Acting Permanent Secretary of the Training Administration Division, Sylvester Welch (left) receives a farewell gift from Lemuel Jordan of  the Audio Visual Aids Department during a retirement function at NUPW  Headquarters last weekend.

“A hard worker known for his excellence, commitment to work, dedication to duty and a man of principle.”

These were some of the tributes given by friends, colleagues and family who gathered at the National Union of Public Worker’s Headquarters last Friday to honour retiring Acting Permanent Secretary of Government’s Training Administration Division, Sylvester Welch.

Mr. Welch, a career civil servant for some 38 years and a trained human resource practitioner, worked at a number of departments, including the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Ministry of Health and the Personnel Administration Division.

Among those paying accolades to “Welchie” as he is popularly known, were his peers Frederick Forde and Atheline Haynes from the Ministries of Agriculture and Education, respectively and National Union of Public Worker’s General Secretary, Denis Clarke.

Mr. Forde described the former Training Division head as “a consummate professional” who embraced the values of teamwork, responsibility and accountability.

“I’ve known Welch for 37 years from his time at the BWA and I was impressed with his commitment to work, hunger for excellence and dedication to duty. He was never one to pass the buck…. It is a great loss to the Training Division because his qualities are sadly lacking in many workers today,” he opined.

Citing Mr. Welch as a leader, pioneer and mentor, Ms. Haynes added that his career “was not defined by its length but by the legacy he has left behind and the impact on the public sector”.

She acknowledged that Mr. Welch had a strong interest in human resource management which served him well in his career.

Mr. Welch, in a brief address, said he “simply tried to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay”.

Noting that there were some challenges during his career, the former Permanent Secretary described the public sector as one of the best places to work.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet wonderful people, be part of new and innovative programmes and represent government at various regional and international functions…I’ve also had to endure some difficulties but once you make a principle-stand based on equity and not by who or what someone is, then you cannot be faulted,” Mr. Welch said.

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