The Governor-General has called on Jamaicans to use all available channels and commit to being examples of honesty, integrity, justice and to practice tolerance of each other’s view. Sir Patrick Allen was speaking at the installation ceremony for the Hon. Beryl Rochester, Custos Rotulorum for the Parish of St. Elizabeth at the Independence Park in Black River, St. Elizabeth yesterday (March 27).
He said that the duties of the Custos which goes as far back as 1391, when King Richard ll issued the Grand Commission appointing Custodes and Justices of the Peace to ‘assist in maintaining law and order in the counties’, role has evolved over centuries, but these leaders are still required to assist in keeping law and order, discipline and peace in their respective parishes. He said they have an opportunity to do This, not only in Petty Sessions of the Court, but also in their communities.
“I want to emphasize that you, our Custodes and Justices of the Peace, must always give leadership at the community and parish levels to secure peace and tranquility across Jamaica”, said the Governor-General.
He said that as the first citizen of the parish of St. Elizabeth “Custos Rochester must lead the charge to motivate all residents and friends, including in the Diaspora, to participate in the growth and development of the parish. “I know you have already embraced this challenge. You have the resources available to you in the people, namely your Justices of the Peace, public and private sector entities, service clubs, pastors, teachers, farming and fishing communities and youth groups, among others”, encouraged Sir Patrick Allen.
He expressed appreciation for retired Custos the Hon. Wilfred Nembhard, who Sir Patrick said, served to the best of his ability and in the best interest of the parish of St. Elizabeth. He noted: “My staff and I enjoyed dealing with you. Your constant affability and courteousness, your on-time responses and your willingness to go the extra mile in support of the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards programme and the “I Believe Initiative” endeared you to all of us.”
In her response, the newly installed Custos, the Hon. Beryl Rochester said that she is grateful for the trust and honour which has been bestowed on her by the Governor General of who, along-side the Most Honourable Lady Allen, have so ably & graciously served Jamaica.
“Sir, your advocacy for humanitarian acts – your passionate support of our youths through the “I believe” program, has, and will continue; to make a difference in so many young lives in this nation, St. Elizabeth and the rest of Jamaica – thank you.”
Custos Rochester reassured the audience that she would, by the grace of God, help the people of St. Elizabeth and continue the rich legacy of service to the people.
“I humbly declare, that I am most grateful, for the sacrifices and service of those who have held this office before me”, she said.