Prime Minister Bruce Golding says Sir Kenneth Hall, in his three years as Governor General , performed his duties with aplomb, with style , dignity and with urbanity.
‘When you take up a position like this, if you are not deliberate you can get lost in remoteness. You can be isolated from the world from which you came.
In the case of Sir Kenneth, he has always been available; he has been accessible and has in a sense integrated himself in a way with the general population of Jamaica that has adorned his office well. He has never fled his roots and has never disconnected from his friends and acquaintances. He has walked with Kings (as he did only two days ago) and has not lost the common touch.’
In raising a toast at a farewell banquet in honour of Sir Kenneth Hall at Jamaica House last night (Feb 20), Mr. Golding heaped praises on Sir Kenneth, noting that he had personally enjoyed working with him since he took up the position as Prime Minister.
Mr. Golding said Jamaica has been fortunate in the quality of the Governors General it has had over the years starting with Sir Clifford. “Our Governors General have established the finest tradition of what we would want our de facto heads of state to be, -icons of national unity”. He said it is a tradition that Sir Kenneth has further entrenched in the three years he occupied Kings House. Mr. Golding said he has enjoyed working with Sir Kenneth, meeting with him every month during which he has appreciated his opinions and advice and the incisive and insightful manner in which he assisted him in analyzing issues affecting the country from time to time.
Mr. Golding commended Lady Hall, noting that she has never lost the graciousness and charm for which she is known. The Prime Minister said Lady Hall has never lost her passion for promoting the development of the talent of the ordinary people and the goodness of the ordinary people of Jamaica.
In his response, Sir Kenneth expressed his gratitude for the kindness and graciousness of the Jamaican people noting that it was a great privilege to have served in the position of Governor General. He noted that he had taken up the position with much trepidation but had come to experience the genuine kindness and love of the Jamaican people – all of which helped to change his view of the country. Sir Kenneth said he would be returning to the University of the West Indies which had graciously invited him back as an Honourary Distinguished Research Fellow which would allow him the chance to write, give lectures and supervise graduate students.
Prime Minister Golding presented Sir Kenneth with a photo album of some of the most memorable occasions as Governor General.