Sarah Tucker became Montserrat’s third female governor on Wednesday.
During a two-hour session of the Legislative Assembly, the swearing in ceremony included remarks from Speaker of the House Charliena White, Deputy Governor Lyndell Simpson, Leader of the Opposition Paul Lewis and Premier Joseph Farrell.
Premier Farrell said his government has made the decision to place the volcano behind us and focus on a progressive Montserrat. This, he added, cannot be achieved without the UK.
He reiterated their vision of becoming financially independent. “Our ambition is to come out of grant-in-aid. We cannot achieve this on the current budget alone.” There was a need for a package of new investments.
The premier said reforming the public service was paramount and that it needs to become more efficient in time and product. He mentioned digital transformation as integral to the island’s development. He expressed his desire for Governor Tucker and the government to work in “partnership to create an accelerated path for sustainable development of this country.”
Tucker arrived on Tuesday afternoon with her husband, Howard. Her adult sons, she said, are anxious to visit.
After being sworn in by Attorney General Sherree Jemmotte-Rodney, Governor Tucker said in her remarks to the Parliament that she and Howard were delighted to make Montserrat their home as they serve the people of the island.
The new governor said she was looking forward to working with the deputy governor and the members of the parliament.
“I promise as your governor I will work with the premier and the UK government to ensure that long promised projects are delivered,” she told the house.
“My office will continue to support the government in developing a strategic plan for the next phase of capital investments. with the shared ambition of increasing employment opportunities greater self-sufficiency and support economic growth.”
Governor Tucker added that she will work to help the government reach its goal of 2035 to be carbon neutral, also stating her eagerness to ensure the UK supports the plans for developing geothermal energy here.
Tucker, who previously worked in the British Virgin Islands on the Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the local government and British operations there, said Montserrat should remain vigilant and work to strengthen its governance structures.
She commended the attorney general and Financial Secretary Lindorna Lambert for their work, adding that she will support the Government of Montserrat as they improve legislation and put in place the necessary controls. It was important, the official stated that the public service be fit for purpose and inclusive. She aims to seek ways to enhance the opportunities for public servants and build an agile organisation, working in the best interest of the people.
Governor Tucker said her office has already received requests from schools across the United Kingdom who wish to link classes with local ones here so they could learn from one another. She hopes this connection can be progressed in the coming year. Adding that the education of the nation’s youth was paramount, she encouraged the creation of opportunities that would allow Montserratians abroad to return.
Following the ceremony, Governor Tucker inspected troupes from the Royal Montserrat Police Service, Royal Montserrat Defence Force, and the MSS Cadet Corps. During the reception, she met members of the legislative assembly, civil servants and also with members of the new Youth Parliament who were in attendance.
Watch the ceremony, courtesy of the Government Information Unit below.