St Andrew gets new custos
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW DONNA Parchment Brown has been installed as the new custos rotulorum for St Andrew, effective February 2.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen presided over the ceremony, which was held at King's House on Tuesday.
In his remarks, Sir Patrick said Parchment Brown's proven track record of outstanding service and probity, coupled with her 'people skills', will allow her to begin her new phase seamlessly and interact with people across all social levels, irrespective of belief or persuasion.
He lauded her for accepting the role to continue serving her country, adding that the swearing-in of a custos highlights the value of voluntarism and of commitment to exemplary leadership, which are essential to the development of the country.
He said that as his representative in St Andrew, he will rely on her support for the existing community outreach programme, the Governor General's Programme for Excellence, among others.
Paying tribute to the outgoing custos, Marigold Harding, the governor general commended her for the effective service and gracious support she rendered during her tenure.
"You have been an asset, especially through your consistent actions to train and motivate the justices of the peace for St Andrew," he said.
In her response, Parchment Brown expressed humility and gratitude for the responsibilities bestowed on her, and pledged that she will strive to ensure that all the citizens of the parish are respected and treated equally.
"I intend to hear the voices of the justices of the peace and the people of St Andrew and to carry out the duties set out in the Custos Rotolorum Act, the JP Act and all other sources with diligence and dignity, using tools of affirmation, communication and cooperation rooted in respect," she said.
The new custos said she looked forward to working with the members of parliament, councillors, civil society, the private sector, the Government and all the duty bearers and volunteers who serve the parish of St Andrew, while continuing to play her part in advancing the areas that support the welfare of the parish.
She pledged to continue working with the chief justice in a positive and constructive way to support the service and reform agenda of the justice sector, so that trust and confidence may increase across the parish and Jamaica.
Among her responsibilities are serving as chief lay magistrate for the parish, and ensuring that there are sufficient JPs/lay magistrates to serve the petty session courts and communities throughout the parish.
Parchment Brown was called to the Bar more than 33 years ago and has served in both the private and public sectors.
She is perhaps best known for her stellar leadership of the Dispute Resolution Foundation from 1994 to 2013, a role which earned her national recognition in the award of the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2004.