Parting words from a former G’da consul

In his farewell message last week to Grenadians in New York, former Consul General Derek James said he embraces his departure as “a new beginning, strongly rooted in his commitment to service,” and added that he will “remain a community activist and a voice and an advocate for the disadvantaged.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Tillman Thomas administration in Grenada confirmed that it had ended James tenure a the Grenada Mission in New York, and that the government had plans to “regularize” the position of Consul General.

“It has become necessary for the government of Grenada to bring to an end the purported appointment of Mr. Derek James as consul general, which is inconsistent with United States law and standard diplomatic and consular practices,” said a statement from the office of the prime minster. “The fact that Mr. James is a United States citizen renders him ineligible to be appointed to the position of consul general,” it added. “His citizenship would properly allow him only an appointment as honorary consul.”

The Grenada government said it has been “aware of these circumstances for some time, and in the wake of the U.S. State Department’s most recent representation on the matter, it had no alternative but to bring an end to Mr. James’ purported appointment. “

James did not address the government’s statement but said that, “over the course of this journey,” he was able to spend “many hours with individuals and groups listening to them, and talking with them about how we can better serve our community and work in harmony for the development of our homeland.”

“The ideas, talents, religious and political suasions brought to the table were wide and varied; but we all shared the same ultimate vision Your advice and experience were tremendously helpful to me – and Grenada as a whole – throughout these past four years,” he added. “We all are better for it.”

He also thanked former Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Peter David, who has recommended him for the position.

“I must say ‘thank you’ to MP Peter David for believing in me. He identified in me the personality traits required for the position when he first proposed to the government leadership in 2008 that I should be appointed consul general,” he said.

James said he “truly” appreciated and “will never forget” the confidence shown in him by the government and People of Grenada. “It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to put structure and focus to the many plans for nation-building, national unity and strengthening the bonds between nationals at home and those in the New York Diaspora,” he said.

He also thanked former Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Peter David, who has recommended him for the position.

“I must say ‘thank you’ to Peter David for believing in me. He identified in me the personality traits required for the position when he first proposed to the government leadership in 2008 that I should be appointed consul general,” he said.

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