Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2022. 10:58 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Meeting in Belmopan Friday, the Senate’s complement was completed with the swearing-in of new Senator for the non-governmental organization (NGO) community, Janelle Chanona.
The Vice-President of OCEANA Belize and former journalist, after taking the oath, told her new colleagues, “Thank you very much for the very warm welcome from the entire senate. And as I have reiterated to those whom I represent, I intend to work very hard to honor their vote of confidence for me in this position.”
She added that she was mindful of those who had agitated for this position and thankful that she represents the non-governmental voice.
President of the Senate Carolyn Trench-Sandiford delightedly noted, “And I must say that we have added another woman to the Senate in Women’s Month.”
Leader of Government Business Eamon Courtenay recorded the Government’s official welcome: “Madam President, May I, on behalf of myself and this side of the House, offer my congratulations to Senator Chanona, and warmly welcome her to these chambers on behalf of this side of the House.”
From the Opposition benches, lead Opposition Senator Michael Peyrefitte recalled meeting a young Chanona in junior college: “She was impressive from then, and anybody who knows anything about rising stars within the society could tell you that Miss Chanona is one of those people. And may I say that I beam with pride that one of my students can join me in the Senate, and while you may not agree with me, as you often did not agree with me in the classroom, let’s say we look forward to your contributions.”
And Senator for the Trade Unions and Civil Society Elena Smith duly noted that the distaff side of the sexes is better represented now in the Upper Chamber: “Senator Chanona, I am elated that we have another female amongst us, and so – yes, it does. It doesn’t matter to you, but it does to us. So, welcome, Senator, and we look forward to working with you. We look forward to good things going forward.”
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