Stalwarts in St. James Receive Sam Sharpe Award of Excellence


Seven residents of the parish of St. James were on Monday (Oct. 15) presented with the prestigious Sam Sharpe Award of Excellence, for outstanding contribution to their communities in various fields.
The presentations were made at the National Heroes Day civic ceremony, which was held at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.
The awardees were: Cynthia Grant-Brown and Mabel Hartey for education; Dorrette Grant and Edna Mitchell for health; Irving Ford for community service; Brent Maxwell for culture; and Bruce Gaynor for sports.
Elizabeth-Ann Hall and Gladston Clifton Lawrence were given special posthumous awards for meritorious service in community development.
Custos of St. James, Clarence Nelson, made the presentations at the function, which was organized by the St. James Parish Council in collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) under the Heritage Week theme: ‘Respect for our heritage . Commitment to our nation’.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, in his message read by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, said that even though much of the focus during Heritage Week was on the lives of the heroes, “recognition must be given to the countless others, who have helped to shape the development of our nation and whose sterling contributions have helped to define our character as a people”.
“As a people, we are faced with many challenges but there is much in our heritage that can enable us to overcome these challenges. We have a rich history of triumph over adversity. We have demonstrated in so many areas of endeavour that we can be the best in the world. The name Jamaica resonates across the world to an extent far greater than our size would suggest. We are a great people with a proud heritage,” Prime Minister Golding noted.
He stressed that all citizens had a duty to protect that heritage, to build upon it, strengthen and enrich it and utilize it as a powerful tool for economic and social development.
“We must be strong and we must be focused. We must return to our core values; those same values that guided our National Heroes, imbued them with a vision of what we can be and inspired them to lead us forward as they did. We must apply those values in tackling the challenges that confront us, in building a unity of purpose and unity in action,” Mr. Golding urged.
The function also featured salutes to the seven National Heroes, including citations and floral tributes, followed by performances by uniformed groups and marching bands.

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