Joining the ranks of a small but illustrious group of men who have headed this state, His Excellency Eliud T Williams took his oath of office on Monday as Dominica’s newest president.
The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, former presidents, The Speaker and Members of The House of Assembly, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Williams family and other distinguished guests.
The sixty-four year old father of two boys who hails from St. Joseph comes to the office of President after a long and distinguished career in public service to Dominica and the region.
He was Permanent Secretary to a number of ministries- most recently the Ministry Of Communication, Works and Housing from 2000 to 2004.
President Williams who holds a masters in business administration with distinction from the University of the West Indies, up until his appointment worked as Senior Consultant for Whitco Inc.
Also on his long list of achievements is his directorship of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) where he was responsible for policy formulation, management, telecommunications liberalisation and a host of other duties.
President Williams holds membership in many professional bodies, including the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Financial Accountants in the United Kingdom and the International Management Associates Network in Canada.
Under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Steve Ferrol; the ceremony began with Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire praying a blessing on the leadership of President Williams.
His Lordship Justice Brian Cottle administered the President’s Oath of Office.
”I Eliud Thaddeus Williams do swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the Commonwealth of Dominica without fear or favour and that in the execution of the functions of that office I will honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica so help me God.”
His Excellency Eliud Williams accepted his new role with words of hope saying that all things are possible.
“As we approach the 34th anniversary of our Independence, I am proud to look out across our beautiful country and see just how far we have come in so little time. So many of us have worked hard and long to develop this country so that we can all be proud of what we have built. In little more than one generation, we have built roads and bridges, we have built businesses and industries, we have built communities and churches and we have built alliances at home and abroad- in short we have built a nation. I look at all that we have done and I know that through God’s grace, all things are possible. It has been my honour to develop my working life to the service of our nation and it is my singular privilege to be called to the service of our country and its people as President of the Commonwealth of Dominica. My fellow citizens despite all we have done, there is still much work left to be done.”
The new President also called for national cooperation from all citizens to continue the mission of nation building.
President Williams articulated his commitment to the task ahead.
“Today I make a commitment to safeguard the laws and governing system of our country and I ask for commitment from you as well. To continue to build upon the work we have done… [I ask that you] work with your representatives in Parliament so that we can build a better Dominica. As we continue on our path of development, we will have the opportunity to make many choices but never let us forget that with each of these opportunities come responsibilities, responsibilities to ourselves and to each other. We must come to understand ourselves [and] to know where we are strong and where we are weak. And we must use what we learn [to] make the greatest contribution to improve ourselves and our communities and to achieve true excellence as a nation.”
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit addressed the ceremony and spoke of the flawless character of H.E President Eliud Williams.
“Much has been said in recent weeks and again today relative to the impeccable character, scholastic and professional achievements of our distinguished new Head of State. I wish to publicly associate with the expressions of admiration for the accomplishment of Mr. Williams; for like most of us in Dominica, he hailed from humble beginnings and has amassed an enviable record of success through commitment perseverance and hard work. One former Caribbean leader once called on his citizens to develop a positive mirror image of themselves. He called on them to choose carefully the type of people they emulated as role models for society. I wish to suggest this evening, that were we to look around Dominica today, there are no greater manifestations of excellence than are to be found in the lives of our outgoing and incoming Presidents.”
Prime Minister Skerrit expressed thanks to outgoing President Nicholas Liverpool on behalf of the people of Dominica for what he called superb leadership.
“President Liverpool distinguished himself as a legal luminary and brought his impeccable record of leadership in Caribbean and hemispheric jurisprudence to the Office of President. He served his country with distinction and left a very positive image of Dominica wherever he visited. President Liverpool on behalf of the Government and people of Dominica, I say a heartfelt thank you for service so superbly rendered to our country.”
Mrs. Liverpool was lauded for her dedication to her husband’s role as President.
The Prime Minister said “Thanks also to Mrs. Liverpool for your service in the role of First Lady and also for supporting so ably our retiring President during his tour of duty. President and Mrs. Liverpool, Dominica will be forever in your debt.”
Incoming President Eliud T Williams is married to Cornelia Williams who is Managing Consultant at Whitco. Inc.