Parliament opens, senate chief named

PARLIAMENT OPENS – The new session of parliament opened Wednesday (October 6), with two females appointed to top positions in the Senate and the House of Assembly. Senator J. Lashell Adderley (left), was appointed as President of the Senate and Patricia Deveaux (right), was named as Speaker of the House of Assembly. (PHOTOS: TORRELL GLINTON/TNG)

It is official!

A new session of parliament has opened in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

While not held at the traditional venue, for the first time, the proceedings took place at the Baha Mar Convention Center in New Providence on Wednesday (October 6) morning.

In the Upper House, the Senate, Senator Julie Lishell Adderley was appointed president of the senate.

Senator Barry Griffin was appointed vice president.

In the Lower Chamber, the House of Assembly, Member of Parliament for Bamboo Town, Patricia Deveaux was named speaker of the House, while North Eleuthera Member of Parliament Sylvanus Petty was named deputy speaker.

Adderley, an attorney at law, during her remarks vowed to be transparent, unbiased and respectful to all senators as she in turn, expects the same from each of them.

“I sit here on the shoulders of women from the Suffrage Movement such as Mary Ingraham, Mabel Walker, Virginia Lockhart, Georgina Symonette and of course, Dame Doris Johnson, who was the first woman appointed to the senate, and subsequently to the presidency of the senate.

“As we begin this new parliamentary session, it is my solemn prayer that our parliamentarians and indeed the entire country, will continue forward in the spirit of our formidable women and men and walk in peace, love and progress. I am forever grateful and I thank you,” said Adderley.

The youngest person to hold the position of vice president, Griffin, also expressed his appreciation to be appointed for the post.

“The historic nature of my election as the youngest person to hold this role does not escape me, as our country seeks a new day of bold ideas, sharp vision and modern solutions. My election is a testament to this government’s commitment to ensuring that young people have a meaningful seat at the table. I accept the vice presidency in the spirit of partnership and I look forward to working with each of you, my senate colleagues, on behalf of the Bahamian people.

“In this Upper Chamber, we may belong to different parties but we serve one country. We stand united in our pride and prayers for every man, woman and child born to this Commonwealth,” Griffin said.

“We, in this House, must work together to build a future that includes all Bahamians.

 “Today, as we open this new legislative session, let us model the character, courage and civility of former members of this House, such as Dame Doris Johnson, who was at the front lines in the fight for the very existence of this parliament.

“Let us honor her memory and all those who came before us, not just in eulogy but in dialogue and trust across the aisle, in our collective spirit to move our country to better and to use the power of our pen, to bring more possibilities and prosperity to our Bahamian people. With today’s convening of the senate, we begin anew.

“I congratulate all members of the Lower House on their election and all members of this Upper House, on their appointment,” said Griffin.  

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