HONOURABLE ROOSEVELT SKERRIT
PRIME MINISTER OF
THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA
On the Occasion of the Swearing – In Ceremony for
His Excellency the President Eliud Thaddeus Williams
Wednesday, September 17th, 2012
House of Assembly
I wish on behalf of all Dominicans to express congratulations and very best wishes to Your Excellency, Eliud Williams as you assume the duties of the office of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Much has been said in recent weeks and again today, relative the impeccable character, scholastic and professional achievements of our distinguished new Head of State.
I wish to publicly associate with the expressions of admiration for the accomplishments of Mr. Williams, for, like most of us in Dominica, he hailed from humble origins, and has amassed an enviable record of success through commitment, perseverance and hard work.
One former Caribbean leader once called on his citizens to develop a positive mirror image of themselves. He called on them to choose carefully the type of people they emulated and casted as role models for society.
I wish to suggest this evening that were we to look around Dominica today, there are no greater manifestations of excellence than are to be found in the lives of our outgoing and incoming Presidents.
We are but a small, developing country, yet to have produced such outstanding leaders as we have over the years, is a tribute, I believe, not only to our educational system and our parents, but to the society in which they were reared.
Presidents Liverpool and Williams are outstanding Dominican and Caribbean citizens. They have each excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour and have brought much pride and positive acknowledgement to our fair land.
President Liverpool distinguished himself as a legal luminary and brought this impeccable record of leadership in Caribbean and hemispheric jurisprudence to the office of President. He served this country with distinction and left a very positive image of Dominica wherever he visited.
President Liverpool, on behalf of the government and people of Dominica I say a heartfelt "thank you" for service so superbly rendered!!
Thanks also to Mrs. Liverpool for your service in the role of first lady and also for supporting so ably our retiring President, during his tour of duty.
President and Mrs. Liverpool, Dominica will forever be in your debt!!
Now, we are fortunate this evening to embrace the ascension of yet another outstanding son of the soil...Mr. Eliud Williams!
Earlier today, September 17 2012, the House of Assembly elected your Excellency, Eliud Thaddeus Williams, to the office of President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, to serve out the remainder of the five year term of His Excellency Dr. Nicholas Liverpool.
Mr. Williams has given forty years yeoman service to the Commonwealth of Dominica and to the Caribbean region, in a wide range of capacities.
Having, as a young man, sharpened his social skills in the Young Christian Workers Movement, Mr. Williams joined the public service in 1973. From then on, he blazed a career path that saw him rising through the ranks of the public service, as his leadership skills and performance oriented approach, allowed him to craft solutions to social and development issues that others tended to shy away from.
He has been the Commissioner of Cooperatives and has carried administrative responsibilities as Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Public Works respectively.
His Excellency Mr. Williams has been a trainer, financial controller and management consultant. He has a commanding grasp of regional integration issues, and has been actively involved in public education programmes in the OECS.
He was Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority ( ECTEL) at a critical stage in the life of this sub regional body, and worked tirelessly in promoting better understanding between telecoms regulation and telecoms convergence.
His Excellency has a strong sense of the divine, and he has not allowed his absorption into matters of public policy and development, to run ahead of his commitment to God and church. He has been a volunteer to many committees on church affairs and has played a prominent role in the proceedings of two Synods of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Roseau.
His Excellency is a proud son of the village of St. Joseph. He is held in high esteem, not only by the residents of his home village, but by all Dominicans, wherever they may be residing.
Mr. Williams is gifted with a wife who is elegant and charming; a capable and competent user of words, who carries herself with grace and gravitas. Sir, I am confident that with her at your side, as a pillar of support and comfort, you will execute the duties of the Presidency with distinction.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the process of the appointment of a new President is now complete! It is now for us to ascribe the highest respect and consideration to this Office. It is important that as a young nation of only thirty four (34) years, we continue to preserve and uphold those institutions that have held us together in good times and in bad.
The Office of the President is one to which we should all ascribe deference. The President is the Head of State and is a symbol of national identity, as well as a focal point of national unity.
The Head of State thus transcends partisan rivalry, and his role has been succinctly summarized by a commentator on the English Constitution, Sir Walter Badgeot, as the pre – eminently “dignified element of the Constitution”.
I have every confidence, that with the tremendous goodwill with which His Excellency is entering the office of President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, that he will execute the duties of this office to the satisfaction of all and in strict adherence to the provisions of the constitution.
Sir, I wish you God's Guidance, Wisdom and Understanding as you undertake your duties as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
May God bless His Excellency and this beautiful isle, Dominica.
I thank you.