The Department of Local Government held a Retirement Luncheon on May 21 in honour of Iva Duncombe at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Government Complex.
Mrs. Duncombe dedicated more than 30 years of service, and was employed by the government since the Board of Works was in existence.
Moderator Starlene Prenelus of the Department of Education led in opening remarks calling on Gregory Knowles, senior deputy administrator, to give the invocation.
Next, Senior Island Administrator Preston Cunningham addressed Mrs. Duncombe and her supporters. He commended her on her many years of service, and thanked her for the type of person she has been in the short time he has known her.
“An employee can never reward that kind of person. We all would have benefitted from her personality in the workplace, her steadfastness in the workplace, her willingness to work, and her willingness to continue to work,” Cunningham remarked. “If you worked around her, you would miss her, and for me to come to know when I walk in one day, she wouldn’t be there.”
In his farewell remarks, George Cornish, chief councillor, told Mrs. Duncombe that they appreciated the service she rendered to the Central Abaco District Local Government, and for the splendid job she has done.
“On behalf of all the councillors [in the] Central Abaco district, and my staff, we just want to say we love you, and we appreciate you, and we thank you so much for all your service,” Cornish said. “As you retire from work and not from labour, because the Bible says that the harvest is truly plentiful, but the labourers are few, I want you to continue to work in the vineyard to bring in the harvest for Jesus Christ.”
Cornish ended his remarks with a few verses from Proverbs 31.
In one of the most memorable moments of the day, Roy Delancy serenaded Mrs. Duncombe with a favourite gospel song – “God is Standing By” – strummed from the strings of his guitar.
Overwhelmed by the displays of appreciation and love from her colleagues, Mrs. Duncombe repeatedly said thank you to those in attendance namely the Administrator’s Office and Central Abaco District Council staff members as well as her family members.
“My heart is heavy, but I thank the Lord for allowing me to see this day, and for enabling me to reach to the end,” Mrs. Duncombe said. “I hate to know I have to go leave y’all, but I have to because with my illness some of that is causing me to leave. I just can’t go any further with it, but anyway I thank all of y’all, and I love all of y’all.”
Presentations of retirement gifts were given to Mrs. Duncombe before lunch was served.