New British Honorary Consul Welcomed

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February 19, 2013

New British Honorary Consul Rosamund Roberts was welcomed at a reception at Ocean View Suite at Breezes Tuesday 19th 2013. 

In attendance were Charge d' Affaires John Dinkleman, British High Commissioner Howard Drake, Governor General Sir. Arthur Foulkes, Brent Symonette and many more to receive Britain's new honorary consul and welcome her into her new post.

British High Commissioner Howard Drake has thanked outgoing British Honorary Consul Peter Young for his many years “outstanding service” and invaluable contribution to both the British Government and the Bahamas. He made his comments at a farewell reception that he hosted for Mr Young at the Breezes Hotel on Monday night. He also welcomed Mr Young’s successor, Mrs Rosamund Roberts.

“Peter,” said Mr Howard, “is of the old school and it’s been a pleasure dealing with him. In all his years, I have been struck by how professional and how committed he is to providing the service that he is here for. He has been a great servant for us. He has really done his country proud.” Mr Young said it was not a particularly easy job but acknowledged that he loved every moment of it and felt a fulfilment in helping people solve their problems.

Following the closure of the British High Commission in Nassau in June 2005 and its transfer to Kingston, Jamaica, with the Bahamas remaining in its portfolio, the British government announced the appointment of Mr Young as British Honorary Consul. Mr Young had served as British High Commissioner from 1996 to 1999. On his retirement, he and his wife, Verona, decided to buy a house and make Nassau their home. However, they decided, he said, that they would nor remain idle, sitting around their swimming pool drinking themselves to an early grave, Rather, he said, “we got involved with the local community — directorships, charity and other work.

But, having in mind Dr Johnson’s famous dictum that a man should keep his friendships in good repair, we spent a couple of months visiting England each summer. Rented a flat in Tunbridge Wells in Kent and a car and visited family and friends.” However, it all changed in 2005 when the High Commission in Nassau was closed and “our Headquarters in Jamaica became accredited also to the Bahamas. “Suddenly out of the blue I was asked to take on a new role as honorary consul.” Mr Young said he decided to “step up to the plate” for one year. However, one year “morphed into seven.”

During that time, he has had to deal with very serious matters, involving life and death, passport and visa issues and advice on personal problems. He has also had to answer the constantly ringing telephone — with the help of his wife — to face such questions as: “Did Manchester United win on Saturday? Is it raining in Northumberland? Will this evening’s BA flight to London be on time?” Despite the trivia, he said, “when you get home in the evening you think – well, I’ve managed to do something worthwhile today.”

However, he said, the time has come — at the urging of family and friends — to move back to England. But, having made so many friends and enjoyed the lifestyle in the Bahamas “it would be impossible to leave entirely.” The plan, he said, is to sell their home in Nassau, and get a “lock-up condo or flat and spend the winter months here.” After all, he said, “we could never depart these shores forever because, as the Ministry of Tourism always reminds us, “it’s better in the Bahamas”!

In congratulating Mrs Rosamund Roberts, who was appointed British Honorary Consul on December 1, he said she was “absolutely the ideal person to take over this job.” Mr Young said he had identified her several months ago as the person best suited to fill the post to which she was appointed on December 1. Mrs Roberts said living in the Bahamas for 28 years – having come here on the High Commission’s staff – as well has having a grandfather and father who were both diplomats has prepared her for her new position. “I have,” she said, “a personal enjoyment in helping people. I get satisfaction from making a bad situation a little better. We try to be sympathetic and helpful when people are in emotional distress because something has happened to them.”

 

 

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News date : 02/19/2013    Category : Politics

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