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Community activists are selected to be this year’s Older Persons Month Ambassadors.

Published 4th October 2019, 11:39am

Four Caymanians ages 65+ have been chosen by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to represent the observance throughout October, as ambassadors during Older Persons Month.

“The four older persons were selected because of their outstanding community service track records,” said DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza Williams.

“We look forward to them taking an active part in the observance and see this as a platform for them to encourage others to do what they can to help elderly persons in their own communities.”

Mr. John E. Ebanks, Mrs. Beulah McField, Mr. McFarlane Conolly and Mrs. Idalee Scott were formally announced at the International Day of Older Persons Garden Party on Tuesday, 1 October, which officially launched this year’s Older Persons Month.

John E. Ebanks

Mr. Ebanks’ motto is “Do a good deed each day, and you will see what a difference it makes in someone else’s life.”

In 1969 he went to work with the section of the old Public Works Department (PWD), now known as National Roads Authority (NRA), as a truck driver and worked his way up through the ranks to become an asphalt plant operator. He then became supervisor of the roads construction with more than 100 men under his leadership. Mr. Ebanks also served as superintendent of roads construction and as an inspector.

He retired after 41 years of service and was given a five-year contract as a troubleshooter followed by another for a further 18 months.

Being a self-confessed people person, he was inducted into the Lions Club of Grand Cayman in 1973, and worked his way up to club president, district zone chairperson, regional chairperson, district governor, and district council chairperson (the highest rank at district level).

To this day, Mr. Ebanks carries on his work serving the less fortunate through the Lions Club of Grand Cayman. He is also a member of the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board. For 42 years, Mr. Ebanks shopped overseas for the Christmas Day give-a-way to the elderly and shut-ins all over the island. He also organised the “All Island Kids Christmas Party”, held annually at the Lions Centre for 300-350 kids.

Mr. Ebanks feeds the residents at the Pines Retirement Home two or three times a year. He also collects donated goods from Kirk’s Supermarket, for the Lions Food Pantry storage, delivering food packages to the less fortunate elderly each month.

Additionally, he assists deserving seniors by building/remodelling homes, constructing handicap ramps for easier access, and installing safety railings in bathrooms.

For eight years Mr. Ebanks has been on the Prostrate and Colon Cancer Events Committee, which promotes cancer awareness and provides men's health screenings Island-wide.

Mr. Ebanks is married to wife, Sharon, and together they have four children, one daughter-in-law and nine grandchildren.