On Thursday evening February 26, Jamaica installed her 6th. Governor General.
He is Dr. Patrick Linton Allen.
Governor General Dr Patrick Allen and his wife, Patricia.
If you should ask the average man or woman on the street what the job function of the Governor general is, you may be told that he is the representative of the Queen. This is right, but the job involves more than attending tea parties. He is a national symbol of unity as he is non partisan, providing Solomonic salve to make us rise above partisan rancor.
He is entrusted with great moral authority and is given extensive discretionary power. The electoral commission along with many other governmental commission reports to him. For example, if you are a juvenile who commits murder, your life and death resides in his hands. Thus candidates for this position have to demonstrate seasoned, balanced, leadership.
The selection of Dr. Allen seems to be an excellent choice. His training, and administrative acumen brings a significant strength to the leadership of our Island. Being a pastor and being involved in molding the lives of young people some of whom sang for him (choir from Northern Caribbean University) at his installation speaks volume.
Northern Caribbean Choir Performing
In his 21 minutes address , he revealed how grateful he is to all those who invested in him, and he was humbled by the privilege of serving as the head of state.
He was sobering in his assessment of the challenges we face. The ones I recall are:
The foreboding impact of the global economic situation.
Security and respect for ourselves to reduce the violence.
Food security with a return to farming and local production.
Education engagement for all in the information age.
He had many sparkling moments in his speech. The sentence bites that continue to resonate with me are:
Jamaica needs the service of all of its people.
There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.
I believe in the destiny of Jamaica. Let this be found in every heart and on every screen saver.
We are approaching the morning of hope.
Cling to hope.
His vision of Jamaica clearly includes the diaspora, but he painted vivid images of hope echoing from the Blue Mountains to the Dolphin Mountain, emotionally calling us home.
This historic service ended with some tender moments. Both wives of the outgoing and in coming Governor Generals were given vibrant bouquets by a boys scout and girls guide. Both ladies filled with the abundance of grace embraced these young people with such motherly care, a tender yet powerful symbol of their love and commitment to our future.
Let’s lift up the hands of our leaders through our prayerful support.