History was created in the Senate on Friday, May 17, when Government Senator Floyd Morris, was elected as the first visually impaired President of the Chamber.
He replaces Rev. Stanley Redwood, who officially resigned on May 10, after serving for 16 months.
In accepting the Presidency, Senator Morris promised to execute his responsibilities with justice and fairness, further noting that he will do his utmost to preserve the dignity of the Upper House.
He cited the development of the education system, fostering the growth agenda, and facilitating improved conditions for disabled persons, as among his priority areas.
The newly appointed President also gave a commitment to do all he can to raise the academic achievement of the country’s boys.
“…When I go to the different universities, they are being dominated by our females and I say to myself, ‘where will the husbands for these females come from?’” Mr. Morris said.
“I really want to join the efforts of the Prime Minister and the Governor-General to make sure that we restore a level of decency among our males and to ensure that our young boys take education seriously,” he stated.
He also urged his fellow Senators to “make a tremendous effort” to advance the process for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to become Jamaica’s final appellate court.
“I look forward to having discussions with members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that this takes place because… justice is tied closely to economic growth and development,” he stated.
In her congratulatory remarks, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, described Mr. Morris as a “hard worker and decent human being”.
“You are a shining example to the disabled community, not only in Jamaica, but across the globe,” she stated.
“I look forward to your leadership of this Senate and I know that we will see fair play and even-handedness,” she added.
Leader of Government Business and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, for his part, expressed confidence that “goodness and mercy will follow this Senate” under the new President’s leadership.
Leader of Opposition Business, Senator Arthur Williams, said Senator Morris has performed creditably throughout his career as a legislator. “Your manner, your style, your sense of decorum and decency will ensure that you will preside in a manner that ensures fairness to all,” he remarked.
Senator Morris also created history in 1998, when he became the first visually impaired person to be appointed to the Upper House. He also served as State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security from 2003 to 2007. He returned to the Senate in 2011.
Jamaica is the second Caribbean country to appoint a visually impaired person as President of the Upper House, following the appointment of Senator Kerry-Ann Ifill in Barbados.
Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker