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Bruce-Lyle cautious over new judge’s appointment

Bruce-Lyle cautious over new judge’s appointment

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Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle was being careful how he described newly appointed Judge Gertil Thom who was sworn in at Government House last Monday.

He said though he was happy to welcome the new judge whom he accepted as a “sister” he had to be cautious about how he spoke. Bruce-Lyle, recalled jovially how he had welcomed former Judge Louise Blenman as his sister when she arrived, causing sections of the community to accuse him of bringing his family to work in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Bruce-Lyle sounded like a tourism inister as he endorsed the nation’s beauty as echoed by several other speakers, and vouched for the State’s hospitality.

For him, this was a moment to reciprocate, for when he was appointed to the bench in Antigua, it was Thom who was there to give him solidarity.

Bruce-Lyle said he had encountered no problems since working here and he mentioned that “SVG welcomes visitors with a warm heart.” He said the multi-island nation “always gives the best to visitors.”

The judg did not paint a total unrealistic picture of the country but mentioned the problems with crime here. He however encouraged Thom to enjoy her stay here while doing her work.

If Justice Bruce-Lyle appeared to be an ambassador for St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan was even more open in her comments. She said she was not surprised at Thom’s promotion, noting that the new judge possessed the qualities for continued elevation on the bench.

Jones-Morgan pledged the support of the judiciary, and assured Thom that she would have little problems settling in. She told Justice Thom the “experience will be rewarding.”

Other welcoming remarks came from Human Rights Association President Nicole Sylvester, local bar Vice-President Agnes Cato, and Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

Justice Thom replaces Justice Louise Blenman who has been transferred to Antigua.

In her response Thom said she was looking forward to the usual Vincentian hospitality. She admitted to enjoying public service and looks forward to continuing her role here.

Thom also pledged to give “justice and serve the nation.”

The new judge was called to the Bar in her native Guyana in 1984. From the area of Esequibo, she held a number of posts before moving to Montserrat in 1991. She became Attorney General in Montserrat in 1992, then assumed the post of Deputy Solicitor General in Antigua 1998. She was elevated to Attorney General in that country in 2001.

The rest of her family will join Thom, a mother of two children. She is a sports lover, fond of cricket and football and loves to read.

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