Governor General, His Excellency the Most Honourable, Dr. Patrick Allen, has affirmed his commitment to continue the tradition of the Governor General’s Achievement Awards Scheme, and has praised the programme for rewarding individuals who have strived for excellence.
“Through the Governor General’s Achievement Awards, we can not only inspire individuals who have become role models, ” he stated.
Dr. Allen was speaking at the Governor General’s Achievement Awards Scheme luncheon held at the Terra Nova Hotel, in Kingston on Wednesday(March 25).
The Governor General noted that he was pleased to be involved in the programme and thanked former Governor General, the Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, for his l involvement in the Scheme.
He said he was particularly interested in the Governor General’s Youth Award of Excellence, noting that working with the youth is very rewarding.
The function was held to show appreciation for the work of Their Excellences, Sir Kenneth and Lady Hall, in the Scheme and to welcome to the programme the current Governor General and Mrs. Allen.
In his remarks, Sir Kenneth said that one of the major beneficiaries of the Governor General’s Achievement Scheme were the recipients of the Youth Award of Excellence – young people who need to be nurtured and encouraged.
“When they have achieved excellence, they should be acknowledged and awarded, and I believe that this programme is setting a pattern and the standard for doing so,” the former Governor General said.
He noted that the other principal recipients under the Scheme were awardees of the Governor General’s Achievement Award, whom he described as people who have normally been overlooked in the processes of national awards and recognition, and who would not necessarily appear on the national radar.
“What this award has done, over the years, is to say to them, ‘the work that you do at the local level is critical to nation building.’ The programme, by itself, speaks to the need for us to acknowledge those important pillars, those who have already achieved and those who are now in the early stages of this pursuit of excellence,” Professor Hall stressed.
He said that it was encouraging that the Scheme is sponsored by the private sector. “What this programme has done, is to bring significant private sector (support) to a public purpose. I want to commend the sponsors for seizing this opportunity,” he said.
The Governor General’s Achievement Awards Scheme, established in 1991, aims to create opportunities to recognise individuals for personal development, while contributing to the political, economic, social and religious development of Jamaica.
There are three categories of awards: the Governor General’s Achievement Award; Youth Award for Excellence; and Jamaican Diaspora Award for Excellence.
A total of 14 individuals, one from each parish, receive the Governor General’s Achievement Award, annually. Each recipient awarded, is normally from humble circumstances, and has become an outstanding individual at the parish level.
In terms of the Governor General’s Youth Award for Excellence, two awards are presented to recipients from each parish who have demonstrated outstanding community involvement, as well as excellence in academics or entrepreneurship.
The Governor-General’s Jamaican Diaspora Award for Excellence was presented for the first time in 2008, and is given to three individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to Jamaica and communities in their countries of residence. These awards are presented biennially.
Corporate sponsors of the Awards Scheme are: the Gleaner Company Limited; the Jamaica National Building Society; Scotia Jamaica Building Society; the Victoria Mutual Building Society; and First Caribbean International Building Society.