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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (left), Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and his wife Loretta Lady Belgrave, with Chief Justice Marston Gibson (right) as they exited the Parliament buildings yesterday. Sir Elliott took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office in the Senate Chamber to become Barbados’ seventh Governor General and the sixth Barbadian national to hold this office.

 
   

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New Governor General sworn in

6/2/2012

By Janelle Riley-Thornhill

There was much pomp and pageantry within the confines of the Parliament Buildings and the surrounding areas yesterday evening, as this country’s new Governor General was sworn in. Retired Justice, now Sir Elliott Fitzroy Belgrave, took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office in the Senate Chamber yesterday evening to become this country’s seventh Governor General and the sixth Barbadian national to hold the office.

Sir Elliott, who has been acting as Governor General since the retirement of Sir Clifford Husbands on October 31 last year after 15 years on the job, is a former Principal Crown Counsel and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and has also served as a Judge of the Supreme Court, as well as acted on occasion as Chief Justice and Justice of Appeal in this country.

From as early as 4 p.m. representatives of the Boys Scouts Association and the Girl Guides Association could be seen take their positions inside the courtyard of the Parliament Buildings and at exactly 4:25 p.m. the Royal Barbados Police Force conducted by Rev. Dr. Christopher Atherley, performed to the delight of the growing audience within the Senate Chamber and the scores of Barbadians who were beginning to converge outside.

At approximately 5:10 p.m., Acting Governor General Justice Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the Governor General Designate Sir Elliott Belgrave and his wife Lady Loretta Belgrave entered the Senate Chamber. As soon as the official party was in place, Private Secretary Patricia Layne read the Royal Commission for the appointment of the Governor General, after which Chief Justice Marston Gibson administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office before Members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament and immediately thereafter a fanfare of trumpets was sounded.

Addressing those gathered for the first time as Governor General, Sir Elliot not only expressed appreciation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his appointment as her representative here in Barbados, but he expressed profound gratitude to Prime Minister Stuart, his Cabinet and the people of Barbados for the confidence they have put in him by the appointment.

Likewise, an emotional Sir Elliott thanked his wife of over 50 years for her support and his parents the late Albert and Dewsbury Adora Belgrave, “two humble but decent hard-working Barbadians”, for the upbringing they instilled in him, that allowed him to reach the highest office in this country.

“Secondary education was a precious gift that my father was able to bestow on me, because in those days it was not free, and not everyone could afford this luxury... He was able with much difficulty to find $9 a term to pay my school fees; unfortunately he was not able to do so for all of us, but he did it for me and I say thanks Dad, for your foresight and sacrifice,” he said.

Prior to leaving the Senate Chamber, the new Governor General was introduced to Members of the Senate and the House of Assembly and their spouses, after which he proceeded to National Heroes Square where he received the Royal Salute and a 21-gun salute. As the clock on the West Wing of Parliament chimed 6 p.m., the Governor General, led by the mounted unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force departed for a Government House for a private reception.

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