A member of the deaf community and a medical doctor were the highlight of the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative (IBI) Summer of Service (SOS) Awards Presentation Ceremony held at King’s House this morning (August 22, 2017).
Celine Lobban, a graduate of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf was awarded a full scholarship to cover her 4-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science at the University of Technology, Jamaica.While, Angelica Baker who was among the first cohort of SOS recipients in 2013 was presented as Dr. Angelica Baker having successfully completed her Bachelor of Medicine Degree at the University of the West Indies (UW), Mona.
There are eight beneficiaries of this year’s SOS Competition who obtained scholarships valued at J $7millions to start or proceed to second year at various colleges and universities. One recipient will attend the University of the West Indies, two the University of Technology, Jamaica, one the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, one the Caribbean Maritime Institute and two the opportunity to advance to the second year of their degree programme at UWI, Mona.
In delivering an inspiring address Governor- General Sir Patrick Allen commended the recipients and charged them to be critical thinkers who are transformed by their education to continue in the nation building process.
“Recipients … keep in mind that the principal demands being made of twenty first century workers include creativity, critical and divergent thinking, self-awareness and integration of Knowledge. It is not just a matter of cramming and reproducing what was taught,” The Governor-General stated.
“You will have to play your part to ensure that your quest for higher education prepares you to cope with the rapid social changes at the national and global levels. Your going to college or university must be a transformation. You cannot go like “Johnny Cake” and come back like dumpling.” His Excellency continued.
In highlighting the sacrifice of giving up their Summer Holidays to volunteer with various organisations, His Excellency commented that the students’ attitude is “that of future leaders of our country.”
“They do this not just for themselves but for the greater good,” Sir Patrick Allen said.
The Summer of Service Competition is a project of the Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative where students volunteer with various organization in exchange for valuable life skills plus tuition support for their tertiary education. The project seeks to influence social responsibility and nation building through voluntary experience.
It is part of His Excellency’s broad vision to partner with various stakeholders to build hope, confidence, and a heightened sense of purpose and sound values through family, youth and educational activities.
Now in its fifth year, the SOS Competition has provided tuition support to a total of 53 students. The annual application process opens in May and the service component is executed during the months of June to August.
The University of the West Indies, College of Agriculture, Science and Education, Sandals Foundation, NCB Foundation, Kingston Bookshop, J. Wray & Nephew Foundation, Kingston Wharves Limited and the Joan Duncan Foundation/JMMB were this year’s partners.
The eight awards recipients in the 2017 I Believe Initiative (IBI) Summer of Service (SOS) Programme executed their voluntary service at The Mustard Seed Communities, Clarendon Youth Information Centre – Youth Empowerment Camp, The iAspire Project, Hyacinth Lightbourne Visiting Service, The One-Chair-One-Child Project, and The Green House Development Project.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen and Patron of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has presented several farmers with Medals of Appreciation for their outstanding work and longstanding commitment to the agricultural sector.
The presentations were made during a ceremony at the 65th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon, on August 6, 2017, where a total of 65 local farmers were recognized.
The Governor-General then toured the expo and used the opportunity to salute all the other farmers and Denbigh stakeholders for their continued contribution to nation building through agriculture.
Sir Patrick Allen also executed the pleasant task of officially opening the Honourable William Shagoury Building at the Denbigh Show Ground. The building which was originally called the Clarendon Parish Pavillion has been renamed in honour of Custos Shagoury’s tremendous support of agriculture and the parish over the years.
In his brief remarks, His Excellency highlighted the appropriateness of the renaming of the pavilion to reflect the people’s gratitude to Custos Shagoury for his commitment to the parish.
“When he is involved in anything, he gives it his all and this is what is being left here at Denbigh as a tribute to the outstanding work that he has done as a member of the parish, as a member of the JAS and also as a Justice of the Peace and Custos of the parish. We’re proud of the great work that he has done,” The Governor-General commented.
Meanwhile, President of the JAS, Mr. Norman Grant, used the occasion where the farmers where honoured to congratulate their achievement and highlighted the success of the Eat Jamaica Campaign which he said has saved the economy over US$500 million.
“The farmers have increased domestic crop production from 491,000 metric tons of food in 2003 to 668,000 metric tons at the end of 2016,” Mr. Grant stated.
This year’s Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show held from August 5-7 was observed under the theme, “A salute to Our Farmers, Nation Builders”.
The Governor-General’s Jamaica 55 Independence Reception held at King’s House, last evening, was a major highlight of national events to commemorate the Emancipendence festivities.
It commenced with the music of a mento band greeting guests upon arrival and a tour of an exhibition mounted by the Institute of Jamaican inside the King’s House Ballroom. This was followed by welcoming remarks from The Governor-General, greetings from the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, and culminated in stellar musical performance from Karen Smith and Ernie Smith.
In his welcoming remarks Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen explained that Cabinet this year replaced the Independence Parade with the Independence Reception and has grafted the activities of the parade, usually held at King’s House, into the Grand Gala activities. His Excellency further thanked the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the State Protocol Office at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Governor General Secretary and staff for making the inaugural event a reality.
“It is our hope that you will this evening, feel the warmth of the ‘heart and soul’ of our people and experience some of the things – foods, music and much more – that make us uniquely Jamaican,” His excellency commented as he acknowledged the Diasporic Jamaicans and visitors in attendance.
“Fifty-five years along this journey of self-government, we continue to ‘press-on’ on with tremendous hope, fixing those things that are wrong and doing what’s right for our country”, Sir Patrick Allen commented before raising a toast to the nation for reaching 55 years of independence.
The inaugural Governor-General’s Independence Reception was attended by former Governor-General Prof. Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall, Former Prime Minister the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, the Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Members of the Academic Community, several other distinguished individuals, local and overseas-based Jamaicans.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen says that the most critical point of intervention for Jamaica by the Diaspora at this time, lies in the support that can be given to the youth of our country. “The great need that Jamaica has today is not with governance structures and institutional capacity building. But more than ever we need enhancement of our human capital and engagement with our millennials,” The Governor-General stated.
He was speaking at the opening of the Jamaica55 Diaspora Conference held on Sunday July 23, 2017 where six Jamaicans from the three main Diaspora regions of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were presented with The Governor-General’s Diaspora Award (GGAA).
Noting that young people hold the key to a prosperous and secure future, The Governor-General stated that they should be deliberately and purposefully nurtured and trained and their potential for activism encouraged, as they are ready for the transformative role which the nation needs.
“I have seen at close quarters the potential and the activism of our young people, I know that they are ready for the transformative role which the nation needs. Let us not frustrate them, but bring them into the process. This is what the GGAA and the I Believe Initiative (IBI) are about,” Sir Patrick Allen said.
He commended the six GGAA Diaspora awardees, citing their hard work and contribution as their way of preserving the Jamaican character of enterprise, energy, creativity and cooperative endeavour. The recipients are Miss Donika Jones and Bishop Glenroy Duffus from Canada and Mrs. Tanesha Westcarr and Mr. Vendrys Henry from the United Kingdom. Miss Erin Lue-Hing and Miss Joan Pinnock from the United States of America complete the list of awardees.
The Governor-General’s Diaspora Award is sponsored by The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, Jamaica National Group, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Scotia Jamaica Building Society, Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies and FLOW.