Nassau, The Bahamas — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham announced that Anita Bernard will be the next Secretary to the Cabinet at the farewell retirement party for Wendall Major, Friday, January 2, 2008.
The Prime Minister said Mrs. Bernard will be the second woman to hold that position in the public service, the other being Margaret McDonald who held the post from 1980 to 1986.
He added that, like the outgoing Secretary to the Cabinet, “Mrs. Bernard is a seasoned experienced officer, single-minded in her dedication to provide quality service to the public”.
Prime Minister Ingraham said Mrs. Bernard began her career in education as a teacher advancing to becoming a principal before moving into the administrative ranks of the public service.
Mr. Major, the guest of honour for the evening, joined the public service in June 1970.
Prime Minister Ingraham explained that within eight years of joining the service, Mr. Major became a deputy permanent secretary and eight years later in 1985 at the age of 38, he was appointed permanent secretary.
The Prime Minister said: “He has a broad and varied experience in the public service having served all over the place: in the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Public Service, the Cabinet Office before his appointment as Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of National Security and Immigration, and over the ensuing years he would have served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Health, Education and Public Works.”
Prime Minister Ingraham also noted that Mr. Major has acted as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Office of the Attorney General.
“He is most knowledgeable about the public service,” the Prime Minister said. “He has been involved in the crafting, the evolution, and the development of public service policies in one form or the other for over 30 years.”
Prime Minister Ingraham added, “As Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Major has been able to influence the appointment of heads of departments throughout the public service, Permanent Secretaries and other senior public officers in the public service, because as secretary to the Cabinet he is consulted on such matters.
“I was pleased to appoint him as Secretary to the Cabinet in 1999. He has served in that capacity for almost 10 years, longer I might say than any of his other predecessors in office since independence.”
After thanking various persons who have made his affected his professional career in a positive way including the current Prime Minister and former Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Mr. Major said he has no immediate plans.
“I am approaching the future with an open mind and anticipation of the more wondrous experiences yet to present themselves,” he said.
“In the meantime, I am certain to miss the satisfaction of public service. I have loved and enjoyed all of these many years.”
Mr. Major added, “For the contribution to a career that has been most fulfilling, I would wish to extend my grateful thanks to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, his colleagues, the former Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and his colleagues, my colleagues and all of you assembled here this evening.”
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NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham (right) presents retiring Secretary to the Cabinet Wendall Major with a minted $250 face value gold coin reserved normally as a gift for Heads of Government and foreign dignitaries. They pose in front of a photo of the House of Parliament that the Prime Minister also presented to Mr. Major at his farewell retirement party at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace and Casino, Friday, January 2, 2008. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna)
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NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham (right) poses with retiring Secretary to the Cabinet Wendall Major (centre) and former Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie (left) during the farewell retirement party for Mr. Major at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace and Casino, Friday, January 2, 2008. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna)