Saint Lucia’s first female Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, is stepping down from her post as of December 31, 2017.
Dame Pearlette Louisy, and educator from the village of Laborie was sworn in on September 17, 1997, becoming the first individual to hold the position two decades.
Here is the full text of her address to the nation in announcing her resignation.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the past twenty years, I have had the distinct privilege of serving as Governor General and Head of State of this beautiful land of ours. It was on the 17th day of September 1997, that I took the oath of allegiance of her Majesty the Queen, accepting to serve as her representative here at home and to exercise the executive authority of Saint Lucia on her behalf.
On this memorable day, I expressed my thanks to the parliament and people of Saint Lucia for that singular honour that was bestowed on me. It has indeed been the most singular honour of my life and I will forever hold the most cherish memories of this incredible journey. I still remain awed by the realization that I was called from amongst so many deserving persons in a land that has borne so many distinguished sons and daughters. I pledged then to serve you with all the zeal, the sensitivity and the objectivity that such an expression of confidence deserved.
On my assuming office, I chose as my mission statement “to truly and faithfully represent the Sovereign in Saint Lucia, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, to foster national unity and identity at home and abroad, to promote our national, economic and social interest and to encourage excelence in all fields of endeavor.
Throughout the course of these past twenty years, I have drawn inspiration from her Majesty’s own steadfast and unwavering commitment to duty and service and from my own upbringing, which taught me to look beyond the constraints of the moment to the promises of the future. I hope therefore, that I have in some small measure been able to deliver on these my pledges and undertakings and that you have been pleased with my efforts.
As I leave office, I thank everyone most sincerely for the many ways in which you have enriched both my personal and professional life, for your generous and endearing support, for your gracious encouragement and for the tremendous goodwill you have shown me. I want you to know that your joys have been my joys, your pain, my pain.
To the young people of our country for whom I have an especial affection, I place Saint Lucia and its future in your capable hands, I know that many of you were not even born when I assumed office and so I am the only Governor General you know. I hope I have served you well. In fact some of our young ladies are convinced that only women can hold that office, and I can think of no better accolade. My thanks to all of you. I ask only therefore that you care for our Fair Helen, for its sustainability, its peace, its prosperity, for the resurgence of its spirit of community and for a reawakening of our own love for her.
I thank the representatives of those countries, with which Saint Lucia has diplomatic relations, who have contributed so generously to our efforts at national development. I thank all the organizations which I have served as patron for embracing me as one of their own
As this chapter of my life comes to a close I am reminded of Sir Arthur’s farewell words to his knights of the round table “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
So, Ladies and Gentlemen I wish to announce that I will be demitting office as Saint Lucia’s Governor General on December 31st, 2017. It has been indeed both a privilege and a pleasant duty to have served you and my country in this capacity.
May God richly bless you all.
I close with warmest thoughts and very best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas season and a new year of peace and happiness.