Good morning and welcome to King’s House for this significant Ceremony.  I use this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and productive New Year.


As we gather for this Swearing–in with a limited in-person audience and many online viewers, I can’t help but think that this may be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future in this COVID -19 environment.


The pandemic has seriously affected the court system across the globe, Jamaica of course being no exception, but we continue to observe the requisite public health protocols and remain mindful of the need to be vigilant.


This new landscape has forced us to be creative in the administration of justice.  There is an increased reliance on the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing as regular methods of communication.  And although jury trials have been suspended, judgements are still being delivered, virtually.  We commend the Judiciary for these initiatives!


I am sure, Chief Justice, that in January of last year when you and your team created the Strategic Plan and Roadmap, which is intended to transform the Judiciary; managing in a pandemic environment was not contemplated.  Yet you have found innovative ways to handle the delivery of justice so that persons needing those services are not severely impacted.


Our Judiciary, is one of the three pillars of our governance structure, is regarded with great respect. In your Oath of Allegiance and Judicial Oath, you promise to act as protectors, to guard and  defend, and uphold The Constitution, while interpreting the law, and dispensing justice to all impartially.


Sir Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, Attorney General, and Lord Chancellor, describes the attributes of Judges:

Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue”


The Ladies and Lords of the Jamaican Judiciary have always demonstrated their discipline, attention to detail, professionalism, and integrity.


I want to congratulate the Judges who are being sworn in this morning:

  • The Honourable Mrs Justice Vivene Harris – Judge of Appeal designate…
  • Her Honour Miss Justice Carole Barnaby –       Puisne Judge designate…
  • Acting Puisne Judges designate:
    • The Honourable Mrs Justice Icolin Reid
    • The Honourable Mr Justice Vaughn Smith
    • The Honourable Mrs Justice Tara Carr
    • The Honourable Mrs. Justice Pamela Mason
    • The Honourable Mrs Justice Annmarie Lawrence-Grainger
  • Master-in-Chambers:
    • Her Honour Ms Kamar Anderson
  • Acting Masters-in Chamber
    • Her Honour Ms Stephany Orr
    • Her Honour Mrs Sherna Reid-Clayton

I urge everyone to support the development of our judicial system as we make excellence our watchword and justice the framework of the sustainable future to which we are all committed.


I know that many of your family members are witnessing this event. Some online. I invite them to give you their fullest support as you embark on this new phase of your career.  I wish you each one of you  a successful tenure.


Thank you.

Governor-General’s Statement on the passing of the Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, OJ, CD, Hon. LLD

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has expressed regret and sadness at the passing of the Honourable Gordon   “Butch” Stewart, OJ, CD. Sir Patrick described Mr Stewart as “a transformational leader,   entrepreneur, philanthropist, and patriot who made an outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s tourism industry and economy.”

Mr Stewart achieved global recognition as a visionary leader by his tourism peers.  The many accolades he received speak to this ongoing recognition, and his indelible contribution to the industry in Jamaica and the entire Caribbean Region.  In addition to the National Honours, Mr Stewart also received numerous other global tourism, entrepreneurial, and educational awards.

Butch Stewart, as he is affectionately called, was an achiever and philanthropist who presented individuals, the world over, with opportunities to improve their lives.

Under his indefatigable leadership, Human Resource Management occupied a high place in the Sandals and ATL Group of Companies as evidenced by a consistent focus on training and development for all levels of staff.  This enhanced capacity allowed them to maintain the high level of excellence for which the chain is known and lauded worldwide.

His contribution to the development of the Jamaican society, and the preservation and promulgation of our culture and people, will continue through his educational institution and media enterprises.

Mr Stewart’s contribution and interaction with the Social Programmes of the Office of The Governor-General and Staff will be missed.

Lady Allen and I, and the King’s House staff extend our heartfelt condolence to his widow, Chyril, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his extended entrepreneurial family.  Mr Stewart has left a lasting legacy and we hope that they will be comforted by “the God of comfort.”

