Pomp and pageantry usher in new parliamentary year
Clad in their red and blue ceremonial dress, the men of the 2nd Battalion of the Jamaica Defence Force lined Duke Street in downtown Kingston yesterday to mark the start of the Houses of Parliament 2019-2020 year.
The men, numbering no less than 50, marched on to Duke Street from Charles Street and came to a halt opposite the three-storey Gordon House.
Arriving shortly thereafter were the members of the parliamentary Opposition, led by Dr Peter Phillips. They made their approach from the southern end of the road where People’s National Party supporters, standing behind the barricade, cheered them on and sang the party’s song, Jamaica Arise.
Members of the judiciary were also in attendance, including Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Court of Appeal Justices Patrick Brooks and Hilary Phillips, and Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick of the Supreme Court.
The arrival of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen prompted the playing of the National Anthem, followed by an inspection of the corps by the head of State.
Members of the ruling Andrew-Holness-led Government then arrived, approaching from the northern end of the corridor, where supporters were gathered, ringing bells, the symbol of the Jamaica Labour Party.
The governor general then made his way inside the parliamentary chamber, where members of the Upper House were already seated.
He then invited members of Parliament inside before delivering the Throne Speech.