Accolades on top of tributes, piled onto a slew of gifts, were the order of a Nurses Appreciation Service held on Friday morning, May 21st, 2021, during ‘Nurses Month’, where a one-of-a-kind Nurse, Mrs. Monique Roberts-Cambridge was singled out and paid special recognition and honour, under the theme, “Aspire to be great, continue to strive for excellence”.
Nurse Cambridge graduated from the College of the Bahamas in 1988, and has been serving as a nurse for more than 30 years – with the majority of those years spent on her home island of Eleuthera.
Numerous remarks and tributes were given in honour and recognition of who she was as a nurse, and her impact on people within the communities she served.
The Central Eleuthera high school band also serenaded the audience, nurses and honouree with a number of selections, reminiscent of the local town marching band tradition, that Nurse Roberts Cambridge would have grown up with in her hometown of Hatchet Bay.
Hank Johnson, MP for Central and South Eleuthera, who attended high school at the same time as Nurse Cambridge reminisced in his tribute, saying, “Monique Roberts Cambridge as a student together with her at the Governor’s Harbour High School was someone who aspired to achieve, and she did just that. When graduation day came and we had to part and go our separate ways, we knew that she would be successful in her life goals. The first time I saw her again after high school, she was dressed in blue at the Princess Margaret Hospital.”
Clay Sweeting, PLP candidate for Central and South Eleuthera, in his remarks, highlighted Nurse Cambridge’s role in her annual charity, Christmas in the Park event. “I think that people like Nurse Cambridge and other special people within our communities need to be celebrated more. People like her build countries and islands, and build Eleuthera.” He also lauded the nurses and doctors throughout Eleuthera for working in conditions that are not conducive to what they risk, and requested a standing ovation from the audience for their collective contribution to all living in Eleuthera.
Resident District Medical Officer for Central Eleuthera, Dr. Allen Cho, in an emotional speech expressed his appreciation for all of the nurses that he had the opportunity to work with during his past three years working on the island, acknowledging the love, support and care he received from all of them, and in turn praising their talent, professionalism and work ethic. “I owe everything to my nursing team, as to what I have become today. I would not have achieved such appreciation and approbation without you guys. Please know that you are treasured and cherished, and will always have a special place in my heart. Let’s continue to be good partners in this journey, so that we can continue to give holistic care to our community and to our patients. For me I am still no one – still considered a work in progress. I can do some things, but for sure cannot do everything. I need someone, called ‘Nurse’.”
Turning to the morning’s honouree, Dr. Cho, added, “To my Nurse Cambridge and her family, you are a blessing from above. No words can express how thankful I am for everything that you do. You did not only act as a Senior Nurse, but also as a Mother and Guiding Light to all of us. I consider myself the lucky one for having met you – someone like you in this lifetime.” Nurse Cambridge, took the opportunity then to make a special gift presentation to Dr. Cho, on behalf of all the nurses serving in the Eleuthera District.
Nurses from throughout the island were present in full force led by Head Nurse Mrs. Freda Cooper, during the service of appreciation sharply decked out in uniform, in support of Nurse Cambridge. They were also all presented with gift baskets of appreciation in recognition of Nurses Month.
Following the service, which saw many more tributes and messages read from the nursing leadership in New Providence, as well as stalwarts of the Central Eleuthera communities, honouree Nurse Cambridge gave her reaction to the overload of expression, “I am just overwhelmed. I am grateful. I know that I am loved. I knew that I was, but this… is proof. And you know, the nurses, to find the time out to actually do this during this pandemic when we are so busy…They are extraordinary. So, I just want to thank them, and thank everybody that contributed, that helped. I’m going to continue on as long as I have health and strength, and as long as God gives me breath. To continue to do and to serve my people.”
Nurse Cambridge continues in her post as a Nursing Officer 1 (NO1) at the Hatchet Bay Clinic.