Fifteen persons from St. Ann, St. Catherine, Manchester, St. Mary and Clarendon, were honoured, on Wednesday (July 28), with the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards, in recognition of community service, and the Governor-General’s Youth Award of Excellence.
The honorees, including two youths, received plaques and had citations read to them by the Custodes of each parish, at a function at the Jamalco Great House, Halse Hall, Clarendon.
His Excellency, the Governor-General, the Most Honourable, Sir Patrick Allen, presented the plaques. He congratulated the awardees, who were identified by members of the parish committees.
“They have identified you because your work has impacted the parish. You did not do your work in the limelight but, in the nooks and crannies of the nation, you carried out your responsibilities,” he told the recipients.
He said the awardees were honoured because they believed in themselves and Jamaica, and have put their commitment into action. He also urged Jamaicans to contribute to nation building, as the country goes through a difficult period.
“It is therefore imperative that each of us, everyone in Jamaica, gives of his time, talent and treasure for the greater good for the success and development of this nation,” he suggested.
He commended the sponsors of the programme for their support over the years, crediting corporate sponsors with being committed and unflinching in their support.
“Even in this time when the demand on their shrinking budget is so great, they are still sticking with us,” he noted.
Awardee and Director of Nursing Services at the Port Maria Hospital, Linda Darnel Sutherland, told JIS News that she was happy to receive an award for excellence in community service.
“I am more than pleased in that, as we work, we don’t know why we work, we just know that we work. We don’t know that anybody is watching, but today it is obvious that it has paid off,” she said.
Mrs. Sutherland, who has served more than 33 years in the nursing profession, thanked corporate Jamaica and her community for their support.
“It is not the end of our work, it means that it has only just begun,” she pointed out.
An active member of the Port Maria community, Mrs. Sutherland has served as president of associations and school boards in St. Mary. She has also contributed many years of social service through the Baptist Social Work Committee.
Another Awardee, Rohan Champagnie of St. Ann, who received the Governor- General Youth Award of Excellence, said he was overwhelmed and humbled by the award.
“You never know when others are recognizing your hard work. It was never about getting anything, it was always about giving,” Mr. Champagnie told JIS News.
A part-time teacher at the Ocho Rios High School and the Jamaica Institute of Management, Mr. Champagnie said the motto, “Service is not a challenge but an attitude,” has guided his development.
The awards programme, established in 1992, aims to promote excellence and to recognise individuals who have selfishly volunteered to help others and to be good neighbours, and have excelled in various aspects of their lives.