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Story Highlights

  • Expressions of gratitude and humility best epitomise the recipients’ attitude at this year’s National Honours and Awards ceremony, held on the lawns of King’s House in St. Andrew, on October 20.
  • The highest award that was bestowed at this year’s function was the Order of Jamaica (OJ), with eight persons getting the award.
  • At the ceremony, a total of 233 Jamaicans were recognised for their outstanding contributions to nation building through service in various fields.

Expressions of gratitude and humility best epitomise the recipients’ attitude at this year’s National Honours and Awards ceremony, held on the lawns of King’s House in St. Andrew, on October 20.

The highest award that was bestowed at this year’s function was the Order of Jamaica (OJ), with eight persons getting the award.

Speaking to JIS News after being presented with the OJ, for distinguished service in the legal profession and politics, Senator Keith Desmond Knight, Q.C., said “it’s a great honour.”

He vowed to continue serving the people of Jamaica in whatever sphere he can, but particularly in the areas of law and politics, which he said will ultimately redound to national development.

“My approach to this is to do far more than has been done to this point, health and strength permitting, so that I can feel within myself that I deserve it,” he said.

At the ceremony, a total of 233 Jamaicans were recognised for their outstanding contributions to nation building through service in various fields. The function was presided over by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.

Another recipient, Glen Mills, CD, was invested with the Order of Jamaica, for outstanding contribution to Track and Field, through the coaching of Jamaican athletes.

He told JIS News that he is humbled by the award. “It is good to know that I am being recognised while I am still alive. I am very appreciative to the people and Government of Jamaica for this recognition,” he said.

Mr. Mills said he was surprised that he was once again selected to be honoured. “I wasn’t really looking for more, so to be upgraded or given a higher award, I was really elated,” he said.

He pledged to continue working with the island’s young athletes, while inculcating good values and attitudes.

The other six persons who received the OJ were Dennis Daly, Q.C., for his contribution to law and Human Rights Advocacy (posthumously); The Most Rev. Charles Dufour, CD, DD, for distinguished contribution to Religion and Community Development; Professor Joseph Frederick, CD, for distinguished service to the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies and the University Hospital of the West Indies, in particular for research conducted in assisted reproduction.

Also awarded the OJ were Florizelle ‘Flo’ O’Connor, for distinguished contribution to Human Rights Advocacy; Dr. Karl Wellington, CD, for exceptional and exemplary service to Agriculture, in particular Animal Genetics; and Professor Sir Fitzroy Augier, KT (Honorary), for over 50 years of distinguished service to Academia, in particular Caribbean History.

Awards were also presented in the categories of 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.

Thirty-six persons were conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD), while 50 persons received the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class (OD).

Noted reggae singer, Marcia Griffiths was among the recipients conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander. She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

“Being awarded here today means a whole lot to me, because very few women in the industry is recognized and honoured. I am very happy and overwhelmed that the Government once again has recognized my work and I am truly thankful,” she told JIS News.

She urged females in the music industry to keep sending out positive works and messages to teach, educate and uplift young people.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley, was also invested with the Order of Distinction in the Commander Class (CD) for over 20 years of distinguished service to politics.

He urged Jamaicans, particularly in public life, to remain focused and committed to fulfilling the task at hand.

In the meantime, Alphanso Cunningham was one of the recipients of the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class (OD).

Mr. Cunningham, who was awarded for outstanding contribution to sport, told JIS News that his award may be used as a motivator to others who are also physically challenged to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.

He noted that being awarded for the work they have done as athletes is rewarding and thanked the Government of Jamaica for recognizing other athletes and himself.

Some of the other recipients in the rank of Officer were: Desmond Allen, for sterling contribution to the field of journalism; Dr. Glenda Simms for outstanding work in gender and development; Ernest Hoo for distinguished contribution to nation building in the areas of Health Services and Security Forces; and Barrington Dawes for outstanding contribution to the Jamaica Maritime Sector.

Eleven year-old Toni-Ann Miller was conferred with the Badge of Honour for Gallantry, for displaying an act of heroism and bravery in rendering assistance to two brothers who were trapped in a burning house on May 15, 2013.

Forty other Jamaicans received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, while 53 persons received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service.

Lance Corporal Octavia Brooks of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Corporal Everton Henry and Woman Constable Sherene Bailey, both of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), received the Medal of Honour for Gallantry.

The Medal of Honour is awarded to members of the uniformed services who have performed acts of gallantry or acts of heroism or have shown great courage in circumstances of extreme danger.

Meanwhile, 42 members of the uniformed service, including the JDF, JCF, the Department of Correctional Services and the Jamaica Fire Brigade received the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service.