‘Repair the Family and the Home,’ Canon Lightbourne Declares at Opening of 2019 Legal Year in Grand Bahama

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One of the roles of the Acting Chief Justice, Vera Watkins, during the opening of the 2019 Legal Year, is inspecting the Honour Guard at the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre. Students from all over the island are seen watching. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

Members of the Judiciary were told by Rev. Canon Norman Lightbourne, Rector of Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King on Friday, January 11, that until there is repair to the family and the home structure, problems will remain in Bahamian society.

Canon Lightbourne was addressing the religious service to mark the Opening of the 2019 Legal Year Northern Region.

Acting Chief Justice, the Hon. Madam Justice Vera Watkins; President of the Court of Appeal, Sir Hartman Longley; Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator the Hon. Carl Bethel, QC; Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson; along with Justices, Magistrates and members of the Bahamas Bar Association marched from the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre to Christ the King for the service, where they were joined by a number of schools on the island as well as members of the public.

With a sermon around the Old Testament Lesson, Isaiah 61, verse 8: “For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing,” Canon Lightbourne listed a number of things wrong with the Bahamian society.  Topping the list, he said, is the breakdown of home and family.  Also on the list are high rate of unemployment, especially in Grand Bahama; the serious gambling problem in the nation; greed and corruption; the erosion of trust and confidence in the judicial system; and illegal immigration.

He asked the members of the judicial system what they are doing to rid the country of these vexing problems.

“Our country needs all of us now more than ever so that we can solve these vexing problems that seek to diminish our way of life.” All hands are needed on deck, said the Rector, as these are real problems the country is facing.

The greatest threat is that of disintegration of family life. Until this problem is solved, he said, the country can expand the prison, add more courts, hire more police officers but it will all be in vain. No matter where people assemble, whether it is at school, work or church, they have come from a home.

The solution, said Canon Lightbourne, is going back to basics: love, respect and reverence for God.

The opening of the 2019 Legal Year Northern Region was held on Friday, January 11. Among those in attendance were Acting Chief Justice, the Hon. Madam Justice Vera Watkins, and President of the Court of Appeal, Sir Hartman Longley. The service was held at Christ the King followed by a reception at Garnet Levarity Justice Centre. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

Following the religious service at Christ the King and the Inspection of the Honour Guard by Acting Chief Justice, the Hon. Madam Justice Vera Watkins, Attorney General Senator the Hon. Carl Bethel is shown chatting with some of the students from Freeport Bible School, who participated in the opening of the 2019 Legal Year Northern Region. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

The official opening of the 2019 Legal Year Northern Region was held in Grand Bahama on Friday, January 11. Following the religious service at Christ the King, Justices, Magistrates and members of the Bahamas Bar Association marched to the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre for a reception. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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