Small in stature but big in heart.
That???s how Victor Nathaniel Agard, recently-retired Accountant with the International Business Division and affectionately known as ???Saki??? by family, friends and work colleagues has been described.
Honoured at a retirement function held under the patronage of the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, at his Husbands Heights, St. James, residence Mr. Agard was hailed as ???one of the last of a dying breed of civil servants???.
Mr. Agard, who first entered the world of work in the public service in February 1974, was first assigned at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for three weeks as a Clerical Officer. From there, he ventured on to the Ministry of Transport and Works where he spent the next 22 years as a Clerical Officer and then as Assistant Accountant.
Moving on to the International Transport Division, the Electoral Department and the Ministry of Education, in June 2005, Mr. Agard took up his final posting with the Ministry of International Business and Financial Services.
According to Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) in the Ministry, Sonia Foster, ??????Mr. Agard is one of those dedicated individuals who have a positive attitude toward their work, who makes every effort to ensure that it is done properly… [Someone] who would go above and beyond the call of duty whether called upon to do so or not,??? she stressed.
Noting that he always took the initiative and paid attention to detail, the DPS recalled some evenings leaving the office thinking that she was the last one there only to see Mr. Agard???s light on and him sitting at his desk as the day had just begun; especially around Estimates time.
Minister Inniss also reiterated this sentiment by describing ???Saki??? as a ???wonderful example of what a true public servant is??????
??????You have gone through several departments, several posts???You are a person who was dedicated to your job, always professional and always went the extra mile. And, I think you captured well the qualities of what being a public servant is all about, and on behalf of government I wish to thank you for the 40 years you have given to the service and to this country…,??? he stated.
Mr. Agard noted the changes within the public service and pointed out that ???much has changed over the years???.
???When I first started out things were being done manually???we had to go to the bank and withdraw money???over the years it has changed to cheques instead of cash and then from cash you had to go directly to the bank. Also, I find now when persons come into the civil service they are promoted based on their qualifications, however they also come with their attitudes and its sad in the sense that there are individuals who may not be as qualified yet have a better attitude and more experience and still have to turn around and teach them what to do,??? he lamented.
Although now retired, this slimly-built man does not intend to become lazy or rest on his laurels as he makes it a habit of going to beach every morning and working out.
???I go exercising on the beach???I stop and I talk to people and then I spend my days working and fixing things around the house, as I now have the opportunity to spend more time doing things.???
In terms of young people now joining the civil service, Mr. Agard simply stated that ???expectations aren???t like before with the cut backs being implemented???, while adding that likewise, opportunities were not going to be as forthcoming as before. However, he emphasised that they should not be deterred.
For 40 years, crunching numbers was his passion and now that he is retired, this life-long public servant offered this final piece of advice to the younger ones now entering, the service.?????Leave out the attitude, take one day at a time and always keep a pleasant disposition.???