The T.P. Lecky Hall at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, on Thursday, October 10, came alive for the installation of the Hon. Lincoln Thaxter as Custos Rotulorum for the parish of Portland by His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen.
On his arrival, The Governor-General duly inspected the Guard of Honour furnished by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Island Special Constabulary Force.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sir Patrick noted that Custos Thaxter had observed and benefitted from the examples set by the late Dr. Lecky, after whom the hall was named, and other outstanding Portlanders who had contributed their service to the parish.
“Sir, you will now have the opportunity and space for a significant impact on the lives of the people of Portland. As an educator who has worked in this Parish, you have already influenced many lives and perhaps there are persons in this Hall whose lives you have served to enrich”, encouraged the Governor-General.
In acknowledging the prestige that comes with the position of Custos, His Excellency noted that Custos Thaxter’s ongoing community involvement and faithful service to church, had prepared him to be an effective Cutsos for the parish. He reminded the Custos that he now has “a huge amount of duties and responsibilities which must be executed with integrity and in a non-partisan manner”.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing Dr. Morais Guy, in delivering the main address on behalf of the Most Honourable Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, paid homage to the Custos for his decision to stick to his passion over the years.
“You have played a big part in the cultural life of the Parish in your capacity as Vice-Chairman of the Jamaica Cultural Development Parish Committee”, noted Dr. Guy.
“Your Excellencies, one of my intentions is to carry on the sterling work started and executed by the Honourable Roy Thompson, retired Custos of Portland”, Custos Thaxter stated in his response. He envisaged that one of his roles in this new position would require him to hold aloft and share a vision to maintain sustainability and not degradation in the Parish.
“We must send the message loudly and clearly, resonating over the hills and valleys and the narrow coastal plains, that although we will gladly share this pristine beauty with our brothers and sisters in our beloved land Jamaica, let it be known that environmental abusers are not welcomed ever”, said Custos Thaxter. This statement was met with enthused applause from the audience. In acknowledging that there should be an intervention for the youth of the parish, he informed the audience that he would be seeking the assistance of his fellow Custodes and Justices of the Peace to initiate such programmes. The Custos signaled his intention to pay close attention to the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative and the Prime Minister’s Values and Attitudes Programme.
The activities later culminated at the Errol Flynn Marina. Guests, including Their Excellencies, Members of Parliament Mr. Daryl Vaz and Dr. Lyndale Bloomfield, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Judiciary, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Rocky Meade, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, Councillor Benny White, Mayor of Port Antonio, Honourable Custodes among others, got a chance to meet and greet.