Glowing tributes were paid to the Governor-General His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen, at a civic reception, held in their honour at the Fruitful Vale All Age School, in Portland, on August 4.
The function, organised by the Fruitful Vale Benevolent Society, was planned to enable the Governor-General, who is from that community, and Lady Allen, to have a day of interaction and fellowship with members of the community.
Billed as ‘Fruitful Vale Homecoming ’09’, the event was attended by a large gathering, including a number of persons representing various organisations in the parish.
Among those paying tributes were: Member of Parliament for Western Portland, Hon. Daryl Vaz; Senior Justice of the Peace, Lauriston Lindsay, who represented the Custos of Portland, Hon. Roy Thompson; Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Floyd Patterson; President of the West Indies Union of Seventh Day Adventists, Pastor Derek Bignall, and President of the North East Mission of Seventh Day Adventists, Pastor Adrian Woodburn.
They spoke of the exemplary leadership qualities possessed by the Governor-General, and of Their Excellencies being outstanding role models to the Jamaican people over the years.
In his reply, the Governor-General said he and Lady Allen were happy to be part of the occasion, adding that he was there to celebrate with the people what God has done for him and the community. He said his achievement was also their achievement, as the community had played a pivotal role in molding his life and shaping the values and attitudes he embraces.
Thanking members of the community for the invaluable role they played in his upbringing, the Governor-General said he has always been proud of the people of the area, as they are ambitious, decent and hard working persons, whose primary objective is the upliftment of their lives and the social and economic development of their community.
Reflecting on his years at school in the community, the Governor-General recalled that they were happy childhood years, and recounted his experiences in such activities as sporting competitions, sitting examinations, and participating in 4-H Achievement Day functions.
He said the experiences of those years have helped to make him the persons he is today, and encouraged the young people of the community to set themselves high ideals and make a special effort to achieve them through hard work and by remaining focused.