Nurse Sonia Johnson Thomas was recognized by the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists for her outstanding service to the H.S. Walters Health Centre. Nurse T (as she is affectionately called), has served the Health Centre for the past 26 years and will retire from active service, June 1, 2020.
Nurse Sonia Johnson Thomas holding award presented to her by the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventist for outstanding service to the HS. Walters Health Centre. | Credits: Andrew Johnson
She was showered with expressions of love and appreciation by friends, co-workers and church leaders during a service of recognition held in her honour, at the headquarters of the Health Centre, Old Harbour Road, St. Catherine on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Pastor Levi Johnson, President CJC as he expressed appreciation, shared that her commitment to health ministry has played a significant roll in the transformation of the H.S. Walters Health Centre.
"Nurse T, you have done what no other worker has done for the simple reason that you are the only staff member who stayed from the opening of the Health Clinic until its transition to the Health Centre." He continued, "You have made many sacrifices, working beyond the call of duty and have helped us to concretise the health philosophy of the church in the CJC".
Pastor Nevail Barrett, Executive Secretary, CJC commended her for her stewardship, noting that her work is well recorded and when the Lord comes, she will be rewarded.
"Nurse T, the Lord placed you here for 26 years, and He equipped you and gave you the skill set to give quality service to people across the conference, though the H.S. Walters Health Centre, and you have given outstanding service," said Barrett.
Tributes were also presented by Dr Meric Walker, Executive Secretary and Human Resource Manager Mrs Lisa-Marie Samuels, on behalf of the Jamaica Union ( JAMU). Dr Walker expressed thanks to Nurse Thomas for the "dedicated and committed service" that she gave to the Church in the CJC, while Mrs Samuels reflected on the contributions she made to the mission as a worker of worth.
Nurse Thomas' life has been the epitome of selfless service, one who dedicated countless hours and made tremendous efforts to make the lives of those around her better.
Mary Cole, Manager of H.S. Walters Health Centre, took the time to outline some of her fondest memories of Nurse T and noted that she had a passion for serving the sick, especially those who have been badly wounded. She recalls her coming to work, even on holidays, always giving her very best. She praised Nurse T for her humility, passion, faith and commitment and shared that these are qualities that she, the staff and patients, admire and will treasure.
Colleagues, Ms Suzette Clacken and Dr Sylvia Richardson both conveyed their best wishes for Nurse Thomas and how happy they were that she had reached this well-deserved retirement. However, they stated that her absence would be very noticeable, and it would take some time to get used to her not being around.
“I am so happy that 2020 will be remembered by this memorable occasion,” shared Health Ministries Director, Mrs Deon Henry. “It is said that life is a journey and so Nurse T as you transition, know that we salute you, enjoy life to the max; you deserve it.”
In her response, Nurse Thomas thanked the conference and the health centre for the noble gesture and shared that the Lord has impressed upon her the need to move into another phase of missionary work and her retirement will include many hours of service to her local church.
Pastor Billy Watson, Treasurer CJC prayed the dedicatory prayer for Nurse Thomas that brought an end to the evening’s proceedings.