Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a humbling experience as I rise to speak in this Honourable House not only as a second term Member of Parliament, and first time Cabinet Minister, but at a time when the people of Jamaica have embraced and voted for change, ability and performance. They have voted for a team committed to, and leading the charge to bring about authentic change and real advancement to our beloved nation.
I wish to pay tribute to the former ministers with responsibility for either or both of the portfolios which I oversee. Those most recently associated with the portfolios include the Hon. Derrick Smith, the Hon. Clive Mullings, the Hon. Phillip Paulwell, the Hon. Anthony Hylton, the Hon. Robert Pickersgill, the Hon. Horace Clarke, the Hon. Dean Peart, the Hon. Paul Robertson and the Hon. Roger Clarke. Certainly, Mr. Speaker, there are others who have given dedicated service to these portfolios, I honour them too.
I particularly wish to recognize the continued assistance of the Hon. Laurence Broderick, Minister of State, who delivered the presentation on the Mining and Minerals Portfolio during the 2008-2009 Sectoral Debate, and is my partner Minister in the Ministry of Energy and Mining.
Mr. Speaker, there are a number of very special people in my life to whom I would like to extend my gratitude. To Charlene, my wife, and Mina and Ava, my two beautiful daughters, who are a daily treat to me.
My ever present and committed father, Ishmael, and my astute and loving mother, Hermina, who to this day continue to be there for me.
Mr. Speaker, to my West St. Thomas family I say thank you. It is their overwhelming faith, trust and confidence that have allowed me to be their servant for a second time. I look forward to continuously
serving them as Member of Parliament to the best of my ability. To my six Councillors, my Constituency Executive and Management Committee, I say thank you for your diligence, commitment and unbreakable team work in seeking to make West St. Thomas arguably one of the best represented constituencies in this land.
Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the people of West St. Thomas of my team’s commitment to their social and economic advancement. Several job-creating projects have already gotten off the ground. Others are to come. The people would also notice in short order the commencement of several community projects aimed at improving communities, making daily life less stressful and allowing you as St. Thomas citizens to be proud. I speak of projects that have already been funded and others that will be funded by the Constituency Development Fund, a revolutionary initiative on the part of this government that finally makes MPs better equipped and better able to represent their constituents by being more responsive to their basic needs.
I would also like to thank Mrs. Marcia Forbes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, and the staff of the Ministry and its agencies for all their assistance in carrying out my duties as Minister.
Thanks also to the Clerk of the House, the orderlies and the other members of her team.
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