Governor Generalship a great journey – Sir Frederick Ballantyne
Sir Frederick Ballantyne, who stepped down from the post of Governor General after 16 years, has noted that it was a great journey bolstered by the country and people he loves.
“I stand here before you very humble by the experience I’ve had over the past 16 years, an experience made so much better because of the contribution of all of you in every sphere of my life during that period,” he stated, a day after officially demitting the office on July 31.
Sir Frederick was speaking at Government House, at the Installation ceremony for the new Governor General, Susan Dougan, and he was assuring of the capabilities of his successor, as well as thanking those who helped him when he was in the role.
He thanked the Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who recommended him for the position, and for his support over the last 16 years. “That does not necessarily mean that we didn’t differ on stuff, but on anything major, I can say that I had his full support,” Sir Frederick added.
He also thanked the Queen for appointing him. Particularly, he thanked all the staff of Government House, “who’ve been so supportive over the years,” the security services who kept him and his family safe throughout the nights, the Commissioner of Police, and the police force.
He used the time to remind Vincentians that, “The Governor General is not a political figure, and our new Governor General is the Governor General of all the people so I ask that all those assembled here, and all who might be listening, and all of your friends, that you ask that all the Vincentians, that they love and support her.”
“As I exit the stage, I must say that it has been a great journey, bolstered by the country and the people, who I love dearly, and all Vincentians who supported me,” he concluded.
The Prime Minister, in his speech, said that an occasion would be there to thank Sir Frederick.
He noted that Sir Frederick was an active Governor General who made an “immense contribution.”
Gonsalves, who disclosed that he was in the process of writing a letter of thanks to the former Governor General, stated that Sir Frederick had “many, many sides.”
Particularly, he commented, “during his Governor Generalship, he did something which was absolutely amazing.”
“Arguably the most significant innovation in the health sector in St Vincent and the Grenadines is his leadership in bringing the World Pediatric Project,” he revealed.
“Imagine children from birth to 21, young people, can have critical pediatric care in this country for free of a first world quality, and if there are follow-ups needed, they would be taken to one of three hospitals in the United States under the World Pediatric Project,” he continued.
“It is absolutely incredible. And the credit here belongs to the leadership of Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne,” he stated.