It is now official. The Very Reverend Canon Hartley Perrin is the new Custos Rotulorum for the parish of Westmoreland.
He was installed by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at the Manning’s High School, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, on November 29.
The new Custos replaces the Hon. Owen Sinclair, who has retired after serving the parish with distinction for 11 years.
Addressing the ceremony, the Governor-General said Rev. Perrin has proven, by his life’s journey and his service to the church and to Jamaica, that he is “eminently qualified” to serve the people of Westmoreland as their Custos.
“Custos Perrin, your appointment comes at a critical juncture for the parish and the country, when we are celebrating fifty years of Independence, and a time of hope and renewal for the country. Yet we recognise the difficult socio-economic problems affecting the parish and the nation. In the context of the significant challenges associated with the struggling global economy, we know there are no simple, rapid solutions,” he said.
The Governor-General encouraged the people of Westmoreland to build on their heritage and history, which is filled with hope, courage and resilience.
“You can use these characteristics to lead Jamaica into a new beginning as you did in 1938. A new beginning where we affirm the abilities and competencies of our young people, a new beginning where opportunities are created for them to unlock their full potential, achieve their goals and build a better Jamaica and reverse the cycle of crime and violence which threaten our very existence,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, and Member of Parliament for Westmoreland West, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said the induction of the new Custos offered all present, an opportunity for reflection as well as fellowship.
“Social customs may change; however there are some things which will always remain, and be a necessary part of the whole structure of keeping a society going forward. Positive values will always be of worth. Consideration for one another, respect for our elders, care for our children, these are timeless qualities which we must treasure. When a Custos is described as Chief Citizen of a parish, it is not a title given simply to facilitate one person in ‘lording it’ over others. Instead, it sends a message that in this individual, we have found reason for confidence,” Dr. McNeill said.
He argued that all citizens should dedicate themselves to working with the new Custos towards the goal of “justice for all,” and urged the Custos, in turn, to help citizens to understand and support the new concept of dispute resolution.
“We have to get more persons to accept the fact that more can be gained by sitting down to talk out a problem rather than fighting it out,” the Minister said.