NASSAU, The Bahamas – After serving for 41 years in the public service, Gwendolyn Johnson exited the public service in the same manner in which she entered: with a positive spirit and an infectious charm that so many of her colleagues said they will definitely miss.
An appreciation ceremony was held on the grounds of the Office of the Attorney-General on Thursday, 2nd June in her honour. Family, friends, and colleagues gathered to wish her well. Also in attendance was Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator the Hon. Ryan Pinder. Assistant Director of Legal Affairs, Jewel Major, served as Mistress of Ceremony.
While delivering brief remarks, Senator Pinder thanked Mrs. Johnson for her service and commitment to the Bahamian people for the past four decades. He said that her story of working her way from starting out in the public service as a Janitress to becoming Senior Executive Officer in the OAG, after obtaining both and Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree along the way, was an inspiration to all.
“You are, indeed, an inspiration to us all,” he said. “Your dedication to your job and commitment to the Bahamian people were evident in all of the steps you took throughout your career in the public service.”
Also delivering remarks was Permanent Secretary, Cecilia Strachan who praised Mrs. Johnson for her professionalism and complimented her for her sense of style and knack for donning beautiful clothing.
“Mrs. Johnson, it was my pleasure to work with you,” she said. “I will definitely miss seeing you everyday and always so well dressed. You have always been on point even matching your masks with your outfits. You inspired me to match my masks as well but I simply couldn’t keep up with you,” she said jokingly. “We wish you all the best and wish to tell you that you will always be a member of our family here.”
Colleagues Sharon Forbes, Christine Thompson and Therena Cunningham paid tribute and she was serenaded to the song, ‘Wind beneath my Wings’ by her three daughters.
In response to all of the accolades and well wishes, Mrs. Johnson, joined by her husband on the podium, thanked everyone for their kind words and said that the pleasure was hers.
“It was my pleasure to serve the Bahamian people and to serve you all,”she said. “For over 30 years, I always answered the phone with the line, “Accounts Department, how may I help you. I was happy to say those words and to serve both my internal and external customers all of these years.” She said that God orchestrated her life and so she never worried about anything. She always followed God and trusted the paths that she took, thereby “blooming” wherever God placed her.
Gwendolyn Dianne Johnson (née) Moss, started her journey as a Janitress in September 1980 as it was the only position available at the time. She was posted at the Ministry of Education and Culture, which was then located on Collins Avenue. Subsequently, she worked at S.C. McPherson Junior High School, the Registrar General’s Department, the Ministry of Finance and Planning — culminating her inspiring career journey, finally, at the Office of the Attorney-General, where she has worked since July 2001.