The DSSP celebrated the event with main focus on bringing forth the talent and passion of our members. The media captured it widely with six English and four Urdu newspapers and, on a television channel.
President Valentina in her opening remarks set the tone that it is her desire to make DSSP a platform where our members may express themselves in terms of sharing their professional experience, journey with DSSP & motivational/inspirational talks. Like an apt Team Leader, she stepped back and let each one bloom. She also emphasized, that one of her objectives is to bring the Association recognition and work towards its expansion, across the country.
The Keynote Speaker Mr Saeed Haider, Finance Director at SICPA Inks Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd’s narrative style with loads of humour gained the audience’s attention, with his key message being that “trust and confidence” in an Admin Pro by her boss, was the main requisite of her job. Also, that her development and successes rested on her constantly adapting and learning as the profession continues to ‘evolve’ with the advent of technology and changing work environment.
Mr Asif Ikram, the CEO of SIPCA Inks also graced the occasion despite his travel that afternoon, which was most encouraging: He is also the current President of Management Association of Pakistan and obviously has desire to develop and support all professions in the corporate sector. He raised the sight of all by quoting examples of Admin Pros who had gone on to take managerial positions in related fields in his own company and grown in them.
The credit for presence of these two top executives rested with our Executive Committee Member Serena D’Souza who works for SIPCA and took the initiative to invite them and that they accepted. She was also instrumental in subsequently getting the wide media coverage to the delight and amazement of all, giving DSSP the mileage it intends to build on. This talented young member also conducted an impressive activity for ‘Team Building’ with everyone participating under eight corporate departments and collectively team-wise completing tasks. The winning team was interestingly the HR Department who do coach for this important job skill.
‘Balance for Better’ being the theme of the International Admin Pro celebration, was presented by our Immediate Past President Cheryl Mathew. Only recently she has taken the position as the Learning Support Manager in her company, but conducted the session like a training pro, with couple of ice-breakers and making the session largely interactive. She invited members to share their individual experience in balancing work and personal life, and concluded with her own tips on gaining the best balance by being ‘happy’ in all that we do which primarily keeps us on an even-keel and, to make time to look after our own selves.
An honouring activity ‘MOKsBOX’ introduced by the previous Executive Committee in memory of our President Emeritus, (late) Maharukh Bhiladwala, was also conducted by Cheryl. Eight members were picked by name-draw to participate in activities around their job skills of navigating the unknown, remembering names and faces, prowess in English and daring to say a few words in public. The winner was a senior member Mahera Moosajee which endorsed how much one gained as she grew in her job.
The Executive Committee has an urge to bring forth the quiet reposed knowledge of senior members who are usually reticent, by creating a segment at events where they come and share their career journey. Commencement of this segment was befittingly made at this celebration by our two senior members Rukhsana Yunus and Marie Anna Croning walking the audience through their work journey, with challenges and growth it provided and, giving pointers for work success.
The Present and Immediate Past President also considered it an apt occasion to bring forward the quiet and unknown contribution of a member. Together they honoured Sunnu Golwalla by alternately narrating her journey to promote the profession by conducting the secretarial classes within DSSP and beyond, introducing a professional magazine for our members and, launching the Professional Secretaries’ Award for DSSP during her tenure on two executive committees in mid-1990s. It was an emotive moment for Sunnu to be acknowledged so warmly, and she will cherish this memory.
Encouragement was equally given to all members of the Executive Committee to have active participation in the event. Our Secretary Naureen Rodrigues welcomed and introduced new members to the Society and said thank yous at the end of the programme, while the quieter ones lent their usual back-bone support to various administrative activities for the smooth running of the programme and of course, our Treasurer Clara D’Souza’s quiet but cannot-do-without support behind the scene with cash handling and receipts.
Associate Members who are yet to gain full membership, were also engaged in the programme: Sheilane Joseph assisted with the playlist of music that played at the event and, Sandra D’Souza and Elena Hayat helped at the registration desk as members walked in. More of these members will support our programmes as befitting opportunities arise.
President Valentina took the opportunity to announce the upcoming ‘Convention’ which she termed as a ‘mini ASA Congress’ in Karachi. A lot of work is required for its institution, which is in progress. More details will be shared accordingly.
A happy round of ‘bingo’ concluded the programme with a cup of tea, and warm good-byes exchanged.
DSSP hopes to forge onward developing the profession, with the support and participation of all its members.
Our President Valentina commenced her term of office by inviting Tofiq Pasha Mooraj to speak on “Conserve today for brighter tomorrow”. He is an environmentalist who modestly calls himself a ‘mali’. He spoke gently and eloquently on how Mother Earth has been abused and neglected and, chemicals have entered all areas of our food chain, due to which new and fatal diseases have sprung up, and precious animal and plant life is being depleted.
Each of us can play her role - no matter how small - by consuming natural food, being mindful of use of water and electricity at home or at work, reduce or eliminate waste as much as possible, reuse or recycle paper, plastic or whatever one can. Also, in our small way we can influence our colleagues at work, to spread the environment protection habits. Visit and ‘like’ his Facebook page: “Tofiq Pasha's World” to receive updates and videos.
His wife Naheed spoke about her newly introduced food-wrap. She is basically a candle-maker who has introduced a food-wrap which is cotton cloth, coated with bee’s wax. The wraps are washable, last for eight months and are also bio-degradable. They come in large, medium and small sizes, and are versatile for wrapping leftovers, green veg, sandwich, cover containers etc. You may also ‘like’ her Facebook page “Candle Works by Naheed T Mooraj” to get updates.
