Retired obstetrician and gynaecologist Heather Reed takes over from Jurat Alan Boyle, who retires this month.
Jurat Reed was proposed by Deputy Heidi Soulsby and seconded by Deputy Peter Roffey – both former heads of the island’s health committee. She was chosen from four candidates at a sitting of the States of Election last month.
‘Since I retired in 2017 I’ve been doing some charity work but I felt that I wanted to do something more,’ said Jurat Reed.
Former surgeon and Jurat John Ferguson had provided all the encouragement she needed for a seat on the bench.
‘It’s such a privilege to serve the people of this wonderful island in this role,’ she said.
Jurat Reed and husband Dr Whitford Andrews originate from Wales and moved to Guernsey in 1998 from Cornwall.
Her son, Gareth, is a consultant anaesthetist in Australia while daughter, Laura Andrews, is a GP in New Zealand.
Jurat Reed was delighted that the ceremony in the Royal Court, at which she took the oath, was livestreamed, enabling her family to see it and all were very proud.
Unsurprisingly for their Welsh heritage, they are a rugby family. Gareth played rugby for Scotland U18s while living there.
Jurat Reed said she and her son were up for challenges and in November 2017 following her retirement, both completed the Patagonia Ultra which involved running 250km in five days.
Welcoming Jurat Reed to the role, Bailiff Richard McMahon said it was often and quite rightly said that election to the ancient and well-respected office of Jurat was the greatest honour that Guernsey could bestow on one of its citizens.
‘You are accustomed to listening to your patients and their families and are aware of the need to read and study the papers and data before you,’ he said.
‘That ability and the analytical skills you bring to the role will stand you in good stead.
‘That is why doctors on the bench have always been welcomed. It is not because you will decide cases based upon your expert knowledge of medicine and medical matters.’
Jurat Reed, as with so many others, had regularly sought to give something back to her adopted community, with particular reference having been made to her role with the Women’s Refuge and, more recently, her preparedness to volunteer to assist with our response to the pandemic.
Mr McMahon thanked Jurat Boyle for his distinguished service he had given first as a medical practitioner and then as Jurat of the Royal Court, where he had earned the respect and admiration of everyone. Jurat Boyle was elected to the role in 2017.
Outside of his medical work, which extended to assisting with the St John Ambulance Voluntary Service, Jurat Boyle’s other significant role here has been with the Church of Scotland, being the church organist, a trustee and an elder at St Andrew’s in the Grange.