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CrazyFruits » African/Caribbean/UK/GeneralDiscussions » A lady of firsts scores another - Norma Walters installed Custos of St Ann

A lady of firsts scores another - Norma Walters installed Custos of St Ann

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Norma Walters holds her instrument of office.

Custos Norma Walters collects the instrument of office from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.-CONTRIBUTED

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Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:QUITE FITTINGLY, Norma Lorraine Walters has become the 'first lady' of the garden parish of St Ann. Fittingly, because she has become accustomed to being first on many occasions in her life.
As outlined in Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's address, which was read by Local and Community Development Minister Noel Arscott, Walters was the first and still is the only woman to become chairman of the St Ann Cooperative Credit Union (now First Regional Coop).
She was also the first regional director of the Tourism Product Development Company, St Ann; first personnel manager at the Inter-Continental Hotel when the hotel opened in Ocho Rios; first chairman of the Cancer Society, St Ann-St Mary branch; first chairman of St Ann Homecoming Committee; first councillor from Jamaica to be part of Soroptimist International, among other firsts.
Last week, Walters marked another milestone when she was installed as custos of St Ann, the first woman to hold the post.
In her acceptance speech, Walters hailed the "selfless work" of justices of the peace, saying their work "embodies the hope of our country and reminds us of our civic and social responsibilities to nation building.
"Indeed, justices of the peace are called not only to attain and demonstrate faith, leadership, wisdom, justice, truth, respect, strength, courage, vision, knowledge, and love to our fellowman, but also to instil these virtues in our children, today's and tomorrow's leaders."
Walters said, to a large extent, JPs in St Ann strive to serve as a moral compass and are serious about being role models in their public and private lives.
Walters said in her role as custos of St Ann, she plans to continue the focus on issues that create opportunities for justice, peace, fair play, and respect.
Opportunity to give back
She plans to work in partnership with the Justice of the Peace Mentorship Programme to promote health and well-being of not just children and young people, but entire families.
On Wednesday when Rural Xpress visited her office in St Ann's Bay, she was busy at work, as usual, but offered the customary warm welcome.
"I'm really, really humbled, and I'm just pleased that I've been given this opportunity to give back to my country that I love so much," Walters told Rural Xpress.
She pointed out that St Ann, itself, is a parish known for firsts, with a son of the parish, Marcus Garvey, being the first national hero and, of course, being the place where Christopher Columbus first landed when he arrived in Jamaica in 1494.
She acknowledged the support she had been getting since she took up the post in January, succeeding her husband, Radcliffe, who retired after serving for more than 14 years.
"I'm delighted to be leading this core of persons who, it's not only what they do, it's how they make us feel. When you know you have that sort of support, the standard can only be excellent because they don't only expect it, they are going to be a part of it, and they give of not only their material resources, they also give of their intellectual capacity."

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