Governor General Cornelius Alvin Smith.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
CORNELIUS Alvin Smith was sworn in as the 11th Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on Friday, an appointment that sealed his rise from humble beginnings at Snow Hill, Long Island, through a long career in the civil service.
During his first speech as Governor General, Mr C A Smith pledged to discharge his constitutional duties with impartiality and urged Bahamians to strive toward renewing bedrock values such as altruism, empathy, and generosity of spirit.
He said these were necessary in fostering oneness in the country.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the Governor General’s journey had been one that mirrored the country’s national journey, inclusive of the attainment of majority rule and independence by a proud sovereign nation.
In his response to the commission of appointment at Rawson Square, the new Governor General said: “Ladies and gentlemen, our nation is blessed by a surpassing natural heritage and a rich cultural heritage. We have utilised and blended these gifts to create a peaceful democratic nation that has caused the global commons to mark the manner of our bearing.
“We've excelled in the arts, athletics, and academics. Now as we approach the 50th anniversary of independence we should celebrate our accomplishments and also our potential. We should also take stock of the road that we still tread to better promote the values of inclusiveness, civility, fairness and national harmony.”
He added: “Let us also pledge to renew bedrock values such as altruism, empathy, and generosity of spirit, which are necessary in fostering one Bahamas.
“These values, which propelled our fore parents to fight against discrimination and for a more equitable and just society must be renewed through the practice of voluntarism and public and community service.
“Let us renew this spirit and these values in our communities, in our homes, in the institutions of government, in religious ministry, in civil society, in our schools, in commerce and in industry.
“I dedicate myself to helping to promote and to renew a greater national commitment to community service and voluntarism.”
He thanked former Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling for her years of service to the nation.
For his part, Dr Minnis said he was pleased to have recommended the former member of Parliament for the appointment to the highest office in the country and highlighted much of his achievements.
He said: “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 (Queen Elizabeth II), Your Excellency’s appointment as Governor General.
“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.
“Your Excellency, as has been said on a previous occasion, we ask that you express to Her Majesty the Queen, the gratitude of the Bahamian people for her having acceded to our request by appointing you to this nation’s highest office.
“We offer you our full loyalty and affection.”