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  • Pastor of the Phillippo Baptist Church, in Spanish Town, Rev. the Hon. Jeffery McKenzie, has been installed as the new Custos Rotulorum of St. Catherine, effective April 1.
  • Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, presided over the ceremony, which was held at the National Police College of Jamaica, at Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, on June 11.
  • In his remarks, the Governor-General said that Rev. McKenzie is coming from a tradition of service in the Baptist Church, where he has served for over 40 years.

Pastor of the Phillippo Baptist Church, in Spanish Town, Rev. the Hon. Jeffery McKenzie, has been installed as the new Custos Rotulorum of St. Catherine, effective April 1.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, presided over the ceremony, which was held at the National Police College of Jamaica, at Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, on June 11.

In his remarks, the Governor-General said that Rev. McKenzie is coming from a tradition of service in the Baptist Church, where he has served for over 40 years.

“He has an impressive record of pastoral service, especially in Spanish Town, where has given leadership to several initiatives to address challenges in the community and its environs,” he noted.

The Governor-General  said that Rev. McKenzie’s familiarity with the geography and the people of the parish have prepared him for the role of Custos.

“I believe that Custos McKenzie will provide the kind of leadership that can help the residents of St. Catherine to appreciate and harness the rich potential that lies within the parish,” he said.

“Rev. McKenzie, you have already been fully briefed on your responsibilities as Custos and I hope that you will do your very best to make this a satisfying tenure for yourself and the people of St. Catherine,” he urged.

The Governor-General also encouraged persons attending the ceremony to collaborate with the Justices of the Peace (JPs), the Custos and the security forces to reverse the rate of crime and violence in the parish.

Meanwhile, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who represented Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said Custos McKenzie’s extensive community service ranks him as a “true Jamaican patriot who understands, believes in and indulges in volunteerism as a vital plank of community and national development.”

“The Prime Minister has every confidence in the abilities and suitability of the new Custos of St. Catherine to assume this high office and to make us all proud. His earning of the respect of the people in several communities in St. Catherine has been achieved through consistent hard work and a social consciousness that always goes beyond the call of duty,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

For his part, Rev. McKenzie said he accepts the great honour bestowed on him with “great humility and thanksgiving to God.”

“I have no illusions of the magnitude of the task that will have to be performed,” Custos McKenzie added.

He also challenged all the JPs in St. Catherine to work alongside the Magistrates and the law enforcement agencies to eradicate crime from the parish and the wider society.

“As a country, we must be free to live safely, work, raise families and do business in peace and free from extortion that is reported to be out of control in Spanish Town. Extortion can only be stopped when those that are extorted become a united force against the ubiquitous ills and speak up and speak out,” Rev. McKenzie said.

Rev. McKenzie replaces the Rev. the Hon. Sophia Azan who has retired after exemplary service as Custos of St. Catherine for 12 years.