THE department of correctional services (DCS) community corrections organised a farewell function in honour of one of its outgoing officers at the King Club last week.
Surgeon Tom has retired after loyally serving the DCS for 34 years and the testimonies by stakeholders, family, colleagues and friends reflected the important role he played in the lives of others.
King William’s Town community corrections head Landezwa Ngwabane described Tom as an icon and a community builder.
“We are here today to say farewell to someone who was always striving to make a difference in the lives of others, someone we love so much,” Ngwabane said.
Acting Amathole Management Area commissioner Mkhululi George said Tom joined the DCS on April 1 1984 in Mdantsane and worked there as a correctional official.
Tom was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1988 and in 1994 was again promoted to warrant officer.
In 2004, he was transferred to KWT Community Corrections where he served as a supervisor.
“Mr Tom was one of the officials who was ensuring offenders’ rehabilitation and worked diligently and honestly in making sure that corrections are a societal responsibility,” George said.
He said Tom was the ambassador for the DCS after winning the Masibambisane Award in 2014.
“Mr Tom had good interpersonal relationships and worked closely with communities on outreach programmes.
“He was instrumental in the building of a crèche in Sikhobeni Village, a house for the Magingxe family in Quzini and the cleaning of local schools and orphanages. using the services of parolees.
“His section under his leadership adopted the Star Upliftment Centre, the Bulembu H/P School and other NGO facilities in the area,” George said.
Tembile Sofute, one of Tom’s subordinates, said: “The memories of working with an inspirational supervisor like you will never go.”