JIS News

A Canadian charitable organization has established a medical scholarship in honour of Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
Jamaican-born Lloyd Seivright, head of the Independent United Order of Solomon, which administers several scholarships and each year donates medical equipment and supplies to countries around the world, made the announcement recently at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto.
The scholarship, called the Portia Simpson Miller Scholarship Award, will be presented each year to a third-year medical student attending the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, for outstanding academic achievement. Canadians Mr. and Mrs. John Schaub, who have assisted the charitable efforts of the United Order of Solomon, are sponsoring the award.
Mr. Seivright said that the Portia Simpson Miller Scholarship was intended to promote the “highest standard of excellence, dedication and professionalism in the field of medicine in the Caribbean.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller, in a statement read by Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner, said she was humbled at the decision to name a scholarship in her honour. The Prime Minister also commended the United Order of Solomon for its decision to “invest in our human capital” in the field of medicine, which remained an area of critical demand in Jamaica.
“This investment in our human resource capability will add value to the health sector well beyond that of a piece of equipment or some supplies. Investing in people is the best way of ensuring that sustainable development takes place,” the statement further said.
Consul General Bonner, in her remarks, noted that, “Mrs. Simpson Miller exemplifies the strength, vitality and humanity of the Caribbean woman – a woman with a singleness of purpose and a commitment to the poor. Her dedication has been nurtured and supported by a culture that thrives on outstanding achievements. It is the kind of support that Mr. Seivright and his organization seek to create and foster.”
In addition to the award named for Mrs. Simpson Miller, the United Order of Solomon recently announced the establishment of two medical scholarships in memory of the late Cyril Blanchfield, who served as Consul General for Trinidad and Tobago in Toronto for several years, and Hazel McCallion, Mayor of the city of Mississauga, Ontario, since 1978.
These bring to nine, the number of scholarships that the charitable organization administers and which are presented annually to students in Jamaica and Canada. There are seven medical scholarships tenable at the UWI, and one medical and one computer science scholarship tenable at the University of Toronto.
The organization will be presenting and showcasing all of the scholarship winners at its 28th anniversary dinner and charitable presentation, which will take place on Saturday, September 30 at the Rameses Shriners Auditorium in Toronto.
Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell will be the guest speaker at the ceremony.