A Guard of Honour comprising sharply dressed members of the Defence Force signalled the start of the process to install a new President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Scores of onlookers, including school children in uniform, looked on from the GrandStand at the Queens Park Savannah as President-Elect Christine Kangaloo and her husband Kerwyn Garcia arrived at the venue.
Their arrival was followed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Mrs Archie, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his wife Mrs Sharon Rowley.
The final major dignitary to arrive was President Paula-Mae Weekes to participate in the ceremonial handing over of the reigns of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
The breaking of the Presidential Standard was next, followed by the Presidential Salute, while the National Anthem was played simultaneously.
Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez of the Santa Rosa First People and president of the Inter-Religious Organisation Pundit Mookram Sirjoo did the invocation.
A musical interlude by the Southernaires Choir performing Melanie Hudson’s ‘I will always be there for you’ entertained the attendees before the Swearing-In Ceremony took place, administered by the Chief Justice.
In her first act as the 7th President of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs Christine Kangaloo received a Presidential Salute accompanied by the National Anthem and a Twenty-One Gun Salute.
She then proceeded to inspect the Guard of Honour.
Another performance from the Southernaires Choir followed, with a rendition of Merchant’s ‘Let us build a nation together’.
In her Inaugural Address, Christine Kangaloo thanked former President Paula-Mae Weekes and paid tribute to this country’s past presidents.
She then assured that” As your President, I will fight to the end to make the Office work better for all of us.”
The President outlined plans to demystify the role of the President, year-round youth delinquency programmes, and the modernising of protocols of the Office of President, to become more accessible to the and “less isolated from the public.”
She also acknowledged that there are some who were and still are against her appointment.
However, she said, “we are still this country’s daughters and sons. And so I pledge to work with and to respect all citizens even and especially those who might not yet wish to work with me.”
Kangaloo ended by thanking her husband of 24 years and her other family and friends who have supported her throughout her life and career.
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