New Trelawny custos pledges to strengthen JP cohort
Businessman and farmer Hugh Gentles, who was officially installed as Trelawny’s new custos rotulorum on Thursday, has pledged to strengthen the parish’s cohort of justices of the peace (JP) as part of his mandate to deliver high-quality service to the residents of the parish.
“My installation as custos now allows me to build on the tradition of service as I commit to the work this role entails,” said Gentles in outlining his mandate during his installation ceremony at the Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in the parish. “My vision as custos is to build a legacy of a strong, organised, and effective cohort of JPs.
“As the allocated peacekeepers of society, JPs not only ensure the upkeep of law, but [also] promote and protect the rights of all, and I am very proud to support our JPs – current and future – to carry out these roles,” continued Gentles.
JP cohort increased
Gentles’ appointment comes four months after Trelawny’s JP cohort was increased to 220 following the installation of 30 new members in February. There are 9,300 JPs in Jamaica.
Gentles, who replaced the retired Paul Muschett, who served 10 years as Trelawny’s custos, noted that his 30 years of experience as a JP has helped him to appreciate the importance of the office to community development and maintenance of law.
“As an active JP myself for the past 30 years, I understand how indisputably important JPs are to communities throughout Jamaica. Their work is critical in helping the custos to promote the rule of law, public order, and civic pride,” explained Gentles.
“Many serve as lay magistrates, and many serve the development of the parish through volunteering and leadership. The performance of their duties, properly executed, positively impacts civic life, judicial administration, and community development,” added Gentles.
Mediate, inspire, and motivate
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was on hand to witness Gentles’ installation by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, encouraged the new custos to serve the people of Trelawny well, with the support of the parish’s JP cohort.
“You now have the opportunity to use your office to mediate, inspire, and motivate citizens of the parish to seek a better way of life through peace, love, respect, unity, pro-social and pro-growth behaviour. You will not be alone in this, as you have a cadre of JPs to support you,” said Holness.
In speaking primarily to the audience as it relates to his confidence in Gentles’ capacity to meet the high expectations of his new office, Holness gave the new custos his resounding endorsement.
“I am confident in the capabilities of Custos Gentles to fulfil the mandate of the Ministry of Justice and to serve the people of Trelawny with exceptional dignity. He has been appointed based on the merit and integrity of his work and character, and more importantly, his express impetus to serve,” said Holness.