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  • Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin,daughter of late musicologist Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin, OJ, CD is expressing gratitude to the Government and people of Jamaica for recognising her mother with the country’s fourth highest national honour.
  • Major Lewin, who spoke to JIS News after collecting the award, told JIS News that she was sad, proud and honoured that her mother was recognised.
  • Some 179 Jamaicans were fittingly recognised for their outstanding contributions to nation building through service in various fields, at the awards ceremony.

Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin,daughter of late musicologist Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin, OJ, CD is expressing gratitude to the Government and people of Jamaica for recognising her mother with the country’s fourth highest national honour.

Dr. Lewin was the only awardee in category of Order of Merit, at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony held on Monday, October 21, on the lawns of King’s House n St. Andrew.

Already a member of the classes of the Order of Jamaica and the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander, the late cultural icon and prolific folklore researcher,was recognised posthumously for her distinguished service in the fields of Folk Music Research and Performance and Music Education.

Major Lewin, who spoke to JIS News after collecting the award, told JIS News that she was sad, proud and honoured that her mother was recognised.

She said that her mother would have accepted the award “with the usual graciousness and style that she has always exhibited,” noting that she would have been grateful.

“I am sorry that she is not here to receive it herself and … I am pretty sure that where she is now, she is fully clothed with God and she is living on immortally in her work so I am sure that she is quite happy in general,” she said.

Some 179 Jamaicans were fittingly recognised for their outstanding contributions to nation building through service in various fields, at the awards ceremony, which was presided over by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.

Awards were presented in the categories of Order of Merit; Order of Jamaica; Order of Distinction, Commander and Officer ranks; the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service; and Badge of Honour for Meritorious, and Long and Faithful Service.

The Rev. Dr. Garnet Brown was among six Jamaicans to receive the Order of Jamaica, the fifth highest honour. He was honoured for exceptional and exemplary service in Agriculture.

In an interview with JIS News, Rev. Dr. Brown said he felt “fulfilled” about the recognition. “It is good to know that (after) devoting your life to serving your country (it is recognised). To me, serving my country is tantamount to serving God and also there are so many unsung heroes, so to be chosen, I feel fulfilled,” he said.

The other recipients of the Order of Jamaica were: Kenneth Benjamin for his outstanding contribution to the restoration and expansion of Hope Zoo; Easton Douglas, for exceptional contribution to public service; Hugh Beresford Hammond, for his exceptional and dedicated contribution to the Jamaican music industry; Oliver Jones for his sterling contribution to the insurance industry, public service and voluntarism; and the Rev. Ashley Smith for his exemplary service to theology and education.

Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who has given over 20 years of distinguished service to Parliament, was among the 34 persons, who were conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD).

A very humble Dr. Ferguson dedicated the award to members of his constituency in Eastern St. Thomas who supported him over the years.

Other awardees in the category include: Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester, for outstanding contribution to the health sector; Professor Carolyn Cooper, for sterling contribution to education; the Hon. Mr. Justice Donald McIntosh, for distinguished and dedicated service to the judiciary; Orrett Rhoden, for outstanding contribution to the development of classical music in Jamaica; Professor Verene Shepherd, for outstanding service to education in particular history and gender studies; Audley Shaw, for over 20 years of distinguished service to Parliament; and Lorris Jarrett, for dedicated public service.

In an interview with JIS News, Professor Cooper said it was a wonderful feeling to be honoured and recognised for her work in education, particularly popular culture.

“When you are going through and doing the work, you don’t realise how much you have done but on an occasion like this when you are forced to reflect, you feel very good because, it has been an accumulation of hard work. So I am very happy to be honoured by my country while I am alive to enjoy it,” she said.

Former Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester also told JIS News that she was pleased by the fact that she was able to serve her country for several years.

“I hope that I have left a legacy behind for especially the young people to follow and I thank God for directing my path all these years,” she said.

Meanwhile, 45 other persons received the Order of Distinction, in the rank of Officer (OD) for their outstanding work in the areas of community service, journalism, music, medicine, agriculture, education, industry and commerce, public service, sports development, law enforcement and defence, and the foreign services.

Among them were: Beryl Weir for outstanding contribution to women and gender affairs; Dr. Neville Graham for outstanding and distinguished service to the field of medicine; Richard Patrick ‘Charlie Chaplin’ for distinguished service to Jamaica’s music industry; Simon Crosskill for distinguished contribution to sports and sports commentary; Clare Forrester for journalism, media and communications; Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven for outstanding contribution to national development; Vin Martin for his invaluable contribution to Jamaicans in the Diaspora; and Volier Johnson for outstanding contribution to the performing arts.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen (left), presents Dr. Sheila

Meanwhile, 52 awards of the Badge of Honour for Gallantry and Meritorious and Faithful Service were conferred. Among the awardees was Senior Production Coordinator at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Seaton Richards for Meritorious Service.

Special Corporal Jermaine Burgher was the only Jamaican, this year, to be conferred with the Medal of Honour for Gallantry, for courageous effort in saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

While travelling on a bus to Half-Way Tree in June 2012, Special Corporal Burgher was shot three times by a male passenger during a robbery. Injured and in the face of great danger to himself and in the protection of other passengers, he challenged and overcame the gunman.

Meanwhile, 40 members of the uniformed service, including the Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Department of Correctional Services and the Jamaica Fire Brigade, received medals of honour for meritorious service.