The Ceremonial Mace

Photo: JIS Photographer

The Mace is an ornamented staff used in Jamaican Parliamentary ceremonies and sessions; it represents the monarch’s authority over such proceedings. It was once used as a weapon in medieval times by foot soldiers. It is present at every session as Parliament is not properly constituted without its presence in the room.

The Mace at Gordon House, the home of Jamaica’s Parliament, is made of silver and is 5 feet 6 inches long. It was ordered by the House of Assembly in 1786 and arrived the following year.

At the start of each sitting of Parliament, the Mace is carried in by the Marshal ahead of the entry of the Presiding Officer (The Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate). The Mace is placed on the Table of the House where it remains until it is removed at the end of each session by the Marshal. The Mace, however, must be placed under the Table when the entire House meets as a committee to examine a Bill in its second stage of review. In this instance, the Presiding Officer is functioning as a Chairman.

The removal of the Mace by any person other than the Marshal is viewed as a sign of disrespect and contempt of Parliament. In the past, three Parliamentarians removed the Mace from the House and abruptly stopped the sessions, since its removal signifies the end of meetings.

For more information on the Mace or the Marshal to the Houses, visit www.japarliament.gov.jm or

 

Houses of Parliament

Gordon House

81 Duke Street

Kingston

Jamaica, West Indies

Tel: (876) 922-0200-7

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