Businessman sworn in as new custos of Manchester

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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BUSINESSMAN Garfield Green was Monday sworn in as new custos rotulorum for Manchester, during a brief ceremony at King's House in Kingston.

He replaces Sally Porteous, who will demit office on July 1 after serving for seven years.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen presented Green with the Instrument of Office before a small gathering of family members, relatives and friends.

In his remarks, the governor general said in his new capacity as Manchester's first citizen, Green is being charged with “some very awesome responsibilities”.

“The core function of the custos is to oversee activities in the parish that promote the rule of law, public order and also civic pride. Mr Green [will be] responsible for recommending and swearing in justices of the peace in the parish, and for supervising the execution of their legislative functions. He [will also] ensure that the governor general is well represented on occasions when he is unavailable to attend functions within the parish,” he said.

The new custos, said Sir Patrick, “will assist the Office of the Governor General to execute and achieve the objectives of the Governor General's Programme for Excellence.

“I would encourage you to use the platform to engage young people… to grasp the vision of a new and a better Jamaica. I encourage you to inspire them to make a contribution to national development and fulfil their God-given responsibilities,” the governor general added.

He thanked Porteous for “sufficiently and effectively directing the affairs of the parish of Manchester over these past seven years”.

Sir Patrick also expressed gratitude to Manchester Lay Magistrates Association president Stanley Skeen for acting as custos during the period when Porteous was out of office due to ill health.

In his remarks, Green said he accepted the appointment with “extreme humility”, while acknowledging the “level of trust and confidence” reposed in him, and pledged to serve with “humble pride”.

He outlined four key areas he will focus on during his tenure. These, he indicated, will ensuring adequate and reliable distribution of services provided by JPs; heightening public education about the role and function of the custos rotulorum; deepening interactions with residents; and addressing “the notion of JP delinquencies”.

Green thanked Porteous for “the experience you have afforded me and, very importantly, the guidance you have given me”, while also expressing gratitude to his family for their support.

He described his appointment as a “privilege”, and assured the governor general that he will “demonstrate the principles, the respect and integrity you expect of me, while I defend and promote civic pride, law and order, and build our social capital”.

“When duties call there can only be one answer. I, therefore, stand ready to serve, and pledge my commitment to help create a more dynamic and prosperous Jamaica,” he added.

Porteous told JIS News that she is proud of Green.

“He is a young man whom I noticed from early when he became a justice of the peace. His commitment to public service, his empathy for persons — [including] those in the lock-ups — are commendable traits. I didn't have to direct him to do things; he took it upon himself to do things like giving Christmas treats and putting new beds in for the persons in the lock-ups to sleep on,” she outlined.

Porteous also thanked Skeen for acting on her behalf while she was out of office recuperating, after being hospitalised in Miami for five weeks, adding that “he did a terrific job”.


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