Shaw takes back oath to the Queen

Published: Tuesday | October 25, 2011 Comments 0

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

THERE WAS an unusual hiccup at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony for Finance Minister Audley Shaw at King's House in St Andrew.

King's House handed Shaw an outdated 'oath of office' and the minister proceeded to "swear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors".

This oath was replaced in 2002 by the then P.J. Patterson administration which made fundamental changes to the declaration.

The oath which has been used since 2002 reads: "I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Jamaica; that I will uphold and defend the Constitution and the laws of Jamaica and that I will conscientiously and impartially discharge my responsibilities to the people of Jamaica, so help me God."

Immediately after Shaw completed his task, there was dead silence in the drawing room of King's House. Sir Patrick rushed over to confer with his assistant in a hushed tone.

At this time Shaw stood at the lectern, apparently wondering why he was left unattended while Sir Patrick worked feverishly to correct the error.

GG apologises

Minutes after, the governor general approached the podium and apologised to the audience and Shaw.

"I would like to apologise to you, ladies and gentlemen. In the process of taking out the documents, the secretaries took out the old oath that we stopped swearing some years ago, so that was an error ... ," a smiling governor general said. This elicited laughter among journalists and other attendees.

"We should have put away those documents a long time ago, so it was a mistake and I apologise to you, Mr Shaw."

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