Is Kenny keeping Dame Pearlette?

STAR readers weigh in on whether Dame Pearlette should remain as Governor General.

Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy sure has been a focal point in the days following the island’s most recent election that threw the United Workers Party out of the business of managing the island’s affairs and placed the St Lucia Labour Party right back into power.
The changes in ministerial portfolios that come with the election of a new government have caused many to question whether key figures like Dame Pearlette Louisy would remain in her prestigious position for another five years.
The STAR posed the question: “Should Dame Pearlette be kept as St Lucia’s Governor General? We have seen as governments come and go so does the Governor General sometimes. The last UWP government kept Dame Pearlette as GG. Do you think she should be kept as GG this time around?”
Dame Calliopa Pearlette Louisy is the first female Governor General in Saint Lucia’s history. She was appointed to the post in September 1997, and has graced the highest office of the State, with distinction.                 According to ‘Iconic St Lucians’ commemorative issue “during her appointment as Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy has delivered lectures both locally and abroad on topics ranging from education, jurisprudence, business, culture and language. She has a keen interest in culture and performing arts, having been a member of various societies and groups dedicated to cultural expression, among them, the Creative and Performing Arts Society, the Mouvman Kwéyòl Sent Lisi, the New Day Theatre Movement and the Bel Canto Choral Group.”
The list of Governor Generals over the years includes Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis (1979-1980), Boswell Williams (1980-1982), Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis (1982-1987), Sir Vincent Floissac (1987- 1988; acting), Sir Stanislaus James (1988-1996) and Sir George Mallet (1996-1997). Dame Pearlette Louisy has held the post from September 17, 1997 to present, making her the longest serving Governor General since the island’s independence in 1979.
Just as soon as the question was posted on the STAR online responses started to pile up as people from all over the world aired their views. Some felt the present Governor General had handled the post “quite professionally and objectively” and believed she should stay.
“I think she should be kept,” said Mia MeMe Williams. “She has executed her duties professionally and has remained objective . . . Plus I’m always looking forward to her fashion style (what hat will she be wearing next?) and it’s always interesting. She has the people’s interest at heart and it is not party related. She was put there by the St Lucia Labour Party and Sir John Compton thought it fitting to keep her. I don’t see why the current prime minister would want to change her since he thought she was worth having there in the first place. She represents the queen excellently.”
“Most definitely! Nothing is more refreshing than having holders of high positions being non-partisan,” Zenadine Sookwa expressed. “It’s testament to her professionalism and her love for her country. It’s nice when you do a good job and people believe in you.”
The majority said “why not, most definitely and 100 percent yes” and were confident she’d remain. Readers felt Dame Pearlette Louisy deserved her post and thought it was time to remove all politics from their daily lives. The Dame was referred to as a “national treasure who brings honour to St Lucia” by others who said “We the nation love her, she is very polite and kind.”
Few who commented expressed contrary views, but some questioned the point of the Governor General’s office in the first place. In the words of one blogger: “Remind me again just what are her job duties? The Queen’s rep? Who needs this?”
In the words of Tafari Simon: “What we should do is get rid of this whole monarchy mentality and really be independent. She is the Queen’s rep for this island and I find this whole monarchy thing ridiculous. I have nothing personally against her but I am against any form of monarchy. The British are increasingly divided on the issue, so is Australia and Canada. Find a position as an ambassador or something for her and get rid of the mental slavery then we will really be independent.”
“Are we not independent?” another reader questioned. “Seven times British, seven times French. She is the Queen’s representative for the island and you are right, but also remember why we are the fairest isle. Some things are unique to us and she has done a wonderful job. She is like an icon to some of us St Lucians.”
In response, Graham Sifflet wrote: “Why not? The Governor General is a non-political role and continuing as a non-political figurehead whether as a President of a republic or Governor General should not be subject to political whims. However, the question that should really concern us is which international alliances are really of benefit to St Lucia going forward and not just impulsively fall back on historical ties.”

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