Saying goodbye to a long-serving employee is never easy! It marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for both the employee and the organization.
It was a mixture of pomp, colour and sombre mood when Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) top management and other members of staff bid farewell to Juddy Odhuno, a long-serving secretary to the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academics Research and Extension Prof Peter Gichangi.
In her remarks, Vice Chancellor Prof Laila Abubakar lauded Juddy for hard work, dedication and discipline.
“Juddy, you have worked for this institution for 37 years. Thank you. I remember there was a time when my secretary was on leave. Juddy used to do all the work for the DVC ARE and myself. I even didn't see that gap," Prof Laila recalled.
Prof Laila told Juddy that she still has the energy and can do a lot of things to build the nation. “My sister Juddy, mountains do not meet but people do. I wish you well. Don’t worry life begins at 60,” the VC concluded.
Juddy’s immediate former boss Prof Peter Gichangi had a very hard time in bidding her farewell to the terminal break from TUM.
Prof Gichangi said: "Juddy made my work very easy. We had the best working relationship. We worked well without raising our voices to one another. We could plan at the beginning of every month and follow that schedule to the letter.
"I am not happy because you are retiring, but you are not tired! But anyway it's life!” Prof Gichangi posed.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Administration Finance and Planning Prof Joseph Rasowo urged other employees to emulate Juddy’s character.
"She treated people with respect and dignity. Even in her last week at work, she was very hardworking and disciplined, as if she was here to stay," Prof Rasowo said.
Acting Registrar Partnerships Research and Innovations Dr Sylvia Mutua and Registrar Academic Affairs Dr Cromwell Kibiti commended Juddy for helping them in their daily activities and also for mentoring other members of staff and secretaries.
During her speech, Juddy thanked God for the gift of life and the opportunity to work at TUM. She appreciated the management for their belief and trust in her abilities. Juddy’s advice to the TUM family was to emphasize the importance of both hard work and prayers.
The farewell event was concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony, followed by lively dancing to the Isukuti Song mwana wa mbere led by Deputy Registrar Academic Affairs Madam Sarah Welime.
Nearly every TUM staff especially those who served when it was still a Polytechnic know Juddy as she has been a core figure in the institution's administration for years.
Many staff also say in her lies great institutional memory as she has served during the important structural and administrative transitions of the institution.