Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has commended past Custos for Westmoreland, Hon. Owen Sinclair, for giving some 11 years of dedicated and unbroken service to the parish.
Addressing the official Installation and Investiture ceremony for the new Custos, the Very Rev. Canon Hartley Perrin, at the Manning’s High School, in Savanna-La-Mar, on November 29, the Governor-General said that Mr. Sinclair has left an indelible mark on the parish and in the hearts and minds of its people.
“On behalf of my predecessors, Her Excellency and myself, I express appreciation to the Hon. Owen Sinclair for his contribution to the parish of Westmoreland and to Jamaica. I applaud him for the dignity, sincerity, compassion and knowledge of the people and parish and the keen sense of purpose with which he served as Custos,” he said.
The Governor-General informed that the Office of Custos Rotulorum evolved from Jamaica’s colonial past and although the history of the Office dated back to 1391, the first mention in Jamaica, appeared in the minutes of the Legislative Council dated July 28, 1668.
“The first Custos to be mentioned by name was the former infamous Buccaneer, Sir Henry Morgan, Custos of Port Royal, who served as Lt. Governor of Jamaica from 1674-1675. In fact, I should add that Morgan had a special link with Westmoreland, as he sailed from Bluefields in 1670 on a daring, but successful pirate raid on Panama. And how many of you knew that Grange Hill was owned by Henry Morgan and known then as Morgan’s Bridge?” the Governor-General pointed out.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said that the new Custos will undoubtedly enhance and strengthen the role of Custos.
“There is already much to emulate. You follow in the steps of some of the finest who have held this office over many years. In that spirit, we use this opportunity to celebrate and thank your immediate predecessor, the distinguished Owen Sinclair. His dedication to this parish and its people is, some will say, a hard act to follow. You will walk now in the footsteps which he planted in this community, leaving behind a legacy of generosity, hard work and dedication,” Dr. McNeil pointed out.
In his reply, the new Custos said that a fitting function would be held at a later date to demonstrate the parish’s gratitude to Mr. Sinclair.
“Words will fail us in expressing our gratitude to the retired Custos, who bore the mantle with diligence for more than a decade,” Custos Perrin said.