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Retired doctor elected as jurat

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RETIRED geriatrician Dr Susan Mowbray was elected as a jurat by the States of Election yesterday.

RETIRED geriatrician Dr Susan Mowbray was elected as a jurat by the States of Election yesterday. She replaces Eileen Glass who retired from the post in September. 'I believe strongly in the role of law and the administering of justice,' she said. 'If I can be a small part of that, then it will be a terribly worthwhile thing.' Four candidates stood for election - Dr Mowbray, Barbara Bartie, Heather Norman and Jenny Tasker. With candidates needing a 50% majority of the vote, three elections were needed in a process that took more than an hour to complete. Mrs Bartie topped the first two polls in which Mrs Tasker and Mrs Norman were eliminated respectively. But Dr Mowbray came out ahead, with a 45-42 majority in the third. None of the candidates was in the chamber for the voting. Mrs Bartie was among the first to compliment her rival. 'I was very touched when Barbara rang to congratulate me,' said Dr Mowbray. She becomes only the third female jurat in local history, following in the footsteps of Mrs Glass and Donny Le Pelley, who was elected in 1985. In his submission, Deputy Peter Roffey said he would not be proposing Dr Mowbray unless she was an outstanding candidate. 'This is a seriously intelligent person for this position of high office,' he said. Cases before the court were becoming increasingly complex, difficult and technical, he said, and a jurat needed to have the desire to give to the community. Dr Mowbray, 59, was born in Nazi-occupied Bohemia (Czechoslovakia). Her family moved to Ireland where her father was a glassmaker. There she read medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, where she met husband Michael. They married in 1968 and moved to Guernsey four years later. In 1977, she took a post as geriatrician at the King Edward VII Hospital where she remained until her retirement last December. 'It's a job she carried out with supreme professionalism and the island owes her for it,' said Deputy Roffey. Multilingual Dr Mowbray spent 12 years as chairman of the Guernsey Family Planning Association and was an unpaid lecturer at the Emma Ferbrache Institution. Deputy Roffey said it should not matter that his preferred candidate was not locally born. 'Sometimes people arrive here and give more than some members of the local community and I believe Dr Mowbray is in that mould,' he said. Seconder Deputy Brian Russell said that behind Dr Mowbray's professional life was a woman whose family was at the centre of her life. Dr Mowbray said that having spoken to her proposer and seconder, she was happy that her name was not being put forward as a token gesture because of her gender. 'I'll welcome the opportunity to do the work and serve the community,' she said. Deputy Roffey said the States of Election had had a hard decision to make and there were four good candidates. He had not been sure his candidate would be successful. 'After the second-last result, I thought Barbara Bartie would be elected because she was considerably ahead at that stage,' he said. 'The unpredictability continued to the end.'

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