Our EC Member Serena D’Souza presented a game: ‘floating balloons’ which gave an opportunity to every member present that evening, to participate. Colour-coded groups were formed with each person getting a balloon which she had to blow and keep afloat. Executive Committee members monitored each team, who were then challenged to be mindful also of balloons of teammates who had to leave as their names were called out by Serena. The team with all balloons afloat was the winner. The team captain when asked how they won, had a single powerful word: “Teamwork!”Photo credit: Barbara D’Cruz, DSSP’s Associate Member
On Sunday December 16, 2018 DSSP witnessed yet another transition; the handing over and taking over of DSSP Executive Committee 2019-2020, which was celebrated with good intentions. It’s a time when previous members step down, for the new members to take over and show their talents, skills and heart for the welfare of the DSSP. The ending is always a mark for a fresh beginning with new members and more creative ideas.
What binds them together is their allegiance to the welfare of the institution and their resolve to emulate the spirit of the outgoing committee members. Thus continuity is assured in the life of the organization.
Beach Luxury Hotel was the venue chosen for this significant event. Glenda Dsouza was at the registration desk and navigated all the members to the novelty stall. A Novelty stall was displayed at the entrance of the hall. The items from the Annual Gala were disposed at a novelty stall @ Rs 50 per try. Proceeds will go towards charity. Each item on the stall was worth more than Rs 50. The ladies participated wholeheartedly so it was a win-win situation!
Cheryl Mathews President of DSSP steered the event and welcomed everyone.
The two new Associate members introduced themselves at the event.
Certificates were distributed by Cheryl Mathew to the outgoing Executive members for their selfless efforts throughout the term 2017-2018.
Valentina Fernandes was welcomed as the incoming President of DSSP, torches were handed over by the outgoing executive committee members to the new executive members.
The New Executive Committee comprises of:
President: Valentina Fernandes
Secretary: Naureen Rodrigues
Treasurer: Clara Ann D’souza
Social Secretary: Samantha Rodrigues
Editor News Bulletin: Sunnu Golwalla
ASA Coordinator: Cheryl Mathew
Executive Members: Glenda D’souza, Afroze Tungekar & Serena D’souza
Oath taking was carried out by Ex President Cheryl Mathew and the New President Valentina Fernandes. After Valentina Fernandes took the Oath she recited for the new excom members and they pledged thereafter.
Cheryl Mathew handed over the respective flag and keys of DSSP to incoming President, Valentina Fernandes. She thanked the executive members and wished all the new members the very best.
The website and logo was launched by Cheryl Mathew who gave us a brief presentation on the revamped DSSP’s Website. Mr Irfan Rehman, CEO of AL Rehman Technologies ended with responding to a few queries on the same.
The event was taken further with latest melodious Christmas carols playing softly in the background a fun-filled and brain teasing game of Christmas Riddles, played on individual sheets, at the end of the game, answers were checked and the winners were rewarded.
The gifts from ASA Congress held in PNG were distributed among DSSP ladies by a lucky draw. Followed by Brunch, the ladies enjoyed the Double treat with the scrumptious feast at Sea Front along with a serene atmosphere overlooking the calm waters. A game of Tombola was enjoyed, capping the event!
Our annual gala this year was Desi Dhamaka! Lady guests were in glittering ghagra-choli, shalwar-kameez and even sari. Men escorted with shalwar-kameez and waistcoat, completed by colorful scarf presented by DSSP at the entrance, while ladies were given ‘cangans’.
President Cheryl conceived the ‘dhamal’ months ahead, and detailed planning and working followed by the Executive Committee (EC). The fun started on the morning of the gala when the desi look was created, with stage and table décor made by our past Treasurer Mahnaz Irani, with all hands-on-deck from the EC. Standees and banners from sponsor companies – our mainstay throughout the year - followed. When the General Manager of Avari Towers heard about our theme he came in the evening to admire the ambience, which brought cheesy smiles from us all!
The DJ’s music got everyone’s feet – and arms! – moving and swaying, with just the perfect lighting creating a very romantic mood.
Cheryl hosted the evening and introduced the Executive Committee who were supposed to enter with some desi steps, and Member Glenda D’Souza performed the best, followed by a ‘dhamal’ led by our Editor Marina Fernandez
Hors d’oeuvre of ‘chat’ and lassi titillated everyone’s palate and got them into the mood to play games. Elimination dance with four provinces got it going. “Thalay may kia hay” conceived by our Social Secretary Valentina Fernandes was another fun to figure out items in a stitched bag by feeling them. Table with most correct answers bagged the prize. The Wadera March, a turban-tying competition created a lot of energy with ladies tying the turban and decorating it to the selected man at their table. Our member Bakhtawar Marfatia participated as the ‘man’ from her table! The ‘Wadera March’ began with embellished turbaned candidates competing to out-beat each other.
Lucky Draw for all attending DSSP members was possible with sufficient gift items – largely due good contacts of our Secretary Naureen Rodrigues – put a smile on each one. Our Immediate Past President, Natasha Mavalvala got the bags sponsored in which goodies were given at the entrance, and our Treasurer Clara D’Souza handled the multifarious payments and receipts behind the scenes.
Well past 1 am some were still dancing and taking pictures, some did not want to leave at all! This felt good after months of team work. Come join the Executive Committee: you won’t know what fun it is till you do!