Joseph Mahfood was a blessingTuesday, April 27, 2021
The recent passing of Joseph Mahfood, one of the founding fathers of Wisynco Group Limited, brings back fond memories of my past association with the company, and I wish to pay him tribute.
Several members of my family had worked at Wisynco in Twickenham Park from the 1970s to the 1990s. At that time, the company made water boots and plastic cups, among other things, and had a fashion section.
Domino tournaments among the companies in that area was a feature of life at that time and my brother-in-law, who also worked at the company, was the main cook tasked with preparing the curried goat.
My eldest sister approached Joseph Mahfood and asked him to grant me a summer job at the company. I was invited to speak with him and that was the first time I met him. He was very cordial and encouraged me to work hard and excel in school. I heeded that advice. He granted me my first summer job at the company. My task was to remove defective cups as they moved along the conveyor belt and count off cups in batches of 50 for packaging.
My family members who worked at the company recommended other members of my community of Thompson Pen for jobs and Mahfood did not discriminate against any person from Thompson Pen, but welcomed them, so long as they were willing to work hard and be honest.
He believed in family, and so workers would approach him and request jobs for other family members. He would always try to help where he could. He also gave HEART trainees the opportunity to gain work experience.
He was approachable to the workers and operated an open-door policy. He would also spend time with workers at their stations, visiting and making jokes with them. He was greatly loved by his workers and his generosity and kindness were well known.
One worker who had been suspended recalled that when she told her side of the story to Mahfood he told her to abide by the suspension, but he found a way to continue her salary, presumably from his own resources.
My sister Polly, who had worked with the company for 19 years, recalled that a worker was not paid because the office could not locate her sick leave; so, she was upset. Mahfood hugged her and asked what was the problem. Once he heard the situation he asked the office to pay her and have her request another sick leave.
Polly also recalled that someone was stealing clothing from the fashion section of the business. One day, as the man was going through the gate, wearing the stolen clothes beneath his own clothes, Mahfood, who was unaware of the man's wrongdoing, held the person's hand with the intent of speaking to him. The man thought Mahfood knew about his actions and took off running. Mahfood had a good laugh at the entire incident.
I express sincere condolence to Mahfood's family and the Wisynco staff, past and present.
May his memory live on and be a blessing.
Lincoln P Edwards
Northern Caribbean University
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login