Your Honour Mr Speaker, Your Ladyship the Chief Justice, Honourable Premier, Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Your Excellency the Deputy Governor, Honourable Attorney General, Honourable Ministers, Honourable Members of this House, former Members of the House, Commissioner of Police, and ladies and gentlemen of these beautiful islands, Good morning. Mr Speaker may I first thank you for the opportunity to address this House.
Your Ladyship for administering the oath. Honourable Premier and Honourable Leader of the Opposition for your kind welcome remarks and Her Excellency the Deputy Governor for your admirable and dedicated service as Acting Governor over the last three months. Thank you all for your presence here today to bear witness to my swearing-in as the 16th Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It is a great honour, in which I have pledged to serve, in sincerity, the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, working with your elected representatives in support of all areas of the nation’s life. In this resolve, I will seek to protect the well-being of all and work to support the advancement of national development of the Turks and Caicos Islands for a more sustainable and prosperous future. During the last six months, since my appointment was announced,
I had the welcome opportunity to meet Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Premier, Her Excellency the Deputy The Governor’s Office Turks and Caicos Islands Governor, Hon. Attorney General, the Hon. Ministers of Immigration and Health; the Commissioner of Police and a number of government officials. In March 2023, I also had the opportunity to attend the Northern Caribbean Security Summit as part of the TCI delegation, where I spent a valuable three days discussing critical issues of national security with leads from a number of partner agencies.
I glad to now be here and look forward to spending much of my first ten days visiting each of your constituencies to meet as many people as possible. As I make my way through every inhabited island, I will listen and hope to begin to appreciate your rich and multifarious societies; to witness with my own eyes the beauty and diversity of each of the islands; and to learn about the gains and challenges these bring.
I am grateful to elected members for facilitating the tours, which are a key priority for me. I am sure each constituency is unique and only through meeting as many of you as possible, can I begin to understand your respective concerns and ambitions for the islands and how I must shape my Governorship.
My previous role taught me much about the issues and challenges Caribbean Territories face, our relationship with the United Kingdom and the region more widely. I will build on that experience to deliver the constitutional responsibility I now come to bear. I am acutely aware of some of the issues on your minds, in particular national security, social development, the Constitution and the economy.
My meetings with elected representatives, communities, officials and bodies, over this coming month, will equip The Governor’s Office Turks and Caicos Islands me with what I need to help focus my priorities to serve best the interests of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tackling the present challenge, of ensuring the safety of these precious islands requires, now more than ever, a strong relationship between the police, partner agencies and our communities that they serve.
I will be working closely with all involved, including international partners, to address the stark levels of criminality and much needed justice reforms to tackle this. Through partnership and by ensuring the rule of law prevails, we can ensure appropriate protections, continue to welcome visitors and reassure investors that these islands remain safe and prosperous.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said during the Coronation ceremony of King Charles III: ‘We crown a King to serve. The King of Kings, Jesus Christ was anointed not to be served, but to serve. He creates the unchangeable law of good authority that with the privilege of power comes the duty to serve.’ As I embark on my Governorship,
I will seek to serve firmly the interests of the Turks and Caicos Islands and commit to taking forward my duties with humility, integrity, and openness. May God bless these beautiful by nature islands Turks and Caicos, and all those who call it home.