Distinguished hotelier and educator Jeffrey Lorenzo McKitty is the new custos rotulorum for St Mary.
Custos McKitty was presented with the Grand Commission, appointing him to the position, by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, during an installation ceremony at the Claude Stuart Park in Port Maria, on February 28.
The new custos was also conferred with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class and given the Magistrates' Roll for St Mary. He was previously awarded the Order of Distinction, Officer Class.
Custos McKitty succeeds Custos Alrick 'Bobby' Pottinger, who retired in December last year after serving for 18 years.
The new custos performed his first official duty during the ceremony, when he presided over the administration of the oath/solemn declaration and affirmation of allegiance for St Mary's justices of the peace.
Utilise good advice
Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Morais Guy, represented Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. Other dignitaries in attendance included: Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, who represented Police Commissioner Owen Elling-ton; and Port Maria's Mayor, Councillor Levan Freeman.
In his charge to Custos McKitty, the governor general urged him to effectively execute his duties to St Mary's benefit.
"I urge you to seek and utilise good advice and to be open to adopting the best practices for the conduct of your role. I ask you to continue to give of your best in the mission which all of us must embrace, to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise our families and do business," he said.
The governor general also urged the justices of the peace and residents to "support your custos, as he seeks to carry out his duties in the service to the people of St Mary."
In his reply, Custos McKitty described his appointment as "gratifying," pointing out that he was "humbled" by the honour bestowed on him, "because I am acutely aware of its awesome responsibilities."
"As I accept this new position and its attendant responsibilities, I wish to thank the governor general for affording me the opportunity to serve my parish and nation, at this level," he said.