Excitement as participants rehearse for today’s swearing-in of Holness

BY TANESHA MUNDLE Observer staff reporter mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

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THERE was an air of excitement and anticipation as participants in the swearing-in ceremony for Andrew Holness as prime minister of Jamaica ran through their roles on the eve of the ceremony to ensure a smooth flow today.

Preparations at King’s House were on in earnest yesterday as members of the Jamaica Defence Force worked alongside the stage crew to put the finishing touches on the stage on which Holness will be sworn in as prime minister for the second time.

Audio technicians also went through the paces as members of the military band and performers, including gospel artiste Chevelle Franklyn; soprano Ana Strachan; and saxophonist and flautist Nicholas Laraque rehearsed their pieces.

Warrant Officer Albert Shaun Hird, bandmaster of the Jamaica Military Band, said that the band was "fully ready".

"We have been preparing from last year when the date for the election was expected to be announced. These musical items are played once in every four years, so the band has to be prepared," he said.

Stand-in representatives for dignitaries such as Holness and his wife Juliet, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen, outgoing Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and Chief Justice Zaila McCalla also rehearsed the arrangements.

Shaneka Carey, a member of Generation 2000, the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, who will be taking part in the ceremony along with two other members as ushers, told the Jamaica Observer that they were ecstatic to be taking part in the occasion and to witness the swearing-in of Holness as prime minister.

"We are excited, we have a young prime minister and we know that the next five years will be prosperous for Jamaicans and Jamaica," Carey said.

Equally excited was Kareem Anderson, court protocol officer, who represented the chief justice and the president of the Court of Appeal.

"I am a ceremonial person, I enjoy these events; just invite me to a ceremony," he said. "I am looking forward to the parade. It has a wow effect and I like to see Jamaicans gathered at King’s House celebrating a Jamaican moment."

Members of the Seaview Gardens Band, who could not hide their excitement, were spotted rehearsing their dance moves to a favourite of Holness, Nesbeth’s hit song, My Dream.

When asked how they were feeling, one member of the trio, Milton Segree, said: "The feeling is great. We are a bit nervous, but we are very excited and ready to go."

Head of the Traffic and Highway Division Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Allen, who led a group of officers who will be escorting the "very, very important people", said that the officers were ready and raring to go.


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