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Mr Clifton Bodden at his workplace.

When one retires, one has to be active, do sports and be fit. Otherwise, muscles get weak and everything goes wrong.

Mr Clifton Bodden

Published 19th October 2007, 4:36pm

Think that senior citizens aren't working in Cayman? According to Cayman's 2006 Labour Force Survey, 860 people - or 2.5 per cent of the labour force - are older than 65 years of age. One of those active seniors is 84-year-old Mr Clifton Bodden, who works at the security gates of the Department of Vehicles and Equipment Services (DVES). Mr Bodden, who has been physically active and involved in community affairs all his life, decided to end his 13-year retirement by joining DVES in 2005. The department is providing fleet management services to government's 798 units of vehicles and mobile equipment. "It is a very honest and important job that keeps me young - I can contribute to the community by assisting with the services that DVES provides," he explains. "The fleet that we service includes emergency vehicles like the police cars that provide us with protection; waste management trucks that collect our garbage; and ambulances that take us to hospital." DVES Director Dale Dacres, Mr Bodden's supervisor, says: "Mr Bodden is a very professional person, and he knows the infrastructure of this place better than anyone else!" Mr Bodden was born in 1923 in Isle of Pines, Cuba. In 1947 he married Gladys Marion Henderson from Bodden Town (now deceased), and they had four children - Jewell Bodden, Marie Rivers, Loyce Watler and Floyd Bodden. They also have 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His first job was on a Cuban citrus farm, when he was 17 years old. In 1942, during World War II, he came to Cayman and served with the Home Guard. When the war ended, he was discharged from the Home Guard as a sergeant-instructor. Mr Bodden then joined the police service, and later worked on ships as an oiler and worked his way up to the position of chief engineer. Before his retirement in 1988, he was a heavy-equipment mechanic for the Public Works Department for 22 years. In addition to workplace activities, Mr Bodden likes sports such as swimming and cycling. And every morning, he does physical exercises. There is no place for unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking in Mr Bodden's life. "When one retires, one has to be active, do sports and be fit," he reveals. "Otherwise, muscles get weak and everything goes wrong." He also says it is necessary for seniors to stay in shape mentally, by keeping up communications with relatives, friends and colleagues, and by reading books and newspapers. Knowledge is wealth, he points out; being alert to what is happening in the world now, and in the future, can make life much easier and happier. Because of this, he also encourages the youth to get a good education, so that they can make Cayman better place to live and make their country proud. According to Mr Bodden, the main things in life are God; good health; and good education. In addition, one has to learn to do business - young people should get up and work for themselves, not just sit down and wait for handouts from parents, he asserts. "People who have lived their lives to the fullest, in honesty, and who have been blessed in so many ways, can look back and smile at the good things they have done," he says.

Last Updated 2012-01-30