Six residents of St. Catherine were honoured for their contribution to community development and nation building, today (October 19).
They were recognised by the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation and the Joint Civic Affairs Committee, during the Heroes’ Day Civic and Awards Ceremony, held at Emancipation Square, Spanish Town, under the theme: ‘Celebrating a Heritage of Resilience and Pride’.
Those honoured for their contribution to community development were Esmilda McKenzie, Donvan Smith and Dawn Barham.
Garfield Angus, Charmain Richards-McDonald and Devon Fletcher were recognised for the contribution to education.
In a message from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, read by Custos of St. Catherine, Rev. the Hon Jeffrey McKenzie, he lauded the contribution of the recipients to national development.
“We award medals to deserving Jamaicans who by their selflessness and patriotism have made Jamaica a better place because of their outstanding contributions to nation building,” he said.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message, read by Councillor William Cytall, extended greetings to all Jamaicans to commemorate National Heroes’ Day and National Heritage Week 2020.
“The preservation and continuity of our deeply rooted history, heritage and culture are important. We must renew our commitment to improving the lives of our people while conveying our customs, practices, artistic expression and values. This week, we hail our heroes and heroines past and present. We celebrate our language, gastronomy, music and traditional practices that have made our culture undeniably astounding,” Prime Minister Holness said.
He congratulated all the Jamaicans across the island who are being honoured for their contribution to nation building.
“We recognise astounding individuals around us whose acts of bravery have made them inspirational forces that we celebrate this Heroes’ Day. I also recognise the country’s front line workers who have been our first line of defence in the country’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” he noted.
Councillor for the Ensom City Division, St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, George Moodie, said recognition of these outstanding Jamaicans serve a two-fold purpose, as it seeks to also encourage other Jamaicans to give back to their communities.
“Persons need to understand that volunteering and assisting others is critical to national and community development. Persons should be encouraged to do more for their communities,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the recipients, Ms. McKenzie said she and her fellow awardees are humbled by the acknowledgement of their contributions and pledged to continue to build their communities.
“We feel deeply honoured for this recognition of our work. The fact that this award coincides with Heroes’ Day makes it even more significant. We will not stop. As long as God gives us breath, health and strength, we will continue to participate in the development of our parish,” she added.