SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreand - NEW Custos of Westmoreland Canon Hartley Perrin has issued a stern warning to Justices of the Peace (JPs) in the parish that they will be penalised if caught accepting bribe for JP services.
“I wish to state unequivocally that this custos condemns any such practice and will initiate appropriate action to stamp out any such practice wherever they may exist in this parish. I therefore demand your full cooperation in this matter. A word to the wise is sufficient,” Custos Perrin warned, moments after he was officially installed by Governor General Patrick Allen.
“I implore us to be mindful that justices of the peace give their services voluntarily. That is to say without seeking any monetary compensation or reward of any kind. It has been reported that there are those elsewhere who have their own rate sheets and fee scales,” Perrin said.
Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill called on the newly installed custos to assist persons to better comprehend the concept of dispute resolution.
“If there is one special request that I would make of Brother Perrin, it is that he helps citizens to understand and support the concept of dispute resolution which is still new to some. We have to get more persons to accept the fact that more can be gained by sitting down to talk out a problem rather than by fighting it out,” McNeill who is also member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland said.
He also challenged Perrin to join in the battle to educate persons of the importance of preservation of the environment of “this beloved parish”.
“Not only because the delicate balance of tourism depends on it to keep people employed and families fed, but because we the people of this land have an obligation to protect this inestimable gift of nature given by a bounteous God. If we do not learn to protect the sea, the land, the animal, a day will come when we will have none either for enjoyment or for business,” McNeill said.
He also lauded Perrin’s predecessor, popular Westmoreland businessman Owen “Hurry Hurry” Sinclair for his sterling stewardship over a decade.
“His (Sinclair’s) dedication to this parish and his people is, some would say, a hard act to follow. You will follow now in the footsteps which he has planted in this community, leaving behind a legacy of generosity, hard work and dedication. But Custos Perrin we know you will blaze your own trail,” McNeill said.
There was uncontrollable laughter from the audience at the Mannings School auditorium when the new custos indicated that while he is benevolent, he does not have the financial capacity of his forerunner.
“I will hasten to remind you that whereas I may be as generous.... perhaps even more so generous than my friend and brother the Honourable Owen Sinclair, I stake no claim to the capacity of his wide-ranging and comprehensive resources, financial or otherwise. As you know many are the stores in Savanna-la-Mar and across Jamaica but there is only one “Hurry Hurry,” said Perrin.
He added: “So I demand that you adjust your expectations in that regard accordingly. My friend and brother may not anymore be the custos but he is still the philanthropist. Long may he live.”