Inducts BWI Retirees Council of Elders
Jonathan Payelaleh, former president of the Booker Washington Institute Alumni Association (BWIAA), has re-echoed calls for the government to increase its budgetary allocation to the institute. Mr. Payelaleh said if BWI is to meet the public’s expectation to train more mid-level technicians, the government must increase the budget from US$2.3m to US$2.9m. He said the additional allotment would be used to renovate the trade shops and purchase tools for the various departments, including agriculture, mechanical and electrical engineering to give sound practical training to students.
Speaking at the induction and honoring of 47 members of the BWI Retirees Elders Council, Mr. Payelaleh paid homage to the honorees and thanked them for serving the institute with dedication over the years. “BWI cannot exist without the input of those who are appointed to serve and this means that the institute still needs those of you who are retired because your expertise individually and collectively helped mold our students,” he said.
Of the 47 retired employees, six were appointed to the leadership of the Elders Council. They are Madam Constance G. Juah, chairperson; James Karnley, co-chair; Mrs. Esther K. Jallah, secretary-general; Ms. Justina N. Ncube, financial secretary; Mrs. Maggie H. Seimabula, treasurer; and Mrs. Vafrey Kerkula, advisor to the council.
The Retirees Elders Council is a new idea that BWI principal Harris Fomba Tarnue formulated last April to provide retired union members official representation in the institute’s administration. It enables retired members and staff with tenures ranging from 25-40 years of unbroken service to speak with a unified voice on policies that would improve the BWI, Tarnue said. Some of the retired personnel served the institute in various positions dating back to 1966.
On behalf of the retirees, Mrs. Juah said the title the Tarnue administration conferred on them signified commitment and honor, which underscore the level of sacrificial services each of them rendered the institute. “Therefore, the program ushers in a very important milestone in our lives and those who are employed at the BWI,” Mrs. Juah said.
She called on the faculty and staff to remain dedicated to BWI, “since doing that will bring reward to you at the end of the journey, because very soon, some of you will step in our shoes.”
The chairman of the BWI Board of Governors, Jackson J. Paye, promised to work with the council by empowering the members to continuously contribute to BWI in whatever way that would improve the institute. Paye called on the retirees to see their retirement as an honorable opportunity to turn a new page in their professional lives and give back to the BWI by volunteering their service, adding, “Use your retired time wisely to always benefit the BWI.”
Mr. Paye then pledged L$30,000 to the council, while Tarnue and Payelaleh pledged L$20,000 and L$25,000 respectively.