By Earyel Bowleg
Tribune Staff Reporter
CYNTHIA “Mother” Pratt was sworn in on Friday as the 12th Governor General of The Bahamas as she spoke of the need to “support the weak, and lift up the fallen”.
Her call has been supported by community leaders, with one telling The Tribune: “This could be a turning point for our country”.
During her remarks at Government House, the former national security minister thanked Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis for the confidence placed in her by nominating her as the 12th governor general of The Bahamas.
“Today, before all of you, I am turning a significant page in my own story as I set off on this new adventure with unwavering hope and determination and a profound commitment to continue to serve the people of our nation as I have during the years,” Mrs Pratt said.
“Firstly, I give thanks and praise to Almighty God who has brought me thus far, and who gives me the will and ability to serve all our people. It is against that backdrop, ladies and gentlemen, that I pledge to give the best of my service as I occupy this lofty office for which I have so kindly been deemed worthy. I believe it important to observe that appointment to the position of governor general is proof that without aspiring to this high office by the grace of God, I am here dedicated to continue serving my beloved country and my people to the best of my ability.”
She added: “As I assume this distinguished position, I come therefore with a determined heart and mind to promote and encourage the fullest application of those time-honoured principles of mutual respect, self-discipline, sharing with others in our commitment to be law-abiding citizens.”
Mr Davis said that Mrs Pratt has served her way to “greatness”.
“As she now rises as our nation’s governor general, it is my distinct pleasure to speak in support of an unparalleled nation-builder, community leader, and civic icon. Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt’s life is a testament to the capacity for love within the Bahamian spirit.”
“Hers is a career marked by selfless service, rooted in a profound commitment to conveying hope to people who need it the most. She has inspired our youth as an educator, tended to our sick as a registered nurse, lifted the spirits of the lost as an ordained minister, and, of course, served the residents of St Cecilia as a Member of Parliament for fifteen years. In each of these roles, compassion was the hallmark of her approach.”
He mentioned Mrs Pratt’s perceived nurturing nature as the “Mother of a Nation” and emphasised her strength.
“You see, she isn’t just a comforter, she is also a defender of those who cannot defend themselves and there can be no mistaking her kindness for weakness. Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt is a force of nature with a passion for people. Her own story is a testament to her resilience, but even as she relied on that strength to move forward and to overcome hardship, she also shared it to uplift the people around her.”
“There are countless stories of young women whose only pathway to a college came through Cynthia “Mother” Pratt. Take a walk through the Grove and you will meet young men who will tell you that it was ‘Mother Pratt’ who helped them to get a job, turn their life around, and break a cycle of poverty and imprisonment.”
Bishop Hubert Kemp, of Prayer and Praise Assembly, who said he is Mrs Pratt’s bishop, considered her a woman “worthy of praise” and “lives above reproach”.
“I am looking forward with great anticipation and enthusiasm for the finished product that she will produce at the summation of her leadership, representing King Charles. This is really going to be probably one of the most exciting things the Bahamian community has had an opportunity to bear witness to, and to be recipients.”
He said Mrs Pratt “is a cat of nine lives and definitely to God be the glory I feel like she is anointed of God, called of God, appointed of God for this season and this time and of the increase of His government upon her shoulders - there shall be no end and this could be a turning point for our country”.
He added; “I think that it’s God’s way of showing his face in his favour and his kindness and His mercy towards us, and given us a governor general, like Mother Pratt and a woman of prayer, a woman of spirituality, a woman who loves God, and who has a common touch, like the founding fathers of this country.”
According to Bishop Anthony Roker, she has made a great impact in the Coconut Grove community.
“They are so happy for her. There’s no one else I believe in The Bahamas deserves that at this present time,” he said.
Bishop Roker added: “She has done well in that community - helped children to go to school who unfortunately don’t have parents, clothing, food, shelter - she has done it all.”
As for his personal experience, he recalled: “She has been an example to me in that community as a pastor. We have done a lot of work together.”