ST JOHN’S, Antigua – “I hold a deep love for our country and therefore welcome this opportunity to serve,” Antigua & Barbuda’s fourth Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams, said during his maiden address moments after he was sworn-in before both Houses of Parliament yesterday morning.
After taking the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office, Sir Rodney told Parliament and the nation that he accepted his duties with humility and measured pride.
He reminisced on his career, emphasising a penchant for service, which led him to a medical career.
“In truth, my decision to pursue a career in medicine was primarily based on the notion that the field of medicine provided me with an excellent opportunity to serve mankind,” the new GG said.
Sir Rodney spoke fondly of his father, the late Ernest Emanuel Williams, who was one of the longest serving members of parliament in the history of Antigua & Barbuda.
Sir Rodney was elected to represent the St Paul constituency in Parliament and as a minister of government after his father’s death in 1984. He served as a Cabinet minister between 1992 and 2004 in the portfolios of education, culture, technology, economic development, tourism, and environment.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in congratulating Sir Rodney, noted that he would be the pride of the nation.
“I extend best wishes to you for a most successful tenure, as someone who will bring the people of Antigua and Barbuda together as a symbol of unity, someone who will serve without fear or favour, someone who will respect the provisions of the constitution,” Browne said.
Agreeing with PM Browne that Sir Rodney was a good fit, Leader of the Opposition Baldwin Spencer also congratulated the governor general saying he believed he would do an excellent job.
“I wish to concur with the prime minister, that you bring to this position the humility and the understanding of what the position represents in terms of unifying the people of Antigua & Barbuda,” Spencer said.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)