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 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.
In a ceremony held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at King’s House, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen swore in Mr. Hugh Barrington Faulkner as the new Commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) for a term of five years.
Responding to his appointment, Mr. Faulkner thanked the Governor-General for his encouragement and pledged to be guided by equity, fairness and good character in executing his responsibility.
Mr. Faulkner previously served as the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Council, and has served on several Boards and Tribunals including the Board of the Mico University College, the Toll Authority, Jamaica Mortgage Bank, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office and the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ).
INDECOM is a civilian-staffed state agency tasked to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the Security Forces and other Agents of the State. The Office is a Commission of Parliament governed by the INDECOM Act which was passed in April 2010.
INDECOM is headed by a Commissioner, who is appointed by the Governor-General, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has announced that he has suspended personal use of the insignia of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) containing the offending image. This also follows his acknowledgement of concerns raised by citizens over the image on the medal, and the growing global rejection of the use of objects that normalize the continued degradation of people of color.
Additionally, The Governor-General has asked his Office to initiate an immediate review of all insignias and iconography associated with the Office of The Governor-General that may be considered racialized or culturally inappropriate.
The Governor-General has sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George requesting a revision of the image used on the medal, and recommending that it be “changed to reflect an inclusive image of the shared humanity of all peoples.”
Sir Patrick has encouraged everyone to work together to build a more just and inclusive society.
The Office of The Governor-General wishes to acknowledge and address the attention being brought to the Governor-General’s Star of The Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Named in honour of two military saints, it dates back to the 19th century in commemoration of the British protectorate over the Ionian Islands and Malta. Initially intended for its inhabitants and British citizens, today the order is given to diplomats, foreign service officers, men and women who hold high office and has traditionally been worn by Governors-General across the Commonwealth.
The Star of the Order depicts St. Michael as being triumphant over Satan (a winged dragon). In light of the heightened sensitivities around the Black Lives Matter Movement and associated issues in the Global sphere undergirded by our history, it is understood how such an image can be construed to be offensive.
As such, the Office acknowledges the concerns and negative emotions that the image may have caused. Consideration is being given to the future treatment of same.