THE Ugu Cluster Commander, Major General Sethenya Agnes Nxamagele, delivered a very emotional speech at the retirement function of the Msinsini SAPS Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay at the Umthunzi Hotel and Conference Centre in Umtentweni last Wednesday.In attendance were officers and members from the Cluster Commander’s office as well as from the various police stations and units within the Cluster. Proceedings commenced with a welcome address by the Port Shepstone Vispol Commander, Colonel Praga Naicker, which was followed by an opening prayer. The Scottburgh SAPS Station Commander and programme director, Colonel Ralph Ruiters, introduced and called up the speakers to the podium. A tear-jerking “down memory lane” slideshow was presented depicting Lieutenant Colonel Pillay’s life since a little baby, her early days in the South African Police Service until her remarkable transformation from a shy young woman, metamorphosing into a confident and assertive senior police officer in the SAPS. Pillay ventured into a male-dominated field and enlisted in the SAPS in 1982 to become one of the first Indian woman to be stationed at the Umzinto police station. She persevered, studied and rose up the ranks to become the first female Station Commander at that very station with the rank of Superintendent on 1 January 2000. She took up her position as Station Commander of the Msinsini Police Station in May 2009, a position she occupied until her retirement at the end of March this year. General Nxamagele spoke at length on the role Lieutenant Colonel Pillay played as the Ugu Cluster Women’s Network Champion. Over the years, under her leadership, the Women’s Network had embarked on a number of community upliftment projects, excelled in various competitions at provincial and national levels and most importantly, empowered the women in the Ugu Cluster. The Women’s Network has, inter alia, hosted and spearheaded a number of “prayer against crime” and crime awareness campaigns throughout the Ugu Cluster. During her farewell speech, Lieutenant Colonel Pillay expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the South African Police Service for 36 “wonderful, enriching and memorable” years of employment and motivated her colleagues to be loyal and dedicated to the service. She had an emotional moment as she bid farewell to her SAPS family. Colonel Alan Grainger proposed a toast and the Deputy Ugu Cluster Commander, Brigadier Bongani Sibiya, moved a vote of thanks to bring the function to a close with everyone. Meals and a “making memories” photo session with Lieutenant Colonel Pillay concluded the day’s events. — Supplied.