Fifteen residents of the county of Middlesex have been presented with the 2018 Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA), in recognition of their outstanding academic performance and selfless acts of volunteerism within their communities.
The recipients, three each from the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Mary and St. Ann, were awarded in the age group categories – 18 to 24 and 25 to 34, for leadership in social activities; and over 35, for engagement in lifelong community service.
During the awards ceremony, which was held at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on June 28, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, encouraged the awardees to be “peddlers of hope” in their communities, and places of work and study.
He said individuals often needed reminders that doing good deeds is not an impossible dream, but an achievable goal.
“Awardees, you have been an inspiration. Now I dare you, after all this, to go out and make a difference in Jamaica and the world,” he said.
The Governor-General pointed out that since 1991, a total of 940 persons have been presented with the GGAA, adding that this has spurred a transformation in the lives of thousands of individuals in the recipients’ communities.
“This programme is the embodiment of hundreds of stories of hope and volunteerism throughout Jamaica and also throughout the Diaspora,” he shared.
In this regard, the Governor-General charged the awardees to continue spreading “the gleams of hope across our country.”
“You have been chosen to be a part of what is right with Jamaica through your conscious deeds of kindness and volunteerism,” he pointed out.
He also expressed gratitude to his predecessors for laying the foundation which was expanded to become the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE), which incorporates the ‘I Believe Initiative’ that focuses on youth empowerment, family values, and education, which was launched in 2011.
The Governor-General noted that the GGAA “is the award component of (that) programme which tangibly recognizes the work of many unsung heroes and heroines who have not received National Honours, but are eligible for recognition.”
For her part, Custos Rotulorum for St. Ann, Hon. Norma Walters, in congratulating the awardees, reminded them that “excellence is, indeed a way of life.”
“It includes going beyond the normal call of duty, stretching our perceived limits and holding ourselves responsible for being our very best,” she added.
The 2018 renewal of Governor-General Achievement Awards, which is in its 30th year, saw a total of 39 individuals in the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey being awarded.