BRADES. October 17th, 2018: The Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly (MLA) is pleased to inform the people of Montserrat that the Parliamentary Year 2018-2019 will be formally opened on Tuesday, October 23rd in the Sir George Martin Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
A formal Opening Ceremony was instituted at the start of the 2016-2017 Parliamentary Year by Speaker Shirley Osborne and has since been improved upon with the input and suggestions of Montserratians from all walks of life. This year, therefore, in the tradition that has been developing over the last three years, the Opening Ceremony will commence at 9:00 a.m. with the Montserrat Anthem and one Montserratian citizen will have the honour of addressing the members of the Legislative Assembly from within the House.
This particular aspect of the Opening Ceremony is an enormously significant segment of the Opening Ceremony and one dear to my heart, says Speaker Osborne. Montserratians have made it clear that they wish to create their own traditions that come out of their own experiences, so whereas other jurisdictions present a Throne Speech at their Opening Ceremony, we in Montserrat have chosen to annually honour one member of the Montserratian public with the opportunity to address our Parliamentarians directly, formally and from within the Honourable House.
Speaker Osborne says, "I am delighted to announce that the Parliamentary Address Honouree this year will be Ms. Nicole Duberry, Public Servant, entrepreneur, returning Montserratian, young Montserratian and Montserratian woman. Madam Clerk Baker and I are proud that Nicole has accepted the honour. She was selected because she is a wonderful example of the industry, creativity and commitment to personal and national advancement that makes us all proud to be Montserratian.
"The Parliamentary Address Honouree 2017-2018 was Dwaynifia Joseph, a very young woman who had just left school and who is now continuing her education in England. This year, it is Nicole who gets to tell her Parliamentarians about the hopes, concerns and ambitions of her cohorts and herself. She gets to point out the challenges of living in Montserrat, as she experiences them and to record the successes that she personally enjoys and those that she see evidenced in her community.
"Madam Clerk and I believe that the country is better served, stronger and infinitely more successful at every level to the extent that citizens are included, engaged and made part of the processes of governance and democracy. We believe that nourishing our pride in being Montserratian, reinforcing our confidence in our highest institutions and strengthening our common commitment to the advancement of our people is a core function of government and of our foundational institution, which is our Parliament. We at the Office of the Legislature are honoured to serve, committed to inclusion and proud to add to the uplift of our island, and the public approval of initiatives such as these makes us very happy indeed."
Speaker Osborne is looking forward to hosting a full house at the Opening Ceremony of the Parliamentary Year 2018-2019.
Speaker Osborne further invites residents and citizens of all ages and persuasions to feel free to contact her Office with any related concerns, ideas or suggestions and reminds everyone that the increased engagement and participation of the citizens is critical to the processes of governing of Montserrat, to democracy and transparency, and for the right development of our island and peoples.