By anguillian August 28, 2017 11:14




Mr. Speaker,

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make some brief remarks on this occasion as we conduct the swearing-in of the new Governor for Anguilla His Excellency Governor Tim Foy OBE.

This is, of course, the formal aspect of the process — the less formal aspect of the process is what will serve our new Governor well for the entire period of his tenure and that is: the continuous expression of genuine Anguillian hospitality as he carries out his function as Governor of our island in the upcoming years.

I would therefore like to officially lead that expression of hospitality for which our island is renown by welcoming, you, Governor Foy and your lovely wife and family to Anguilla. And to assure you that this is your new home for many years to come. Indeed, even after you would have demitted office as Governor. This is all we have! Thirty-five beautiful square miles of God’s creation to share with our friends and neighbours around the world. What we offer you and your family is an authentic Anguillian experience that we believe, in all immodesty, will be your best posting ever.

Coincidentally, for those among us who believe in coincidences, you have come to us during the Jubilee Anniversary Year of our struggle for self-determination. So even before you have had the opportunity to participate in a single decision for our island you are already a part of its symbolic history. I will not venture to comment on the total solar eclipse, which is most likely at its maximum as we speak. I will simply quote one line from the Desiderata and say: “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”.

Because of the constitutional arrangement of the separation of powers this will be probably be the only time that you, as Governor, receive this level of attention in this Honourable House. And to accentuate that fact, the oath of office has been administered by Her Ladyship the Hon. Justice Pearletta Lanns who I must take this opportunity to welcome to this Honourable House as well.

I believe it is important to make this point especially on an occasion like this to communicate this reality to the wider community who sometimes get confused as to the roles of the several branches of Government. But equally to point out that even within those several roles there must be a common purpose, namely, to achieve what is the best interest of the People of Anguilla.

Governor, I welcome you to be an active participant in this noble enterprise even as I hasten to admit that in that pursuit it is inevitable that, at times, we will have differences of opinion and approaches. All we can hope for, indeed expect, is that at all times our deliberations and discussions will be conducted in an atmosphere of decency, civility and mutual respect — as well as understanding.

Let us not delude ourselves! We both have separate agendas but that does not mean that those agendas cannot intersect to accommodate our most critical concerns. I can assure you that we understand that it is our duty to make the case at all times.
Governor, you have come at almost the middle of our term as the duly elected Government. We have already made a number of difficult decisions — but still many other challenges remain. Your support in taking Anguilla through this challenging period is critical.
You and I have met and conversed at various venues since May and I have said to my colleagues that you have telegraphed well. I am therefore led to believe that our conversations to date augur well for an excellent working relationship and I look forward to that collaboration.
Today even among the many challenges we face BREXIT stands out as an issue in which our two countries have mutual interest. Anguilla continues to make the case that as a border state of two European Communities (French and Dutch St. Maarten) we have special circumstances.
Governor, you have met with our UK-EU Representative, Mrs. Blondel Cluff who has been leading the charge on this issue very successfully in the UK and Brussels. In fact, The Times newspaper in London featured an article on Anguilla’s situation vis-à-vis the Irish Border situation over the past week as a result of her efforts. This is an excellent example of the intersection of concerns that we may pursue together. I can assure you that there will be many more as we go forward together.
But this is not an occasion for detail so I have restricted my remarks to an acknowledgement of the broad challenges and the kind of engagement that will lead to our mutual success. So let me once again, as Leader of Government Business in this Honourable House, on behalf of the Government and People of Anguilla, extend a warm welcome to you and your entire family, as you take on this new role in this special part of God’s Vineyard called Anguilla.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you kindly for this opportunity.

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian August 28, 2017 11:14


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