NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis in welcoming the country’s 11th Governor General, extolled his virtues as a public servant, in the private sector, on the diplomatic stage and as a humanitarian.
The Hon. Cornelius Alvin Smith, 82, was officially sworn in as Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas during a ceremony in Rawson Square on Friday, June 28, 2019.
This came on the heels of a Farewell Salute to Her Excellency the Most Hon. Dame Marguerite Pindling as Governor General.
The occasion was abuzz with pomp and pageantry as senior officials, well-wishers and family members witnessed the changing of the guard and an ushering in of a new chapter in Bahamian history.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister pointed out the attributes of His Excellency and expressed confidence in his ability as Head of State.
“Given your long and distinguished public career, your diplomatic and community service and your love of country, it was my happy task to recommend to Her Majesty, Your Excellency’s appointment as Governor General,” the Prime Minister said.
He added: “We look forward to your tenure and the role you will play in fostering national unity and a greater commitment to community service. We are confident that Your Excellency will represent our country with distinction at home and abroad.”
As the representative of the Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor General serves as a symbol of national unity and plays an essential constitutional role. “Today, therefore, in the spirit of love and unity, we celebrate our enduring democratic heritage and Your Excellency’s appointment by Her Majesty” as the eleventh Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Prime Minister said.
His Excellency was born at Snow Hill, Long Island, where he attended primary school at Glinton’s Public All Age-School. Over the many years he was an educator, customs revenue officer, served in The Cabinet and was regarded as a political strategist, having entered front line politics in the early 1970s and is a founding member of the Free National Movement.
“Your Excellency, your journey from Snow Hill, Long Island, to Mount Fitzwilliam mirrors our national journey, inclusive of the attainment of Majority Rule and Independence by a proud sovereign nation.
“Your education included training at the Bahamas Teacher’s Training College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami in the United States of America,” the Prime Minister said.
He added though, that the essential and noble work of government and politics are often reflexively criticized by some. “Despite these criticisms, you passionately believe in the need for good men and women to serve in political and public life,” the Prime Minister said. “You appreciated that majority rule, independence, national development and the promotion of a just and equal society required the active and full participation of citizens on the frontlines of politics and in the halls of government.”
From 2007 to 2012, His Excellency served as Ambassador to the United States of America. He also served as the Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) and as Non-Resident Ambassador to Mexico, Malaysia and Columbia. And in 2017, he was appointed as Non-Resident Ambassador to six Central American countries: Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and, Nicaragua.
“Your Excellency, you have spoken often of your commitment to and the importance of volunteerism and community service in national development.
“You have demonstrated your commitment to community service for more than half a century,” the Prime Minister said.
This article was written by Lindsay Thompson – Bahamas Information Services.