On Monday, January 6, 2020, His Honour Mr. Chester Crooks was sworn in as Chief Parish Judge by His Excellency The Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen in a ceremony held in the Ballroom at King’s House.
His Excellencey noted that the occasion signified a major contribution to the ongoing efforts by Chief Justice Brian Sykes to modernize the court system, therefore providing efficient and speedy delivery of justice to all citizens. He implored members of the legal fraternity in the audience to not become complacent with the system, but to recommit to the excellence they are capable of.
In his address the Chief Justice lauded the newly appointed Chief Parish Judge as a person of unquestionable character and wholesome advice. He further highlighted the importance and historic significance of the occasion by noting that His Honour Mr. Chester Crooks was only the second Chief Parish Judge to be sworn- in in the history of Jamaica’s court system.
He indicated that the appointment ensured the continuation of reforms in the courts, initiated by Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla, Retired Chief Justice. Justice Sykes further expressed his belief that when citizens had favourable experiences at the parish level it would help to further a favourable opinion of the legal system in their minds.
In response, His Honour, Mr. Chester Crooks revealed that he felt strongly about the occasion recognized that the parish court manages a ‘lion share’ of the work within the court system. He however, expressed his commitment to carrying out his duty to the highest professional standard. He thanked his family, friends and colleagues for their unwavering support .
Miss World 2019, Toni-ann Singh was pinned an ‘I Believe’ (IBI) Ambassador and inducted into the ‘I Believe Initiative’ on a Courtesy Call at King’s House on Monday, December 23rd. Governor- General, Sir Patrick Allen noted that Miss Singh was fit to represent the IBI in keeping with her project at the Women’s Centre Foundation in St. Thomas.
The IBI’s mandate “using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica” is actioned through Miss Singh’s passion and commitment to provide young Mothers with the support, resources and direction to not only navigate Motherhood- but to do so whilst continuing the pursuit of their education.
Toni-ann, who recited the IBI pledge, was pinned by Her Excellency Lady Allen and adds to the initiative’s two hundred plus membership. Following her pinning, His Excellency encouraged Toni-Ann to keep the Spirit of Jamaica alive and also the principles taught by her parents, Sir Patrick also wished her success during her reign.
IBI Ambassadorship is awarded on the basis of impactful service to Community and volunteerism.
“The faithful fifty-five” quipped Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen in his address to the men and women to be sworn in as Justices of the Peace in the parish of St. James on Thursday, December 12th. The Governor General commended them for their response and commitment to duty’s call, having made the conscious decision to be part of a multi-layered effort of strengthening both the community and the Parish.
His Excellency, went on to detail the magnitude of the roles and responsibilities associated with being a Justice of the Peace, highlighting the importance of high ethical and professional standard, to give of one’s self devoid of payment and to give their support to current Custos of St. James, the Honourable Conrad Pitkin in the development of the Parish.
Noting the era in which we now live, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen praised Custos Pitkin and his team for the great work in searching, evaluating and recommending persons of good social and moral standing to serve. He remarked that St. James has seen steady growth under their current leadership and noted the tremendous support that is always rendered to the programmes coming from the Office of The Governor- General. Charging the newly appointed, with the task of making clear and distinct footprints, Sir Patrick appealed to the family members, friends of the candidates and well-wishers to join in the cause of preserving confidence in our country. The audience was urged to remember the Biblical advice to “do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”
“The National Prayer Vigil is still relevant today as it was 27 years ago” Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has said. He was delivering Remarks at the Prayer Vigil which took place at the Coke Methodist Church, Morant Bay, St Thomas on Sunday, December 8.
Addressing the theme of the 2019 Vigil, “Justice, Peace and Unity” Sir Patrick highlighted the importance of peace and justice in propelling our nation forward. He admitted that these were gruelling times, but reminded the congregation of the constitution and the council of the Lord as safe havens.
The Governor-General emphasised the importance of the intercessory gathering, reiterating God’s response to Solomon’s prayer “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country.”
National Prayer Vigil Committee Chairman the Revd Roy Henry thanked The Governor -General for his support and said, “We are grateful for the support of His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen who has made it a point of duty to not only make note of the date for the Prayer Vigil in his diary, but to attend yearly”.
The National Prayer Vigil begun in 1992 under the Patronage of then Governor-General Sir Howard Cooke and was staged at King’s House. In subsequent years, the decision was taken to have each Parish actively involved and to share in the hosting responsibilities.
Governor-General His Excellency the Most Honourable Patrick Allen is to host his annual Youth Consultative Conference on Wednesday, November 6 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre under the theme “ End Human Trafficking”. The conference is held under His Excellency’s ‘I Believe’ initiative, which takes a targeted approach at addressing young people and providing a platform for them to voice their opinions, dreams and visions for themselves and Jamaica.
Delegates from last year’s conference chose the theme as they believe it to be a key issue plaguing the Jamaican socio economic landscape. The objectives of this year’s conference are to increase public awareness, to discourage trafficking in persons (TIP) activities, warn vulnerable citizens, build capacity among stakeholders, train and sensitize Jamaican youth to identify victims of human trafficking.
His Excellency will also use this opportunity to inspire the youth to believe in their ability to do more and make an impact. This is in keeping the view expressed at his inauguration that, ‘I believe that there is nothing that is wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica’.
The ‘ I Believe Initiative’ (IBI) was launched in 2011 and is one component of the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence (GGPE). The service-oriented programme for youth, focuses its projects and activities on family, youth and education; with a mission ‘To create pathways through partnerships and to promote programmes that restore hope, belief, and sound values in Jamaica’s families, youth and education.’