Lady joins me in welcoming each of you to the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA) Pinning Ceremony, which brings the curtain down on the GGAA twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebrations. This event recognizes the admirable achievements of the yearly recipients of the GGAA and welcomes them into the “Distinguished League” of an illustrious tradition of excellence.
Here on this site, thousands of individuals have been conferred with national honours and awards for their sterling contribution to Jamaica. Just three weeks ago, we recognized 182 nation builders who have faithfully and sacrificially served our country. Today it is your time as 2016 Governor-General Achievement Awardees, to be part of the rich history of King’s House.
The GGAA 25-Year Journey
Throughout the twenty-five-years, the GGAA has taken achieving, deserving, unsung heroes from anonymity to national awareness by recognizing their:
- selfless service in community development, and
- the examples they have set in the pursuit of their own development.
It is their stories of fortitude, endurance, determination and triumph that have left a solid impression on our minds.
Over six hundred persons in Jamaica and the Diaspora have been recognized and inducted into the tradition of excellence for their sheer altruism, reflected through various community and voluntary initiatives to enhance the quality of people’s lives. Indeed, their work and achievements challenge and inspire us, as they see and grasp opportunity in every situation. Their journeys also demonstrate that transformative service is hinged on positive values such as teamwork, respect, neighbourliness and equity.
The Foundation of the GGAA
Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, anniversaries are a time for celebration, reflection and forward planning. As we look back on the journey of the past twenty-five years we do with pride in how far we have come. As we reflect, we will recall the pace setting work of one of my predecessors, Sir Howard Cooke under whose Patronage and guidance the GGAA started in 1991. His Excellency, Prof. Sir Kenneth Hall who succeeded him in 2006, placed emphasis on excellence in education and leadership in order to recognize the potential in our young people and embolden them to chase their dreams. During his time also, the Diaspora Award was instituted to acknowledge the contribution of Jamaicans living overseas. In 2011 the Youth Consultative Breakfasts evolved in the I Believe Initiative’s (IBI) Youth Consultative Conferences when the IBI was launched. The present Governor-General merged both programmes to create the Governor General Programme for Excellence (GGPE) to sync both initiatives and provide more efficient management and coordination.
The foundation is strong and the programme is dynamic!
The GGAA has benefitted from the leadership and sound advice of various National Coordinators and Advisory Board members whose skills and abilities acquired from years of experience in various career fields and vocations impact its goals and objectives. We have had individuals such as Mr. Lecky Hall and others who have served – our present National Coordinator is Major (Ret’d) Effiom Whyte and Ms. Tricia Grier is the Project Officer. They as with others before them anchored the programme and we truly are thankful for the service of our national coordinators.
I commend Custodes past and present and their parish committees for bringing to national attention, some of the most creative and innovative citizens who saw needs and opportunities and responded selflessly to them.
Sponsors and Other Support
To the corporate sponsors who have provided ‘the fuel for the fire’ over the years, your support help to plant seeds that will grow, blossom and bear fruits for the benefit of Jamaica.
- The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited
- Jamaica National Building Society
- Victoria Mutual Building Society and
- Scotia Jamaica Building Society,
who have been with the programme since its inception.
Thanks also to the:
- Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies and
who have joined the effort to inspire individuals and build stronger communities.
I also acknowledge and thank the media for their role in bringing the inspirational stories of our awardees to Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora.
Thanks, too, to the Governor-General’s Secretary and Staff of King’s House for their continued commitment and efficiency in supporting this event.
Indeed, this is something worth celebrating!
Ladies and gentlemen, let us all renew our commitment to contribute to the efforts and programmes which will propel our nation into the accelerated growth which Vision 2030 demands.
As we press ahead on this satisfying journey of service to humanity I wish for the continued success of the GGAA. Best wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday season, and when it comes, a prosperous 2017.