Customs Department Staff Treats Senior Citizens to Lunch

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Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Gary Smith (standing centre) poses with other staff members from the Customs Department, the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged staff including Frances Ledee, administrator, (standing far right) and some of the senior citizens residing at the home, Thursday, January 26. Staff from the Bahamas Customs Department visited 12 senior citizens homes serving the residents lunch.

Nassau, The Bahamas — The Bahamas Customs Department’s staff celebrated International Customs Day by serving lunch to senior citizens at various homes, Thursday, January 26.

The Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Gary Smith, who was helping out at the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged said serving the senior citizens lunch has been a tradition for the past 22 years.

“The staff in the various sections of Customs donates the food, and we go to some 12 senior citizens homes throughout the island of New Providence where we honour those on whose shoulders we stand by providing them with lunch,” Mr Smith said.

“Over the years, some of them have developed particular friendships with certain homes, so some staff members choose particular homes because the people know them; but we also have some new people onboard and they are following in the tradition.”

The celebrations started with a church service at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Sunday, January 23, and on Saturday, January 28, there will be a fun day at Customs headquarters for children from various homes. Mr Smith said as a result of donations from corporate sponsors and staff (who wish to remain anonymous), there will be entertainment and treats such as bouncing castles, Charlie and the Yellow Bahamian, hamburgers, hotdogs.

The World Customs Organisation was formed in 1947 with 13 European governments agreeing to set up a study group to examine the possibility of establishing one or more Inter-European customs unions based on the principles of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Out of this body the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) was born, being formally established in 1952. After many years of membership growth, the CCC adopted the working name of World Customs Organisation.

It was at a meeting in 1963 that the date of January 26 was formalised as a day set aside to honour and recognise the achievements of Customs Officers in their various administrations.

It was called “International Customs Day” and observed to honour long serving officers, participation in community activities, town meetings, seminars and workshops to interact with and inform stakeholders about relevant Customs matters including changes in procedures and generally form mutual partnerships affecting Global Trade.