Style Observer

My Kingston — Franz Hall

Saturday, April 06, 2019

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Franz Hall
Acting Director of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

 What is one of your fondest childhood memories?
Growing up in Kingston, I used to look forward to going to the country to visit my parents' families. Waking up early, making breakfast to go, and stopping along the way for roast yam and salt fish if we were going to Mandeville, or freshly baked bread in Ewarton, if we were heading to Montego Bay.

What is your idea of an ideal weekend in Kingston?
Any weekend where I do not have to work is an ideal weekend!  An ideal weekend involves friends, food, gym, drinks and lots of laughter.

 What five words best describe you?
Affable. Determined. Jovial. Genuine. Stubborn.

What made you choose a career in the foreign service?
I studied International Relations at The University of The West Indies and a year after graduating I applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as I thought that would be the best place to put into practice what I had studied.

 What are some of the tasks that you undertake in your role?
The Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade focuses handles, among other things, the accreditation of diplomats to Jamaica and administering their privileges and immunities, in keeping with the laws of Jamaica and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The department also provides guidance on protocol matters to various stakeholders within and outside the ministry. Diplomatic Week was just held from March 12-15, and the Protocol Department took the lead on that activity. The department plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the implementation of Jamaica's foreign policy.

How long have you worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade?
This year marks 27 years. I have served in a number of departments and locations, so it really does not seem that long at all.

To date, what has been your most memorable posting?
I have had the good fortune of being assigned to Geneva, New York, Washington DC and Miami. They have all been memorable in their own way, and I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite. But, if I have to choose one, I would say that Geneva, being my first assignment, holds a special place.

Throughout your travels which cities have you found to be similar to Kingston?
I can safely say that I have not found any other city that is quite like Kingston, as yet. Perhaps it is because I am from Kingston, but there is pulse and a vibe in the city that I have not felt anywhere else that I have visited.

 What are your favourite cities to visit?
New Orleans, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Venice... Clearly, there are a number of favourites!

 Do you prefer a night out or a night in?
A good fźte, play or concert is always appreciated. However, I am equally happy spending time at home.

Who are five people you would not mind being shipwrecked on an island with?
A bartender, a chef, a masseuse, a doctor and a musician. And hopefully, they would all be able to play kalooki.

What words do you live by?
Absolutely no regrets.


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