Charismatic, influential, dedicated and an exemplary leader were some of the words used to describe Custos Rotulorum for the parish of St. Mary, the Hon. Jeffrey McKitty, whose installation ceremony took place yesterday (February 28, 2013).
The large gathering of regular citizens, dignitaries, family members and other invited guests who entered the Claude Stuart Park in the parish, was a strong indication that Custos McKitty was well adored and supported by the people of St. Mary.
It comes as no surprise that his plans to develop and enhance the parish of St. Mary through agriculture, education and tourism were well received by the appreciative audience. “It is my intention to establish a scholarship in the field of agriculture to the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) in honour of our former Custos the Hon. Bobby Pottinger who spent numerous years encouraging young people to get involved in agriculture,” said Custos McKitty.
With first-hand knowledge of the hotel industry and tourism, he stated that “St Mary has the second largest number of heritage sites in Jamaica. The Fort Haldane, Rio Nuevo Battle Site, and Tacky Falls are among the sites which we need to develop so that we can showcase the rich history of the parish,” noted the Custos.
Along with these plans, Custos McKitty also shared his desire to have more people committing to volunteerism especially at schools with literacy problems; to have a telecommunication centre in the parish that will generate employment for residents and a decrease of crime in the parish.
Governor-General, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, in congratulating the Custos said that he should “use to the best advantage of this parish, your intimate involvement with the proposals for its development, as well as your knowledge of its many challenges. You have taken the baton at such a time as this and the road will not always be easy,” the Governor-General remarked.
Custos McKitty succeeds the Hon. Alrick ‘Bobby’ Pottinger who served for eighteen (18) years, retiring in December 2012. As Custos, Mr. McKitty will act as the Governor-General’s representative in the parish of St. Mary and will conduct duties on his behalf.