The two newly appointed Cabinet Ministers took the Oath of Office during a swearing-in ceremony at Government House, Thursday afternoon.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Attorney General Dale Marshall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott and Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, were on hand as Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources, Ian Gooding-Edghill, took the oath before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
Ms. Mottley, in brief remarks, said she was happy to welcome the new Ministers, whom she described as “two fine Barbadians” to the Cabinet, and added that they will add tremendous value to the areas they were selected to serve.
“They both have a distinguished track record in the areas in which they have served, as chairman for this Government in the last two years, and of course, Gooding-Edghill is no stranger to public life. When we were [previously] in government, he served extensively too, and it is, in my view, a seamless transition for him.”
The Prime Minister continued: “Senator Cummins has been working at the University of the West Indies; their loss is now our gain and I welcome her to the effort, especially at this very challenging time when Barbados’ tourism sector has effectively ground to a halt, and therefore, you come in at a time when the country is expecting many, many things from you. With respect to Minister Gooding-Edghill … with the prospect of the system that is off Barbados, he … had to hit the ground running, and will continue to do so.”
Minister Cummins thanked the Prime Minister for the confidence that she has in her ability. “I have spent the last two years literally sitting at her feet watching how she has piloted this country, and I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of Sir Hilary Beckles and I am looking forward to being able to serve in this new capacity to the absolute best of my ability. I think that I have had the benefit of great leaders setting the way before me, and I am willing and very much in a position to continue to sit at their feet and follow their lead, which is excellence,” she emphasised.
The Tourism Minister said to jump start the industry, the Government must repurpose and refashion new products and place them in new markets, and create new initiatives, sectors and linkages that drive job creation and new business ventures to propel Barbados forward.
Minister Gooding-Edghill expressed delight that Prime Minister Mottley chose him to be a part of the ministerial team, and promised to “give it his best shot”.
“There is a lot of work to be done and I intend to do her proud because I think it is necessary that we go forward as a Government, transitioning the country to a position it ought to be at, so it is a good feeling to be part of the Cabinet.”
He said the first order of business is to assist with the transformation of Barbados, and with multiple aspects of his Ministry. Mr. Gooding-Edghill promised to hit the ground running to help transform lives and build out infrastructure.