Mason’s life of service stands out
THE ANNOUNCEMENT that Justice of Appeal Sandra Mason will soon be installed as our eighth Governor General is one that will meet with widespread approval. She will become the second woman to attain that high office, Dame Nita Barrow having been our first to have been so appointed.
Barbadians will be equally pleased to hear from our Prime Minister that there are many of our fellow citizens, both at home and in the diaspora, who could qualify based on the high criteria of personal and professional attributes, record of service, commitment to country, integrity and dignity.
For an island as small as we are, it is very comforting to know that the choice for the highest office in the state could not be an easy task given the number of citizens who satisfy the very demanding criteria. It speaks volumes for the public spiritedness and love of country that such a number of us, both within and outside their country of birth, are still so minded and committed to their native land that their names could have been honourably considered.
Our eighth Governor General will bring to that high office an acute awareness of the intrinsic Barbadian qualities of hard work and personal integrity. She has exhibited these fine qualities all through the many years of public service she has rendered as ambassador for this country to Venezuela, as a magistrate and Registrar of the Supreme Court, and latterly as a Justice of Appeal.
Coming from a humble background, her life story is one of lifting herself up by grasping educational opportunities which came her way and giving back through public service.
In this respect, she will be a source of shining inspiration to many young and not so young Barbadians who may need to refocus on setting desirable and socially uplifting goals and achieving them. In doing so, her actions will encourage all our people to be steadfastly engaged in nation-building at the personal and national levels.
In reflecting on his experience, a retired holder of the office elsewhere in the Commonwealth thought a governor general could promote unity where practitioners of partisan politics may not be able to do so. He also suggested that holders of the office might be most effective by identifying with the diverse groups in the society, talking with and to them, caring about what they do, and encouraging a multitude of worthwhile activities with a proper sense of proportion and discrimination.
We have no doubt that Governor General-designate Mason will, in due course, choose and identify from within the large range and depth of her experience, those areas of public endeavour to which she can bring special attention in order to promote what is worthwhile within our country.
We wish her godspeed as she embarks on this apex of her public service. She can be sure all Barbadians will support her.