The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Mr Timothy Hodge &
Mrs Jacqueline Bryan-Niles

In tandem with the revealing of the James Ronald Webster Essay Competition results, former Director of Social Security, Dr. Timothy Hodge, was recognised for his longstanding service of over forty years. The twin-segment event was held at the James Ronald Webster Mausoleum on Wednesday, March 2, to commemorate what would have been Mr. Webster’s 96th birthday.

Chairlady of the Social Security Board, Mrs. Jacqueline Bryan-Niles, in addressing those present at the event said: “Our gathering here today is two-fold. We are here to pay tribute and respect to the Father of the Nation, the late Mr. James Ronald Webster, who introduced Social Security to Anguilla. We say thank you to him for his foresight in establishing the Social Security Act on November 3, 1980, and then its operations on January 1, 1982.
“We are also here to show our appreciation to Dr. Timothy A. Hodge, nephew of the late James Ronald Webster, who served the Social Security Board in Anguilla for over forty years, and retired as Director of Social Security at age 60 on January 7, 2022.

“On this memorable occasion, it is only fitting to say thanks to Dr. Hodge for so ably ensuring that Mr. Webster’s dream for Social Security became a reality, and is even more relevant today as we go through global economic hardships.
“Dr. Timothy Augustine Hodge has been with the Social Security System since the inception of its operations in 1981. He worked with the Social Security Board and Mr. Colville Petty as Director, and Mr. Marcel Fahie as Chairman. Dr. Hodge was appointed Director of Social Security on April 16th 1986, five years after he commenced work at the Social Security Office. Today, Dr. Hodge can boast of being the longest serving officer in the position of Director in the entire Caribbean.”

Premier Ellis Webster, Mr Timothy Hodge, Mr Courtney Morton &
Ms Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers

Following Mrs. Bryan-Niles’ address, she presented Dr. Hodge with a fashionable clock, crafted from Anguilla’s native rock. A monetary token of appreciation was also presented to him. In addition, a presentation was made to Dr. Hodge by the Premier, Dr. Ellis Lorenzo Webster, on behalf of the Government of Anguilla.
Remarks were delivered via video link by Mr. Stewart Haynes, of the Social Security Board of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He commended Dr. Hodge not only for his committed service to social security in Anguilla, but for his contributions to the social security scheme in the region. His address in part follows:
“It is an honour and a privilege for me to join the Government and people of Anguilla on this momentous occasion, as we honour the legacy of Mr. James Ronald Webster, the nation builder. I also celebrate with the participating student winners of the essay writing competition. Today, we also recognise the contribution of Dr. Timothy Hodge to the development of Social Security Services in Anguilla and the Caribbean region.

“It is with great pleasure that I, as Director of the National Insurance Services for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, represent the regional chapter of Social Security to commend a father, a brother, a colleague and an authentic, astute leader, Dr. Timothy Hodge.
“Dr. Hodge has given his life and has shone light on regional social security institutions for forty years in his capacity as the Director of the Anguilla Social Security Board. Serving as Director is no mean feat. It is an an accomplishment par excellence which speaks volumes of the measure of the man. His contribution to the development of Social Security is prominent, not only in Anguilla but in the wider Caribbean region, as well as the Americas.

“I can say without fear of contradiction that forty years as a Director of Social Security is difficult to match, and one must give accolades to Dr. Hodge for this achievement in shaping Social Security in Anguilla and in the region.”

In responding, Dr. Hodge said: “This is truly a wonderful occasion here today, and it is held in an appropriate place. There is a place and time for everything, and I think this is a fitting time as we celebrate the life and the legacy of the late James Ronald Webster, my mother’s brother, to recognise his work and mine in Social Security.
“I would like to acknowledge our current Premier, Dr. Ellis Webster, and our past Premier, Mr. Victor Banks. I also recognise the current and past staff of the Social Security Board. Social Security in Anguilla is an institution that probably has one of the lowest turnover rates.
“As far as I have been able to determine, my forty-year tenure, as Director of Social Security, makes the longest service in the world in this position. I do thank God for His blessings, His leadership and His guidance…

“I want to take the opportunity to recognise this place. I had workrd long and hard to get this spot to be the Mr. Webster’s final resting place. While he was still alive, we could not very well discuss with him where he wanted us to place his body. So I engaged his wife, Aunt Cleo, and the rest of his family, and after discussing with them, they agreed that this spot would be the place where Mr. Webster would rest…”
Mr. Hodge congratulated the essay winners. He applauded the Department of Education for subscribing to the idea of featuring the James Ronald Webster Essay Competition as an annual event, and he placed on record his thanks for all those who organised the day’s programme.