The country’s newest senator officially took up his seat in the Upper Chamber this morning and was fully embraced by all sides.
The Reverend John Rogers, who was sworn in last week by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason as an Independent Senator, said in his maiden speech that he was sincerely grateful to the Head of State for appointing him.
“It would be remiss of me if I did not express sincere gratitude to Her Excellency Dame Sandra for the confidence reposed in me, appointing me to this place, but also for affording me the opportunity to serve the interest of the good people of this nation in this capacity and at this critical juncture in our nation’s history,” Rev. Rogers said.
He drew attention to the “grave circumstances” that confront the country at this time and noted that those not touched by the economic conditions may be those “fortunate few whose financial position afford them the luxury of oblivion”.
The new senator told the Chamber that he has entered Parliament aware of the realities before the island and the dangers that confront the society at this time given the economic situation.
“Spinoffs which can be detrimental socially, morally and otherwise. To this end, I look forward to sharing with you and I encourage you to adopt a maxim that has become rather important for me to remember as we deal with the matters before us – If we do as our fathers did, we will not do as our fathers did,” he advised.
Rev Rogers said the country must rise to the challenges of the 21st century to meet the needs of the people at this time. He also expressed gratitude and well wishes to the President and members of the Upper Chamber for their warm welcome as well as their words of advise.
“I do look forward to my time here with you as we cogitate over the matters of importance to our nation,” he said.
He replaces Reverend Michael Maxwell who was recently elected Anglican Bishop of Barbados.