“I need all of you to become proactive advocates of transformation for our island nation. This is a new day for our JPs.” This was the Governor-General’s charge to the Justices of the Peace in the Parish of Portland on Tuesday May 28, 2014 at the Christ Church in Port Antonio.
The special meeting convened by The Governor-General, was primarily, a call to action for the JPs of the parish who are expected to be “the tough ones who stand against crime”. He reminded them that they were commissioned peace makers.
“We want our people to live in greater security. They must not continue to be the ones hiding behind burglar bars and security systems while the criminals roam freely and terrorize communities”, said Sir Patrick Allen.
The Governor-General expressed the hope that all JPs shared his passion for Jamaica to be the place they proudly called home, and encouraged them to remember the basis on which they were selected to serve in that capacity. “You have influence in your communities and we have confidence in you. This is why you were commissioned to be JPs”, he said.
His Excellency noted that the youth of the parish were in need of their support and encouragement, and pointed out that his ‘I Believe Initiative’ had been actively involved with youth across Jamaica since the start of the programme in 2011.
“Since its launch the IBI has steadily increased its areas of action and its impact on our youth, but I want more youth, especially in my home parish, to be engaged in this initiative”, said the Governor-General. He informed the JPs that they were now needed to spread the IBI message and to encourage their (youth) participation in the on-going programmes.
The I Believe Initiative is one of the two arms of the Governor-General’s Programme For Excellence. It is a vehicle for carrying out of the transformation of the people of our nation.
“This year, we want 35 youth from Portland, aged 15 to 30, to attend the Youth Consultative Conference for the county of Surrey, to be held in Kingston”, stated The Governor-General.
The parish is expected to establish a core group of IBI Ambassadors through the Custos, the Hon. Lincoln Thaxter, who will be provided with the Terms of Reference as well as the procedures for appointing IBI Ambassadors.
Sir Patrick Allen ended his address with a call to the JPs to “act in ways which will help to restore pride in our country. JPs, I urge you, under the leadership of your Custos, to be visible and active in your communities.”