“GIRD your loins” and go back to work.
This was the advice which Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands had yesterday for new Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his Cabinet.
Sir Clifford made the comment as he concluded a 52-minute swearing-in ceremony of the Cabinet at Government House, following the death of former Prime Minister David Thompson.
Sir Clifford reached into the Bible for a phrase that has energised Christians across the globe to deliver to parliamentarians still coming to grips with the death of the Barbadian leader.
For Christians, the term “gird your loins” has come to mean secure anything that will cause them to stumble or fall when moving about quickly in their daily spiritual battles.
Sir Clifford said he “truly regretted” the circumstances that triggered the swearing-in.
He expressed condolences over Thompson’s passing and offered congratulations to the gathering of ministers and three parliamentary secretaries: Senators Irene Sandiford-Garner, Jepter Ince and Harcourt Husbands.
Sir Clifford said he could not promise Stuart and his Cabinet that the task they faced would be any easier, but they needed to “gird” their “loins” and return to work.
Absent from the ceremony that was tinged with sadness was Minister of Family, Culture, Sport and Youth Stephen Lashley, reported to be out of the island.
Among those attending were Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, and Adriel Brathwaite, sworn in earlier as Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs.
Brathwaite told reporters that Cabinet needed to go through “a healing process” because of Thompson’s passing but Barbadians could be assured that it would continue the Thompson legacy.
He added that Stuart’s team was clear on the way forward.
“As a Cabinet, I believe, based on the conversation that we’ve had today, that we recognise what we need to do over the next couple of months and, indeed, the next couple of years, to take Barbados forward,” Brathwaite said.
“We will want to ensure that whatever we do will be to the honour of our former colleague.”
He described this as “a very difficult time for me personally” because of his friendship with Thompson.
Thompson died early yesterday morning, succumbing to pancreatic cancer, at age 48. (TY)