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National Hero


The Order of National Hero is conferred upon any person born in Jamaica, or who at the time of death was a citizen of Jamaica, and rendered to the country service of “a most distinguished nature”. The Order’s motto is, “He Built a City Which Hath Foundations”.

The Order is the most senior Order in the system of honours and awards, and is usually presented by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Order is governed by the National Honours and Awards Act which was signed into law by the nation’s first Governor-General, the Most Honourable Sir Clifford Campbell in 1969.

The system of Honours and Awards consists of six (6) Orders as well as the Medal of Honour and the Badge of Honour.  Members of the public, at stated times annually, submit nominations for outstanding citizens to be bestowed with the: Order of the Nation, Order of Merit, Order of Jamaica, Order of Distinction (Commander and Officer ranks) and the Order of Excellence. However, nominations for the Order of National Hero are not by public submission, but by deliberations of a specially selected committee of Parliament.

The Process

The Governor-General is the Chancellor of the Order of National Hero.  The incumbent is responsible for the administration of that Order and can appoint such other officials for the Order of National Hero as he thinks fit. The Act provides for the establishment of an Advisory Committee for the purposes of the Order of National Hero. It is the duty of the Advisory Committee to make such investigations as it thinks fit to determine persons, living or dead, upon whom the honour of National Hero may be conferred; and to report to the Prime Minister the result of those investigations. The Prime Minister in turn advises the governor-general who then confers the Honour.

Recipients of this Order are referred to as ‘Right Excellent’, and are presented with an insignia on which the motto is inscribed.  To date, only seven citizens of Jamaica have been accorded the Order of National Hero.

  • Nanny– Leader of the Windward Maroons at the beginning of the 18th century
  • Samuel Sharpe– “Leader”, Burchell Baptist Church, Montego Bay
  • George William Gordon – Member of the House of Assembly
  • Paul Bogle – Deacon, The Native Baptist Church, Stony Gut, St. Thomas
  • Marcus Mosiah Garvey – Founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
  • Sir Alexander Bustamante GBE – Chief Minister of Jamaica (December 1944 – January 1955); Premier of Jamaica (April 1962 – August 1962); Prime Minister of Jamaica (April 1962 – February 1967); Founder – President of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
  • Norman Washington Manley, MM, QC– Chief Minister (January 1955 – July 1959); Premier (July 1959 – April 1962); Founder – President of the People’s National Party (PNP)


For additional information contact:

The Protocol Department
The Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
Kingston 10
Telephone: 876-927-9941-3



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