Beryl Rochester to be sworn as Custos of St Elizabeth today
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Beryl Rochester will be named St Elizabeth's first female custos when she takes the oath of office from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen during a mid-morning ceremony at King's House today.
A retired accountant and former financial controller of the bauxite/alumina plant, Alpart, Rochester is also the wife of Derrick Rochester, former Member of Parliament for South East St Elizabeth and retired trade unionist.
Rochester, who is currently first vice-president of the St Elizabeth Chapter of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica, will take the post of Custos Rotulorum, replacing Wilfred Nembhard who resigned last September after three years in office.
Santa Cruz dentist Dr Lyndon Rose has been acting as custos of the parish since Nembhard's resignation.
Rochester told the Jamaica Observer Central she felt "honoured and humbled by the trust placed in me".
She was grateful for the "outpouring of support from other justices and members of the community", she said.
Rochester said she was "looking forward to working with justices of the peace in St Elizabeth" and the wider judiciary "to improve the system of justice in the parish".
In recent years, Rochester has contributed significantly to health services in St Elizabeth and the wider south central Jamaica. She is a director of the Southern Regional Health Authority, chairman of the Black River Hospital Management Committee, and chairman of the St Elizabeth Care Committee which assists street people.
As Custos Rotulorum, Rochester becomes the official representative of the Governor General in St Elizabeth.