The 2007/2008 session of Parliament commenced at Gordon House today (March 29) with much pomp and ceremony, highlighted by the delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall.
From as early as 10:00 a.m., a large crowd of well-wishers lined Duke Street to view the proceedings, and offered sporadic cheers at the arrival of the Guard of Honour, led by the Jamaica Military Band in full regalia.
Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas came soon after, followed by Jamaica Defence Force Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin. Members of the Senate then arrived and took their places in the chamber.
The buzz of activity intensified as special guests, including members of the business community and the diplomatic corps continued to stream through the doors of Gordon House, becoming moreso with the arrival of the Members of the Opposition led by Bruce Golding.
Excited cheers also rang out at the arrival of Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who went into the crowd to greet some supporters, and flanked by National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips and Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, with other Ministers close behind, she strode into the House.
At 10:48 a.m. the wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency Rheima Holding Hall arrived and she was escorted into the chamber by Commissioner Thomas.
On his arrival, the Governor-General inspected the Guard of Honour before being escorted into the House by Rear Admiral Lewin, where he read the Throne Speech, which outlined the priority programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government during the new fiscal year.
In the afternoon, the House convened for its first official sitting for the new fiscal year. This will be marked by the tabling of the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure by Dr. Davies.