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Claudette McLeish, a passionate, caring boss

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Jamaica Observer staff are still mourning the loss of former Financial Controller Claudette McLeish who passed away last Friday after a long illness.

McLeish, more popularly referred to as “Miss Mac”, joined the Observer on June 1, 2009 and served until December 31, 2014 when she retired. Before that, however, she was financial controller at other companies in the ATL Group, namely Gorstew Limited, Air Jamaica Limited, Appliance Traders Limited, and Caribrake Limited. Her stint at FAYH 105 FM came just before her retirement.

Following the glowing tributes paid to her by ATL Group Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, ATL and Observer Managing Director Danville Walker, and other employees, early this week more members of staff in the Observer's Finance Department paid tribute to McLeish.

SEYMOUR MADDEN,
RECEIVABLES SUPERVISOR:

Having been hired by Miss McLeish in June of 2007 I came to the Jamaica Observer and had my fair share of battles. I swiftly came to appreciate the gentle giant who was loud, sometimes abrupt and controversial because I realised she would push me to be the best version of myself.

She was relentless and accepted nothing but your best. Over the years we would have many battles, a few I am proud to say I won, even if only in my mind.

Miss Mac was a caring person who would go to bat for her staff as she cared deeply for her extended work family. She was a people person and extremely passionate about her work and her family.

I will forever remember our battles on the football field. As I am an ardent Manchester United supporter and learning she was a Liverpool fan we would have great fun during the many EPL seasons whenever either our teams played. One loss and I was sure to get the call “yu wutliss side cyaa even win a match eeh”. Of course, I would return the favour.

I am proud to say I got the chance to meet and learn from this passionate champion and her memory will forever live on.

Rest in peace, boss lady.

MAXINE JOHNSON-BROWN,
OFFICE ATTENDANT:

Ms Claudette McLeish was a determined, visionary, no-nonsense, loving and caring person, always looking out for the less fortunate. On her sick bed, after hearing I was migrating, she sent some money for me, glory be to God. my heart goes out to the family.

I ask God to strengthen the family, especially Annette. Miss Mac will be greatly missed.

ROSE BAILEY,
OFFICE ATTENDANT:

I knew Miss McLeish from 1978. We met at Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre. Since she came to Jamaica Observer we were like sisters, we talked about everything, we prayed and fasted together. When we had problems we just sat and talked and prayed about them.

The five years she spent at the Observer, I served her tea every morning. I saw to it she was well taken care of. She impacted my family's life and played a big part in my children's upbringing. She will be greatly missed. God saw it best and needed her more.

KERRY-ANN FAGAN,
SENIOR ACCOUNTING CLERK:

I have known Claudette McLeish, or Aunty Claudette as she is more affectionately called, from my childhood days. She knew me before I realised I knew her as she used to work closely with my father before he passed.

She has been a family friend and my coach, as she headed the netball team at my church, and led us to victory in our competitions. You could always pick her out in a crowd, she is always the loudest one to cheer us on and she enjoyed spending time with the youths.

On finishing my secondary education she asked me what were my plans and I told her, “I am unsure as I have not settled my mind on what career path to follow.” She then said, “Okay, while you decide I have a vacancy in my department”, and I was truly happy for the opportunity.

While working at the Jamaica Observer I started my degree in business management, but due to her strong influence I changed my career path to a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

I am truly happy to have had someone so influential in my life and I give God thanks.

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