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The establishment of a new national honour, Order of Jamaica Heritage, to be awarded to individuals or groups for outstanding contribution to the nation’s tangible and intangible heritage, has been recommended by a committee set up to review the system of National Honours and Awards.
According to a Ministry Paper, tabled in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday (Sept.16), by Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, the Order of Jamaica Heritage, is to be recognised as the second highest National Honour with the Pre-nominal title to be ‘The Most Honourable Chieftain’.
“Such an award may address the need for special recognition of icon luminaries whose contributions fall short of the criteria for the Order of National Hero, but have had significant impact on our heritage,” the Ministry Paper said.
It was also recommended that the Order of National Hero, be restricted for the time being to the existing National Heroes.
The Committee also recommended that the Order of Excellence, established in 2002, and reserved for visiting Heads of States and or Government, should be discontinued and replaced by the Honorary Order.
According to the Ministry Paper, the Order of the Nation, should no longer be conferred on Prime Ministers upon appointment and, if it is to be conferred, this should only be done on their departure from office.
It is also being recommended that the Order of Jamaica, be limited to not more than three recipients per year, without prejudice to the Prime Minister’s prerogative, to make special awards, outside of the scheduled announcement.
A Gallantry Companion of Honour, was also recommended, and it is to be awarded only in exceptional circumstances, for extraordinary acts of gallantry.
The report from the Committee, set up to review the system of National Honours and Awards, will be examined by a Human Resource Committee, of the Houses of Parliament.