Fifteen residents from the county of Middlesex have been presented with the 2017 Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA) in recognition of their selfless acts of volunteerism through community service and outstanding educational achievements.
The recipients, three each from the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St. Ann, St. Catherine and St. Mary, were selected by the respective Governor-General Programme for Excellence (GGPE) Parish Committees.
They were recognised in the age-group categories 18 to 24 and 25 to 35, for academic excellence; and over 35, for persons engaged in lifelong community service.
At the awards ceremony held at the St. Mary Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria, on Thursday (May 25) Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said the awardees’ contributions and achievements are indicative of the “gains to be had when our objectives and our actions are coming from a pure heart”.
He pointed out that through their various projects and endeavours “they dared to be different (and) have used their God-given talents to give back and help others, thus becoming beacons of hope in their communities”.
The Governor-General said the foundation laid by his predecessors has enabled him to broaden the GGAA to become part of the GGPE, which also incorporates the ‘I Believe Initiative’.
He pointed out that the GGAA “tangibly recognises the work of unsung heroes and heroines who are not recipients of National Honours, but are worthy to be recognised by the highest office in the land”.
The recipients are selected based on their outstanding record in academia; community service/leadership; and ability to motivate others through creative, innovative and sustainable community and/or institutional projects that are focused on the family, on youth, on education and community impact.
He noted that the I Believe Initiative is the GGPE’s service component, and through its programmes conducted on behalf of the nation’s young people “individuals can impact families, educational development and youth-engagement activities”.
“The Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence has, therefore, become the embodiment of excellence in service, and carries many stories of aspirations, inspiration, transformation and fulfilled dreams,” he added.
St. Mary awardee, Roydel Clarke, who responded on behalf of the recipients, said it was a “great honour” and “very humbling” to be recognised.
He committed, on behalf of the other awardees, to continue to volunteer their efforts to the development of their parish.
“We are forever grateful and pledge to continue to serve our communities and country with pride and dignity, knowing that only the best is expected of us as we set good examples for others to follow,” he said.
Custos Rotulorum for St. Mary, Hon. Errol Johnson, in congratulating the awardees, told them that they are expected to be “Ambassadors of peace and love for our country”.
The 2017 Governor-General’s Achievement Awards, which were presented to nominees from parishes in the county of Cornwall in April, will conclude with a ceremony in Port Antonio, Portland, in June for recipients in the county of Surrey.