A total of 146 outstanding Jamaicans, who have contributed to nation building, were recognised at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony, held today (October 19), on the lawns of King’s House, in Kingston.
Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, and his wife, Mrs. Lorna Golding, headed the list of dignitaries and other guests, who attended the function, where Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, presented the awards.
Heading the list of recipients this year is Professor Emeritus, Mervyn Eustace Morris, who received the Order of Merit (OM), for distinguished contribution to the field of West Indian Literature.
Meanwhile, nine persons received the Order of Jamaica (OJ), for their outstanding contribution to Education, Health, Athletics, Public Service, and Human Rights Advocacy. One of the recipients, Professor Gordon Valentine Shirley, was recognised for excellence in Academia and Public Service.
“It really is an honour for me to have been awarded this distinction by the Government and people of Jamaica. It’s something that I don’t think many people aspire to, but it’s something that when you receive it, it does leave you with a sense of great humility. So, it’s a great honour for me and my family to have received this,” Professor Shirley said.
Other recipients of the OJ are: the Right Reverend Archbishop Lawrence Burke, for outstanding contribution to Religion and Education; Dr. Mavis Gwendolyn Gilmour-Petersen, CD, for outstanding contribution to Politics and Medicine; Dr. Jennifer Carolyn Gomes, for outstanding contribution to Human Rights Advocacy; Dr. Muriel Veronica Lowe Valentine, OD, for outstanding Public Service, particularly in the field of Medicine and Medical Education; Mr. Justice Patrick Lipton Robinson, CD, for outstanding contribution in the field of International Law and Relations; Mr. Usain Bolt, OD, for outstanding achievements in the field of athletics; Mr. Wycliffe Bennett (Posthumous), for outstanding contribution to the development of arts and culture in Jamaica, and Mr. Charles Bernard Rangel (Honorary), for outstanding contribution in promoting the interests of Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Jevene Eulalee Bent, headed the 18 persons who were conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD). Others included, Mr. Ian Anthony Boyne, for contribution to the field of Journalism; Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Owen Lloyd Ellington, for dedicated service to the Jamaica Constabulary Force; Mr. Derrick Kellier, Member of Parliament, for over 20 years of service to Parliament; and Senator the Honourable Dorothy Casieta Lightbourne, for over 20 years of service to the Senate; and Dr. Patricia Pamela Holness, for dedicated Public Service.
“I am feeling so excited and I feel so honoured. I remember my mom this morning and she always said to aim for the sky, you may fall in the trees; do your best in everything you do and put God first. I am very happy today and I am humbled by it, but I give God thanks,” Dr. Holness said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Filmore Millman Alvaranga was among 31 persons who received the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class (OD). Mr. Alvaranga was awarded for his service in the field of Culture and Heritage.
For the Badge of Honour for Gallantry (BHG), seven awards were given, including Mr. Winston Quest, for his bravery in rescuing a family of four from drowning in the Discovery Bay area of St. Ann on August 12, 2008.
Sixteen other Jamaicans received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, for their contribution to Education and Public Service, while 23 persons received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service, with one being a posthumous award to Miss Daisy Albertine Forde, for Community Service.
One person received the Medal of Honour for Gallantry (Posthumous) and a total of 41 uniformed personnel were bestowed with the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service – 17 officers from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF); seven from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); six from the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF); three from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS); and eight from the Jamaica Fire Brigade.