerized by officer Tash who did a rendition of “He Raised Me Up.” Apparently, the deceased had told officer

Tash that he could sing but officer Tash was slow to embrace that truth. Well, I concur, you are talented, use your voice to encourage and motivate others.

It was apparent that silently there was something stirring in people as the “Chief”, who was not on programme, rose to conquer his fear of public speaking and might I add, he was authentic. He had presence and in a strategic move, he connected with the staff and appealed for unity within the organization.

However, the most memorable thing about the “Chief’s” speech was the “roll call.” He called the deceased’s name repeatedly, but he could not answer. ‘He did not show up for duty’. For me, that was deep, it was significant.

With so much going on as a country, if one is short-sighted, it may look like we are surrounded by more negatives than positives. However, our country is filled with stars, talented people, unsung heroes, selfless, committed people who are showing up for duty and winning battles every day that we know nothing about.

Karen James

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