It is a pleasure to welcome each and everyone of you back to King’s House and to this luncheon. This Luncheon follows our annual meeting at which Custodes are asked to update The Governor-General on activities in their respective parishes. We had a very productive meeting this morning and affirmed some of the things that need to be done and which can be accomplished as we move forward.
In addition to sharing a meal, the Annual Luncheon also provides an opportunity for us to welcome new Custodes. I extend a special welcome to the Hon. Steadman Fuller, the Hon. Marigold Harding and the Hon. Wilfred Nembhard, Custos Rotolurum for the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth respectively, who are joining us in this forum for the first time. They have hit the ground running, as has been indicated in their reports to the meeting.
Today we acknowledge all Custodes for their service, including those who have retired, or who will be retiring soon.
On this occasion we recognise and express our heartfelt appreciation to Bishop the Hon. Dr. Carmen Stewart for her contribution to Jamaica, especially in the capacity of Custos Rotulorum for the parish of St. Andrew. Custos Stewart retired in August this year, after serving in the position for eighteen years.
We must also pause a moment to reflect on the life and contribution of the late Custos Royland Barrett of Trelawny and Custos Alfred Farquharson of St. Elizabeth who passed on earlier this year and Rev. Canon the Hon. Weeville Gordon, former Custos of Kingston, who passed away recently. We will remember him fondly and recall his contribution to Jamaica through his Christian ministry and as Custos of Kingston. Will you stand with me for a moment of silence in their honour.
May their souls rest in peace.
Custodes, you are all familiar with the historical antecedents of your post and today, although Custodes may be regarded as unsung heroes, your work is integral to our society, and to the growth of the parishes you serve.
I say unsung because people still believe that you only attend official functions or represent The Governor-General in your respective parishes. However, your interventions in areas such as health, education, security, youth and community development have undoubtedly impacted many communities. As the reports that have been presented this morning, reveal the integral role that they continue to play in the daily lives of citizens.
I thank you for your service as Custodes and I urge you to remain steadfast in your quest for excellence.