Outstanding Accountant Awarded
Veteran accountant, Pauline Allen Bedward has been awarded the Jamaica Civil Service Association long service award for over 39 years service to Local Government and Hanover Parish Council.
Mrs. Allen Bedward was presented with her award for long and faithful service at an impressive ceremony in Kingston. It was a proud Accountant who recounted aspects of her service, to colleagues of the Parish Council.
Among her proudest moments, she stated, was the refurbishment of the Municipal Building in 2000, after the offices had fallen into an extensive state of disrepair over many years. She noted that for the first in a very long time there was a definite boost in the motivation of the council Staff as well as residents of the parish and visitors to Lucea, following the refurbishment.
The programme of repairs to the noted historic edifice was spearheaded by Lucea Town Hall Restoration Committee, under the auspices of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce and the Parish Council. At a cost of over $15 million dollars, the building which adorns the Town Square was given a comprehensive facelift, from the historic clock tower to floor.
“Lots of persons used to pass drastic remarks over the state of the building and some said openly that they deliberately paid their taxes and other rates and charges in nearby parishes,” she noted.
“To compliment the refurbished building, the Ministry of Local Government expanded the use of computers to every department of the workplace,” she recalled, “and that took the mindset of the Staff from virtually zero to hero.”
The programme of Local Government autonomy was the spring board which launched the upgraded building, and Hanover Parish Council was the first such project of refurbishment island wide.
“I tell you a secret,” she said, “since then the parish has had over 80 percent property tax compliance and I believe the fact that the whole workplace environment improved has made residents and visitors proud of the Parish Council. A stickler for the use of the established system of council regulations, Mrs. Allen Bedward recounted her service with various mayors at the helm of the Parish Council, from Zena Stanhope in 1975 at the time of her enlistment, to incumbent Wynter McIntosh.
Starting at the Poor Relief Dept over three decades ago, she moved within one year to Accounts where she laid a foundation. A graduate of Carron Hall Vocational School, she constantly advanced through periods of study at Management Institute for National Development (formerly Finance Audit and Accounting College of Training (FAACT), and short courses at UWI.
“My favourite aspect of Accounting is Final Accounts,” she observed, however, over the last ten years she has taken to marketing of commercial entities of the Parish Council, with vim and vigour. “I raise my hat to Calvert Thomas of the Ministry (of Local Government and Community Development). He has impressed on Parish Councils the need for revenue driven programmes, and this has been the greatest change which has taken place over these last few years. The sooner Councils get with the programme they will see the benefits of generating their own revenue, and lose central government’s apron strings.”
She continued: “In the future, I look forward to this Parish Council pressing ahead with the Development Plan which is in the works, so that the Council can systematically invite investors so that Hanover can achieve growth.”
She also laments the growing cost of services such as street lighting, garbage collection, road repairs, water distribution and the maintenance of cemeteries, parks and markets to the Parish Council. And she believes the Parish Council should also revisit street numbering in Lucea which started some years ago.
“Street numbering is a fundamental part of future development,” she emphasized. “It might seem like a simple exercise but left alone the parish gives off a rural look, so I believe street numbering should be put back on the front burner. We should not wait until the population explodes to implement this aspect of development.”
Finally, she was of the opinion that upward mobility of Staff is sometimes left unnoticed, no matter how much effort is given, and she stressed, “there is need for more incentives to Staff.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Mrs. Allen Bedward displays her collection of Awards from the Jamaica Civil Service Association and Hanover Parish Council. She was among nine persons who received Awards for Outstanding Service, in Kingston.
Last Updated: February 11, 2015, 2:13pm