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Senate blends youth and experience

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Senate blends youth and experience

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It’s a case of the old school meeting the new in the Barbados Senate.

Yesterday’s swearing in of ten Government Senators brought some familiar, experienced faces and new, fresh perspectives to the Upper House.

President Sir Richard Cheltenham, Rudolph Greenidge, Minister Jerome Walcott, Minister Lucille Moe, Lisa Cummins, Dr Romel Springer, Rudy Grant, Lynette Holder, Damien Sands and Dr Crystal Haynes took the oath before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at Government House.

This marked a return to the Upper House for Walcott, who was appointed a senator under the last Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, and Grant, who served in a similar capacity from 2003 to 2008.

However, the overwhelming majority of the appointees were first-time senators and brought a feel of youthfulness to the group.

The youngest was 28-year-old Sands, son of former Barbados Labour Party candidate for Christ Church East Central, Desmond Sands.

“I’m ecstatic at the moment. I might seem calm, but inside I’m jumping for joy,” the attorney at law said following his swearing in.

“It’s a historic moment for me, obviously. It was definitely not anything I was anticipating, so when I was asked to be a part of the team, I believed I was privileged and honoured to come and put my good intentions and hard work into the field of the Senate,” he added.

Sands admitted it was a daunting task given the standards set by previous senators like Sir Henry Fraser, but the experience of Walcott and Sir Richard would assist him along the way.

Walcott also said working with the new young senators was one of his mandates.

“In my role as Leader of Government Business, I will work through the Cabinet in terms of ensuring we have adequate flow of legislation coming down,” Walcott told the Weekend Nation after the morning’s ceremony.

“ . . . You would be aware there are a group of new, relatively young senators. And I am going to see my role in terms of guiding them, not only in the process, but in terms of their approaches to debating, preparation for debates and all of that.” (AD)