Governor-General Pays Tribute to Jeanette Grant Woodham, OD

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has expressed sadness at the news of the recent passing of Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, former President of the Senate of Jamaica.  Mrs. Grant-Woodham will be remembered as an outstanding educator, inspirational leader and devoted civil servant. Her numerous career feats in politics and education centered her as a representation of trailblazing women.

Noting Mrs. Grant-Woodham’s unrelenting advocacy for the recognition of political empowerment of women and the elimination of discrimination against them, Sir Patrick said that future generations would benefit from her contribution to the awareness of gender equality.

Most notable of the many ‘firsts’ of her achievements and contributions, is her service as the first female President of the Senate of Jamaica. Mrs. Grant-Woodham also served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The University of Technology, The University of The West Indies and the Tivoli Comprehensive High School.

Her contributions to the development of Jamaica through education and culture are immeasurable. We have lost a treasure in her, but her legacy and life inspires us to break barriers, model servant leadership and to champion causes greater than ourselves.

Lady Allen joins His Excellency in expressing deepest sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues.

Governor-General’s Remarks for the Swearing In Of Prime Minister Andrew Holness



We meet today to signal the start of a new phase in the life of our nation. Thank you for joining us live for this ceremony on all the multimedia platforms.

I begin by extending formal congratulations to the Prime Minister Designate whom his Parliamentary Colleagues and the people of Jamaica have chosen once again for this high office.
Our country is blessed with traditions and systems which allow for good order in the governance of the nation, and the preservation of respect for the voice of our citizens; and Mr. Andrew Holness has once again earned the right to be the Head of the Government of Jamaica.

It could be said of him that one good term deserves another. It could also be said that higher authority than exists on the human plane, has divinely ordained that he should be placed where he is today.
His record of service thus far may impel the Jamaican community to recall two utterances which can serve as inspiration to this generation.
The first is from a Letter to Timothy, written by Paul: “Let no one look down on your youth, but be an example …in speech, in love, in faith and in purity.”The second is attributed to a more modern philosopher Benjamin Franklin, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

I hardly need to remind our Honourable Prime Minister Designate that Jamaica which is described as an “island paradise” does not escape the stresses and distresses of a world in economic and social turmoil. Therefore, we share in prayer for God’s blessings on him, confident that his faith will indeed be a shield which protects, and that his energy and commitment will ensure his success in leading the government for the betterment of the Nation.

I also warmly congratulate his dear wife, who makes her own contribution to national development, while providing the support to her husband Prime Minister, at the same time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our country is in good hands, and our democracy works for us. One of the institutions of which we are very proud and which works well, is the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, chaired by Mr. Earl Jarrett and the Electoral Office led by Mr. Glasspole Brown, who marshalled 30,000 election day workers, 7,000 of whom were sanitizers in 6,975 polling stations at 2,200 locations, to facilitate voting as safely as possible!

I commend the Commission for a job well done!

It is incumbent on all our citizens, elected public officials, members of the voluntary and private sectors to pull together, especially in these testing times, so that indeed Jamaica may, under God, continue to develop, not only for us here, but in response to our commitment to the whole human race.

Thank you and God Bless Jamaica Land we Love.


Governor-General Pays Tribute to Reverend Dr. George Simpson

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has expressed  regret at the news of the recent passing of  the Reverend Dr. George Vincent Simpson, OD, former President of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) and the Jamaica Council of Churches,  and retired pastor of the Mount Carey Baptist Church in St. James.

Reverend Simpson had a long and distinguished career in Christian ministry, having served for over three decades as the Pastor of the Mount Carey Baptist Church, and previously as Pastor of the Stewart Town Circuit of Churches in Trelawny for eleven years.

Reverend Simpson will be  remembered as a loyal and enthusiastic leader  who spearheaded the establishment of the Baptist Food Pantry and Welfare Department in St. James, which assisted numerous persons in times of need.

Throughout his career,  Revd Simpson  impacted the lives of many Jamaicans, and was instrumental in the establishment of several churches and basic schools in the Parishes of Trelawny and St. James. He was passionate, committed,  and undaunted in his ministry to transform human lives.  He  gave unselfishly of his time and energy to several church and school Boards until his retirement in 2015.

The Governor-General and Lady Allen extend their condolences to his widow, Joan,  and their children.