KINGSTON — Members of the House of Representatives on July 12, welcomed new Speaker, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, and Deputy Speaker, Tarn Peralto, at their first sitting since the appointment of new Ministers and Ministers of State, by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding.
Mrs. Dalrymple-Philibert, formerly Deputy Speaker, replaces Hon. Delroy Chuck, who has taken up his new post as Minister of Justice, having been Speaker of the House since 2007.
The Speaker thanked the Prime Minister, and members of the House for the "great honour" bestowed on her. She also expressed gratitude to Mr. Chuck for mentoring her for the past three years, during her tenure as Deputy Speaker. “I learnt much from him and I shall continue to endeavour to have equity in all our discussions here,” she said.
She used the opportunity to urge members, while exercising their right to robust debate to “do so with absolute respect for the Standing Orders and with the dignity and decorum that is required of each of us as Members of this House."
“I want us to be reminded that the nation demands this of us, and as elected Members, we have a duty and a responsibility to set an example to the nation as a whole, and particularly to our young people. I look forward to your support as I seek to carry out my role as Speaker in this Honourable House,” Mrs. Dalrymple-Philibert added.
Congratulating the new Speaker, Leader of Government Business in the House, and Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness said: “It gives me great pleasure to see your rise to the highest seat in this House. We agree with you that the nation is watching, and we know that you will ensure that this House represents the nation to the highest standard."
For his part, Leader of Opposition Business, Michael Peart wished Mrs. Dalrymple-Philibert success in her new role, and pledged the support and co-operation of the Opposition.
In his remarks, Mr. Peralto also thanked Mr. Golding, committing to assist the new Speaker in taking charge of the affairs of the House.
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament placed on record their appreciation to the former Speaker, with State Minister for Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore noting that, “the standard that has been set as Speaker of the House is high. Members would agree that great latitude was given, and that there has been balance in the House under the leadership and tenure of Delroy Chuck as Speaker of the House.”
In his tribute, Mr. Peart said Mr. Chuck brought “a unique style to Parliament, and regardless of the circumstances, he had a permanent smile on his face. I wish him all the best in his new endeavour."
Mr. Chuck, while congratulating the Speaker on her new position, thanked the Members for the support extended to him over the years, adding that he looked forward to continued co-operation.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter