Remarks by the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, M.P., Prime Minister of
the Commonwealth of the Bahamas at the official opening of Graham Thompson's
Chambers in Providenciales,Turks & Caicos Islands on April 9th, 2014:
His Excellency, the Governor;
Members of the Legislature;
of the Clergy;
delighted to be here once again in the Turks & Caicos Islands and, in
particular, this beautiful island of Providenciales. More than just neighbours, we are
family. And whenever families are
brought together like this, it's an occasion for celebration. It's no different
this evening. Thank you for receiving my colleagues and I, with the warmth and
hospitality reserved for family.
especially delighted to be here to bring brief remarks on the occasion of the
ceremonial opening of Graham Thompson's first office outside The Bahamas. I say "ceremonial" because I am
cognizant of the fact that the office has actually been in operation for about
a year already. But this evening its
launch is being officially recognized and celebrated.
me at once congratulate the partners of Graham Thompson for having taken this
bold step into the wider world. That
they should have decided to do so in the Turks and Caicos Islands, under the
local stewardship of Stephen Wilson, Q.C. and his team on the ground here is to
be applauded. It is both sensible and
synergies, the inter-connectedness, the commonalities between the Turks and
Caicos Islands and The Bahamas are too obvious and too well known to require
explanation. Suffice it to say,
therefore, that the ties of geography, of common blood and kinship, of history
and of heritage, and of a common jurisprudence, are just some of the factors
that make Graham Thompson's entry into the Turks and Caicos Islands such a
sensible and timely fit.
And in speaking of the common ties of blood and of family, I am
reminded that two of the partners of the firm - Willie Moss and Robert Adams -
have very deep roots in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Willie's father was a native of Turks and
Caicos Islands and so was Robert's grandfather.
beyond these commonalities of which I speak, Graham Thompson's establishment of
an office here in Providenciales is also something more: it is a grand gesture
of confidence in the Turks and Caicos Islands itself. It is a manifestation of faith in its future.
And to that, let me add my own affirming voice. The people of Turks and Caicos
Islands do indeed have a bright future ahead of them. And I am convinced that with God's guidance
and by united endeavour, this bright future will indeed be realized for the
good of all and to the greater glory of your fair land.
delighted to see that the firm is so amply represented from both its Nassau and
Freeport offices here this evening. I'm
especially happy to see that the firm's founder, Peter Graham C.M.G., has been
given pride of place among the visiting delegation. It was Peter who founded the firm 64 years
ago and it was he who presided over its evolution into the largest commercial
practice in the entire Bahamas. By the
way, I have it on good authority that although he is now retired from the firm
and only a consultant, Peter is still the very first person in the office every
But I also want to pay special tribute to Peter Graham for a more
important reason this evening, one that I am convinced explains in large part
the extraordinary and enduring success that the firm has enjoyed over these
refer, of course, to that distinctive ethos of the firm, first developed by
Peter Graham and nurtured by him; an ethos that has always encouraged public
service as the companion and, in some instances, even as the alternative to the
practice of law.
Peter always encouraged his lawyers to give back to the country;
to get involved in nation-building, and it didn't really matter to him which
party banner you did it under, as long as you did it!
this commitment to public service began with Peter himself. He was our country's very first Minister of
Labour and Housing back in 1964. He was
also a Member of Parliament from 1956 to 1972. And from that time to now what
has really distinguished Graham Thompson as a firm is how the ethos of which I
speak has always found expression in so many diverse ways through so many
the firm has produced the present Chief Justice; three Attorneys-General and
Cabinet Ministers; three Senators; two Acting Supreme Court Justices; and the
heads of a veritable plethora of Government commissions and statutory bodies,
including the present Chairman of the Utilities Regulation Authority (URCA);
the present Chairman of the Constitutional Commission; and the former chairpersons
of bodies as varied as the Broadcasting Corporation, the Gaming Board, the
Water & Sewerage Corporation, the Clifton Heritage Authority; the
Vice-Chairman of the College of The Bahamas...and the list goes on and on.
just three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of appointing one of Graham Thompson's
senior partners, Sean McWeeney Q.C., as The Bahamas' first-ever non-resident
Ambassador to the Holy See (the Vatican), a move that fulfilled a promise I had
made to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, during my official visit with him just a
few months ago.
so the tradition of service continues.
really do therefore want to publicly commend you, Peter, and all the partners
of the firm for ensuring that the tradition of public service has remained
alive as an integral part of the ethos of Graham Thompson all through the
years. It really does set you apart, and it really does set an example for
others in law and in business to emulate.
thank you once again for inviting me to share this important occasion with you,
and I wish you every success in this important endeavour that you have
undertaken here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
you, and good evening.