Newly appointed Governor General of Grenada, Dr. Cecile La Grenade has given a commitment to assist in the restoration of a number of historic buildings that were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
In delivering her maiden address to both Houses of Parliament, Dr. La Grenade said that foremost in her mind is York House that was built in 1780 and served as the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court of Grenada before it was destroyed.
Former Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas was able to secure funds from Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to build a new Parliament for the island at Mt. Wheldale, the former home of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the funds, estimated to be close to US$10 million are currently sitting in a local commercial bank to be used on the project.
Dr. La Grenade also cited the need for restoration work to be done on Government House that was constructed in the 1850’s and was used as the residence of former Governors and Governors General.
“I pray that with the requisite authority and consent, I can pursue vigorously, and with all the attendant powers of this Office, assist in leading the process for the restoration of these and other historic buildings,” she said.
The new Head of State spoke of there being many Grenadians residing at home and abroad who are “deeply committed” to having the buildings restored to their former glory and be preserved as buildings of historic value.
The female Governor General also spoke of having a keen interest in the development of the young people, particularly the women folk.
She said she cherishes the importance being placed in the future leaders of the nation as the success and overall development of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique lie in their hands.
Dr. La Grenade pointed out that any opportunity that is presented to her to create an impact or to assist in the personal development, growth and success of the young men and women in the country will be welcomed by her.
“I can assure you that you will find in me a very ardent and committed advocate to the advancement of our nation’s youth,” she remarked.
The Governor General also said that closely aligned to her interest in the youth is their educational development.
She stressed that in order to improve the lives of the children, youth and the nation on the whole then intense focus on education has to be continued.
Dr. La Grenade indicated that there is compelling evidence that if Grenada does not keep up with the currency of modern information communication technology as an integral part of the education process, the country’s growth and development will be stunted by this delay or omission.
The Governor General also shared her thoughts on how the country, as a nation, can fight the global crisis.
She said Grenada must move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, productivity, self-reliance and entrepreneurship “if we are to survive and thrive as an independent nation.”
She suggested that the country’s own resources must be utilised to the fullest extent, and that Grenadians must learn to turn challenges into opportunities.
“We must not be afraid to come out of our comfort zone to take chances to develop ideas and to work on transforming them into productive ventures with hard work, dedication and commitment,” she said.
Prior to Tuesday’s ceremony, a Government Information Service (GIS) release quoted Dr. La Grenade as saying that her aim on assuming office is to reach out to special interest and community groups, helping to nurture young people, especially young women.
‘I am compassionate and I care a lot about people, and you have to be really focused on being kind, and you have to have a generous spirit. You also have to think about service to the nation, and these are the qualities that will help to bring the young people forward, and to bring the Office of the Governor General into a very good light in the eyes of the people of the nation”, she said.
As regards the planned Inauguration Ceremony, she spoke of looking forward to it since it promises to be both exciting and humbling.
“Well it is a great honour, and I am sort of following in the footsteps of Dame Hilda Bynoe who was a very strong woman and who carried the post with extreme dignity”, she told GIS.
Dr. Cecile La Grenade was born in La Borie but lived for most of her live in St. Paul’s.
She attended the St. Louis Girls R.C. School, and then St. Joseph’s Convent in St. George’s. She holds both a Master’s and Doctoral degree.
Dr. La Grenade served for many years as the CEO of De La Grenade Industries, but is leaving the business on a full time basis after twenty (20) years, to serve her country.