Sixteen Justices of the Peace (JPs) were honoured for outstanding service by the Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica (LMAJ) on August 22, at their annual Golden Scale Awards Banquet, held at the Sea Garden Beach Resort, Montego Bay, St. James.
The ceremony saw 13 parish awardees from the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey, while three JPs were conferred with the prestigious Golden Scale Award.
Former Acting Custos for St. James and Golden Scale awardee, Claudette Bryan, said the role of a JP can be both rewarding and challenging, noting that many have been doing yeoman service throughout the length and breadth of the nation, sometimes unappreciated and without fanfare.
Ms. Bryan, who spoke on behalf of her fellow awardees, noted that the feeling of satisfaction and the realisation that “we are contributing to nation building” far outweigh the sometimes heavy demands on time and privacy, adding that JPs oftentimes resign themselves to the fact that it’s all about “service above self”.
“It has been a long journey,” Ms. Bryan noted, adding that she was commissioned in 2009 and became a member of the Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica and she has given 11 years of sterling service to the Association.
“I enjoy every moment of what I do. Why? Because I love people. For me it’s to serve, and that’s my greatest gratification,” she said.
Ms. Bryan noted that some of the high points in being a Justice of the Peace involved being appreciated. “When someone comes to you and you offer service and they say thank you, I appreciate it… that’s a special feeling,” she said.
She said she would readily recommend that others take on the responsibility of “service above self”, noting that it is always an honour to serve parish, country and community.
For his part, fellow awardee, Fredrick Young, said that being recognised with the Golden Scale Award is a high point of his career and recognition for the 15 years since he was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St. Mary.
An agricultural educator, a banker and also regional manager with the Jamaica National Group since 2004, Mr. Young said his journey has taken him through numerous spheres of the public service, and has given him a sense of satisfaction that is very difficult to describe.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dixon, the final Golden Scale awardee, who was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 2006 for the parish of St. Thomas, said that his life has been all about giving back to his community and to play his part in the building of a better Jamaica.
He said that, as with his fellow awardees, the Golden Scale Award is a culmination of a lifetime of hard work and service to country.
Parish awardees were Blossom Grant, Patrick Kerr, Lily Hope Hall, Julian Robinson and Christine Davidson for the county of Cornwall; Annette McDonald, Daniel Roumel, Michael Johnson, Lurline Headley and B. Anthoney Carr for Middlesex; and Major Clifton Lumsden, Donna Chippy and Ryan Bailey for the county of Surrey.