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Corrodus to step down as St James custos

Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau

Thursday, January 11, 2018

MONTEGO BAY, St James - Custos of St James Ewen Corrodus is set to demit office by the end of this month, the Jamaica Observer West has been reliably informed.

When contacted earlier this week, Corrodus was coy about his future as the first citizen of the parish.

“I won't say 'yes' or 'no' about when I am leaving. I want it to come from the right people, but I have now reached the age of retirement. I sold out my hardware business three years ago, and in a short while I will step down from everything,” Corrodus, who will celebrate his 75th birthday on February 18, told the Observer West.

In July 2009, Corrodus, a long-standing Seventh-day Adventist Church elder, succeeded the late Clarence Nelson, who had served as custos of St James for 13 years.

But ill-health in 2015 forced Corrodus away from office - as he sought medical attention overseas - for almost a year.

Late last year, the charismatic Corrodus resumed duties much to the delight of a slew of well-wishers across a wide cross section of the parish.

On his return, several functions were held in the city of Montego Bay in his honour.

Corrodus said earlier this week that he is proud of his achievements as custos.

“When I took over [as custos], it [cadre of justices of the peace] was at a low ebb, I have now put it back on a footing where we have good people din the system, and I have place justices of the peace in every area, and to make sure that the people that we get in the system are not people who sell their services. There are people who realise that when they get in the system they don't get paid for it,” said Corrodus.

He noted too that he has increased the number of JPs in the parish from 456 in 2009, when he was appointed as custos, to more than 700 at the end of last year.

Another 78 justices, he said, will be installed on January 17, at a ceremony in Montego Bay, which he will preside over as custos.

Meanwhile, Corrodus said “when the time comes,” whoever succeeds him as custos will have his full support.

“Whenever the time comes for me to step down, whoever succeeds me will get my full support. It is a very tedious job, and so in order for me to have done a good job, I had to do it on a full-time basis. In fact, I had to leave the management of my hardware business to my wife in order to carry out my duties,” said Corrodus.