Rhianna Mc Kenzie
Valencia East/Toco Councillor Martin “Terry” Rondon will bid farewell to politics next year and is giving back to the community that served him.
On Tuesday, Rondon organised donations and health checkups for the people of the Toco Senior Citizens’ Home.
The home’s eldest resident, 101-year-old John Gomez, was also given a reclining chair and walker.
“He held me as a baby,” said Rondon. “My first day pay was with Mr Gomez. We would leave Matelot to sell fish and ice. When I returned to Matelot on that fateful day, he gave me 25 cents.”
Rondon said at the time, he and his mother did not have anything in the house to eat, and the money was able to provide them with biscuits, coffee, butter, and skimmed milk.
Through donations and his own personal investment, Rondon provided the 17 residents of the home with clothing, utensils, sheets, and bed linen, as well as a doctor and the Diabetic Association to give them a check-up. A barber and nail technician were also present.
“I saved for this occasion. My next event will be for the children. I have six months again to say thank you. On the last of these activities, I will have a massive thanksgiving, because each one of you all contributed to who I am today.”
Rondon – who has served in politics for 27 years as councillor for Toco and environs – said, “I am on my way out of politics and I have decided these are the activities I want to do on my home stretch. All these people have supported me.
“I am so happy that as a politician, I did it the way it should be done. I never looked at the symbol of (political) party to help or not to help people. I work with people and I help them from my heart. My God has taught me one thing: love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
Rondon offered advce to his fellow councillors. “Serve the people. You want to make your name a household one? Let the people remember you, not before the election, but the day after.
“Let them make the choice for you and not you begging them to vote for you and make false promises.
“Politicians, attend the people’s funerals, attend weddings. Assist in their sports. When there is a wake in the village, go to it. Attend all churches in your area – and don’t go with your hands swinging. Carry something. It’s not bribery, it is appreciation.”