WHAT COULD GO WRONG DID GO WRONG AS NEW GOVERNOR TAKES OVER

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Photo by Letisha Henderson BIS

The pattern now is that the Governor General’s job belongs to the party in power. The pattern seems to be that when the party in power changes, within a year to a year and half or so, the Prime Minister and his colleagues succumb to the press of the party faithful who ask when is their person going to get a chance to get the job. Such was the pattern when Arthur Hanna took over from Dame Ivy Dumont and such was the pattern when Dame Marguerite took over from Sir Arthur Foulkes and now Dr. Minnis has done the same thing with the coming of C A Smith. Never mind the complaints behind the scenes of the British that we change Governors General too frequently. Never mind the fact that a small fry is present on pension for living past Governors General and their widows. They get full salary, a car and aide and a driver from the state for their life in retirement. This particular choice of C A Smith is so overtly political that the pundits are waiting to see whether he is going to take that partisanship into Government House. The one experience we have is when he was appointed Deputy to the Governor General and acted while Dame Marguerite was away, he had a party every night at Government House for the FNM faithful and had to be reminded that it was not the FNM’s house but that it was the House for all people. Then there were the scatterings of people, including MPs who dressed in their red ties for the official swearing in of the new governor. Its quite a job to get. You get 75,000 dollars per year. You get a government supplied house with staff and a million or so dollars of support. The House is said to be in bad shape so at the cost of 35,000 dollars per month, the new Governor is to be ensconced until Government House is ready for his occupation. Dame Marguerite stayed but three days in the House. She stayed in her own home and never moved there. As for the public ceremony, it was nice and hot but a bit of shambles in that there were several miscues and an MC who spoke too much. But this is the Bahamas, we don’t have proper ceremonial protocols. The people who run it are too young to know how its done and well you have what unfolded in the square: bit of bumbling around but eventually it was over. Everyone had a good time.