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The Governor-General Designate, Dr. Patrick Allen and his wife Patricia, were on Sunday (February 22), honoured in a service of commendation and consecration, by the West Indies Union (WIU) Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.
The function, held on the campus of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Mandeville, Manchester, was emotionally charged as accolade after accolade was poured on a couple that had served the union with distinction for the past eight and a half years.
In his response, Dr. Allen proclaimed it a singular honour to have functioned as the President of the WIU.
“These past eight and a half years have been a great experience, as I have learnt from you. I trust that you learnt something from us also, and the type of leadership we tried to give to propel this union forward. It was a great partnership, working with the fields and the union, for indeed, the union is the composite of all these entities,” he said.
“I feel that I am extremely honoured,” Dr. Allen continued, “to be given this opportunity of a lifetime, to lead this union. An opportunity I greatly cherish.”
As he prepared to assume the role of Governor-General, he pointed out that the decision to accept the Prime Minister’s offer was not easily reached, but was the result of much prayer and agonising.
“We are confident that the path that we are now ready to pursue, will be alright because God is leading. It is the Lord’s doing, and not ours,” he asserted.
Dr. Allen said that it was essential, that at a time such as this, people remain focussed and cling to the possibilities of hope and optimism.
He said that this was the theme he would endeavour to posit most forcefully as Governor-General, as people need to arrive at a new perspective of the importance of the role they play in the development of their country.
“As I leave this position to assume another position, I will be pushing a theme of hope, and urging individuals to commit themselves to something outside of themselves. I will be asking the country to, in the sentiments of John F. Kennedy, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” he emphasised.
Dr. Herbert Thompson, President of the NCU where Dr. Allen also served as Chairman, remains strongly supportive of Dr. Allen, believing his humility, integrity and work and academic background, will allow him to carry out his work efficiently, fairly and with the dignity for which he is known.
“I am delighted that Dr. Patrick Allen has been asked to serve as Governor- General of Jamaica, and by extension that his wife will be first lady of the land. I believe because he is approachable, he is humble, he is a man of integrity, and he is firm when there is need to be firm, he is businesslike and he is a very hard worker,” Dr. Thompson said.
He remarked that Dr. Allen was a man who loves his country and Jamaicans, and that he felt that he will bring special service to the country as Governor-General.
“I look forward to seeing how things will unfold as he serves in that position. That couple will be a couple of whom we are justly proud, as they carry out their duties in King’s House,” he said.
Pastor Derek Bignall has succeeded Dr. Allen as President of the West Indies Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.