Categorized | National News

Sir Arthur Demits Office

After four years of serving as Governor General of The Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes on Monday night brought bid farewell to that post during an official demission ceremony at Government House.

In front of the packed ballroom filled with Sir Arthur’s family, friends, political pillars, members of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government, the Free National Movement (FNM), Sir Arthur expressed his gratitude for having been fortunate enough to fulfill the position for the time he did.

“At the apex of most of these institutions, at the culmination of most of these processes, sits the Office of Governor General, an office that is a source and symbol of unity and stability, an office that is above the necessarily contentious arena of partisan politics, a high office I have had the privilege of occupying for the last four years,” he said. “I leave now, not presuming to have walked in the impressive footprints of my distinguished Bahamian predecessors, but most certainly having stood on their strong shoulders and having benefitted from their example.

“I thank the Right Honorable Hubert Ingraham upon whose advice I was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, and I thank both Prime Minister Perry Christie and Mr. Ingraham for their support and the pleasant relationship I enjoyed with both of them during my tenure.

“I thank the ministers of government, the many public servants, members of the Judiciary and others for their ready cooperation and assistance in the execution of my day-to-day duties, and many fellow citizens who have been a source of support and encouragement.”

It was recently announced that Dame Marguerite Pindling would be the next governor general of The Bahamas following Sir Arthur’s demitting office, and Sir Arthur in his final speech as governor general spoke highly of his successor.

“To my successor, Dame Marguerite Pindling, I extend best wishes for a successful tenure and I assure her of my support,” he said. “I have known this good lady for many years. In earlier times we were collaborators in our common pursuit of political and social reform, and I know of her deep love for this country.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie touted Sir Arthur’s reign of governor general as “exemplary,” offering nothing but praise and high remarks for the now former governor general.

“For me it is a pleasure to proclaim, that he has served in this highest of constitutional offices with the utmost distinction,” he said. “His devotion of duty has been exemplary throughout his tenure. It has been my view and I have expressed it that he brought to the office of governor general a profound sense of patriotism, which doubtlessly emanated from a deep understanding of our history and our culture. His love for country and his dedication to the Bahamian people were consistently evident in all that he did.

“What I find exemplary and instructive is the fact that he served with great dignity and a sense of impartiality and brought to the office a sincere recognition and a feeling of warmth for the citizens of our country, irrespective of their social station and political affiliation.”

Leader of the opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis echoed Prime Minister Christie’s remarks, saying that Sir Arthur lived his life so well that it is worthy of being preserved in hard copy format.

“Sir Arthur has served the state well,” he said. “He was at the genesis of much of our modern history, and it is my hope that as he leaves this place he can now find the time to look back at the wonderful life he has lived so well. Place it in its proper perspective, not just for himself but for the benefit of generations to come. I look forward to that first autobiographical volume of Sir Arthur.

“I am proud to have had a man of such honour, presence, and integrity serving in the highest office in our Commonwealth. He and Lady Foulkes served this nation by attending numerous official and unofficial events, and did so with indefinable energy. We thank both of them, and wish them all the best as they take their rightful place in the pantheon of founding fathers and Bahamian legends.”

In his speech’s conclusion, Sir Arthur said that he has faith in The Bahamas, and that it will rise to prominence once again as long as Bahamians seek to rediscover the things that make them true Bahamians.

“Just as we are celebrating a new birth and reinvigoration of our Bahamian artistic culture, so too we must reinstate the finer elements of our social culture, elements that some of us have traded in for the low end of other cultures,” he said. “We must all practice and celebrate again the traditional good manners, kindness, self-respect and respect for others that, for generations past, made us as a people quite as attractive as our natural heritage.

“I believe in the resilience and resourcefulness of the Bahamian people. Our forebearers climbed high mountains, crossed wide rivers, and negotiated deep valleys in their quest for freedom, for the fullness of democracy and nationhood.

“I believe that we too can recreate a Bahamas in which the aspirations of future generations can be fulfilled, a Bahamas in which their talents and potential can flourish as they continue to build the greatest little country on the planet.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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