Governor-General Installs St. Andrew Custos to Serve with Excellence
“I am placing in your hands, Custos Dunwell, all the Justices of the Peace for St. Andrew. Take care of them and they will take care of you,” was Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen’s words of advice to the Honourable Dr. Patricia Marshall Dunwell as he handed her the Magistrates’ Roll at her Installation as the new Custos Rotulorum for the parish, yesterday (August18, 2016).
In the ceremony held at the Annual Gardens at Hope Gardens, His Excellency said that Custos Dunwell’s investiture is taking place at a time when Jamaica is united in the hope fueled by the ethos of the successes of individual participant at the Olympics, and it is in that spirit of excellence that he publicly presents her to the people of the parish of St. Andrew as their Custos.
“We have high expectations of you and confidence in your ability to give exemplary leadership as circumscribed by the office” The Governor-General stated.
The Governor-General noted that the changing times demand that Custodes pay specific attention to areas of national and civic life that were the norm; as attitudes cannot be legislated by law.
“You now have a broader platform to help inculcate in our young people the values which will propel them to eschew the things that are wrong about Jamaica and embrace what is helpful to our growth and development,” Sir Patrick Allen encouraged.
Custos Dunwell who has served as a medical doctor and plastic surgeon for many years, and has been volunteering and assisting several persons across communities within her parish, in response; vowed to working closer with her Justices of the Peace to make the parish the most peaceful, happy and cohesive.
“I am aware that the Office of Custos Rotulorum comes with many areas of responsibilities, but it is my resolve to place special emphasis on heightened mediation, counseling and conflict resolution at the community level across this diverse parish,” Custos Dunwell stated.
“I strongly believe that building better communities is the right formula for accelerating the National Development Plan, Vision 2030. I therefore call on my Justices of the Peace to help me in achieving this vision for the parish,” Custos Dunwell added.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his address stressed that the Office of Custos Rotulorum is one where the Custos is the Chief Magistrate for the parish and reminded that the Custos Rotulorum Act was enshrined into law in 2011.
He further spoke about the importance of Justices of the Peace as peacekeepers and the extensive training programmes being undertaken by his government to strengthen their effectiveness.
Custodes serve as The Governor-General’s representative and first citizen of their respective parishes. They execute many civic duties to include ensuring that The Governor-General is well represented on occasions when other duties of the Office prevent attendance at any function.
Lieutenant Commander John McFarlane acted in the office of Custos Rotulorum for the Parish of St. Andrew for 6 months, after the resignation of the Honourable Donna Parchment Brown, who is now the Political Ombudsman.