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Former Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne speaks at the swearing-in of his successor, Susan Dougan at Government House on Aug. 1, 2019. (iWN photo)
Former Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne speaks at the swearing-in of his successor, Susan Dougan at Government House on Aug. 1, 2019. (iWN photo)

Former Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne used the swearing-in of his successor, on Thursday, to remind Vincentians that the office is not a political one.

“As I have said previously, many Vincentians do not understand the role of the Governor General,” Sir Frederick told the ceremony at Government House, where Susan Dougan was installed as Governor General.

“The Governor General is not a political figure and our new governor general is the Governor General of all the people,” said Sir Frederick, who held the office for a record 16 years.

“So I ask that all those assembled here and all those who might be listening and all of your friends, that you ask that all Vincentians love and support her,” he said.

Reflecting on his own tenure in the post, Sir Frederick said:

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“I stand here before you very humbled by the experience I have had over the past 16 years, an experience made so much better by the contribution by all of you in every sphere of my life during that period.”

He extended “heartiest congratulations” to Dougan.

“This office is not really foreign to her. She is accustomed to it. She has acted as Governor General on a number of occasions and I’d like to say she acted with distinction,” he said.

“From my knowledge of her, I feel certain that she will be an excellent Governor General and that she would will bring credit not only to her family but to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Sir Frederick, a retired cardiologist, thanked Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his then Cabinet who selected him from among a number of people in SVG and recommend him to Her Majesty for appointment.

“I should also thank him for the continued support which he has given me during the 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,” said Sir Frederick, who became governor general on Sept. 2, 2002.

He also thanked Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II — whom the governor general represents — “for reposing this trust in me, in appointing me as her governor general in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Sir Frederick also thanked his staff, especially his secretary, Ms Davis, the Commissioner of Police and the police service.

He was especially grateful for the security forces who kept him and his family safe throughout the nights, “rain, sun, thunder or lightning, they’re always there to support me and I greatly appreciate it,” he said.

“As I exit the stage, I must say that it has been a great journey, bolstered by the country and people whom I love dearly. And all Vincentians who supported me, I ask that you continue to pray for me and my family. I wish you all happy Emancipation day. May God bless all of us,” Sir Frederick said.

In July, Gonsalves announced that Sir Frederick had told him that he wanted to retire as governor general because of health reasons.

10 replies on “Sir Frederick notes Office of GG not political”

  1. Thank you Sir Frederick for your superb job as Governor General and to PM Gonsalves for the choices he has made in his recommendations to this Honorable position.
    Your visit to Toronto as the guest speaker at our SVGAT 2009 Independence Celebration speaks volume by the positive turn out of Vincentians here in Toronto. Your presence brought with it a sense of revival to our community; clearly depicted the love and respect of a people for a man of our heritage.

    I wish you continued perseverance and steadfastness.

  2. Same thing l said about the former GG he thank the prime Minister but not the opposition so he is still saying that his job was not political and our people don’t understand.we know that his job is not a political appointment.and he should representing the hole house.wat did he do when opposition members were beaten in his house what did he do when his government fired 1500 people who didn’t support them what did he do when opposition try to get relief for the flood victims and his government charged them .So my opinion about your time in office .A waste of time an am very happy to see you go.

    1. Hashtag Prince says:

      @ MR MAC – Disrespectful my dear friend!
      You could have asked a question without making a statement you idiot!
      This thing called “Freedom of Speech” seems to make people forget that it is NOT a licence to insult or bully or disrespect others whether in “High Office” or “Simple Regard”.

  3. It should not be political but under Gonsalves it is, its also a political appointment because the GG is chosen by the PM. If it wasn’t political the new GG would be Bigger Bigs.

    1. True Mr Mac and Jolly Green. At present and recent past the GG certainly is a Political Appointment!

  4. Kenneth Little says:

    Frederick Ballantyne your time in hell is certain, you could say the office of the Governor General wasn’t political, but, the Devil in you couldn’t allow you to mention the Opposition in your selfish one sided speech. Because of you and others like yourself, you’re certainly one of the many reasons St.vincent and the Grenadines and its people are in the mess they find themselves in today. Yeah! You helped the create power hungry one manism political greediness Nepotism list hate and crime of violence and abuse of all kinds, under your watch you turned a blind eye and never did you uttered a word,but, proffered to stay silent, because you and your family were protected and away from the who you were chosen to serve. Today August 1st 2019 you have left Vincentians in some way worst than when you took the oath of office. Tell me something I don’t know, it’s all political.

  5. I have to differ with my country man’s belief that his position wasn’t political. I don’t think most Vincentians will see it that way, especially after the government was rushed into power after the last stolen election.
    Ironically, I had a conversation with Starkey and the Freddie just before I left SVG in 2015, just before the election. We had fun reliving some old Layou stories in Starkey’s office.
    We all agreed that Layou, where we all grew up, spent some of our early years and have family, will decide the election. We were correct because we knew what was happening in our backyard.
    Although Freddie didn’t live in Layou for a long time; he knew the people and the environment very well. His father and grand-father were Layou men and he had many cousins on his father’s side in Layou. I wish him all the best in his retirement.

  6. Man be quiet and enjoyed taxpayers pension. How dare you said,’ the office of the Governor General is not political appointed’ You have served the country but there are things that you need to answer to as to what happened to your son.

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