Custos of Trelawny, Hon. Royland Barrett, was honoured by the residents of the parish on Wednesday (November 11) for his work in promoting volunteerism in the parish.
At an awards ceremony and banquet hosted by the Trelawny Association of Volunteer Organisations (TAVO) at the Starfish Resort in Cooper’s Pen, praises and gifts were heaped upon the outstanding son of the parish, who is slated to demit office as Custos this year, having served since 1992.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who headed the list of persons offering tributes, said he had developed a deep regard and respect for Custos Barrett, noting that he has displayed a high level of patriotism and commitment to service.
“As Custos, the hallmark of his tenure was his emphasis on volunteerism, that seemed to be his philosophy and way of life, and he used every opportunity and every avenue to encourage Jamaicans to give a helping hand especially to the youth and also the less fortunate,” he stated.
The Governor-General also praised Custos Barrett for using his office to promote values such as respect, integrity, hard work, discipline and commitment, and respect for law and order.
Meanwhile, former Governor-General, Sir Howard Cooke, said that Custos Barrett is one of the great sons of Jamaica. He made a call for the establishment of official offices for Custodes, adding that such a provision would complement their work.
Custos Barrett, in his response, expressed deep appreciation for the gesture, and thanked the residents of the parish of his birth and Jamaica on a whole, for their support over the years.
He made a plea for young, educated persons to return to the town and villages of their birth to help in the development of these areas.
“That is the problem that we are having in Jamaica today that the young people, who the various areas and districts and townships produce and nurture, they are gone… and we need much more people. I am even bold enough to say we need much more Royland Barretts to come back to where we are from to help and build the country,” he stated.
Chairman of TAVO, Mr. Carlton Gordon, informed that the function was to recognise Custos Barrett’s profound impact on volunteerism in the parish.
He said that the Custos was instrumental in forming the organisation, which seeks to facilitate the empowerment of citizens and foster nation building through volunteerism.
Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collin Gager; Members of Parliament, Dr. Patrick Harris and Ms. Marissa Dalrymple-Philibert, were also on hand to offer tributes.
The 70-year Custos, who is a lawyer, was Chairman of the University of the West Indies (UWI) committee for the establishment for an education centre in western Jamaica; Chairman of Roy Barrett Development Company Limited; and Founder and Director of the Trelawny Investments Company, operators of the Albert George Shopping Centre in Falmouth.
It was in January 1992, that he was installed as Custos for Trelawny. He was the youngest serving Custos at that time.