Several Heads of State from the Eastern Caribbean are among the dignitaries expected at today’s swearing in ceremony for Dr. Patrick Linton Allen as the country’s sixth governor general.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding will head the list of officials in the ceremony slated for 5:30 at Kings House.
The Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, the President of Dominica, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool as well as the President of Trinidad and Tobago Professor George Maxwell Richards are among those expected to be in attendance.
The function will begin with the reading of the Royal Commission appointing Dr. Allen as Head of State, by the Governor General's Secretary, Rose-Marie Gibbs.
Dr. Allen will then take the Oath/Solemn Declaration and Affirmation of Allegiance, and Office.
Retiring Head of State, Governor General, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall presents his successor with the Royal Commission, after which the outgoing Governor General's Standard will be lowered and that of the incoming GG raised, accompanied by a fanfare of trumpets.
The new Governor General will then be invested with the Insignia of the Order of the Nation by Chief Justice Zaila McCalla.
Sir Kenneth and Prime Minister Golding are then slated to address the ceremony, after which Dr. Allen will deliver his inaugural address.
Dr. Allen, who is 58 will succeed Sir. Kenneth, who is demitting office due to ill health, after serving for three years.
An educator and devout Christian, Dr. Allen's appointment follows that of other educators who have served in the position, namely, Sir Clifford Campbell, in 1962, Sir Florizel Glasspole from 1973 to 1991, Sir Howard Cooke from 1991 to 2006, and Sir Kenneth Hall from 2006 to 2009.
Dr. Allen’s appointment sparked much debate due to his affiliation with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
He stepped down from his position as president of the West Indies Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on January 28 in order to fully take up his new role as Governor General.
Dr. Allen is the second member of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination to be appointed a Governor General in the Caribbean.
The first is Sir James Carlisle, who served as the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda from 1993 to 2007.