Three Jamaicans, who have emerged from humble beginnings to make valuable contributions to their communities, were presented with the special 30th Anniversary Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA), during a ceremony held at King’s House on Thursday (July 29).
They are Dr. Chris Kevin Parchment from the county of Cornwall, Krisan Chantae Ennis from Middlesex, and Khadine Natoya “Miss Kitty” Hylton from the county of Surrey.
The 30th Anniversary award recipients are among 44 Jamaicans presented with the GGAA this year for outstanding community service. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, the other honourees were recognised virtually.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who made the presentations, commended the recipients for their contributions, particularly during the pandemic.
“At this time of unprecedented strain on our communities, it is gratifying to see our people serve those on the front lines and in communities that need assistance to cope with the effects of the pandemic,” the Governor-General said.
He said that their service will help to make a significant impact on Jamaica’s development.
A Resident in General Surgery at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, Dr. Chris Parchment, was recognised for offering free medical service in his community of George’s Plain in Westmoreland, which he does every weekend.
Dr. Parchment told JIS News that he is honoured by the recognition, noting that it has motivated him to do even more to serve his community.
“It’s a catalyst for me to do more and to be an inspiration to others, so that they too can one day get this prestigious award,” he said.
Deputy Youth Mayor of Mandeville, Krisan Chantae Ennis, was acknowledged for service to the youth, which includes donating more than 144 chickens and the required feed to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf.
She told JIS News that she wants to work with children’s homes to provide résumé-building activities for those who are preparing to exit the State care system.
Media practitioner and attorney-at-law, Miss Kitty, received the special award for outstanding service through her annual blood drive and scholarship programme for needy students.
She told JIS News that being recognised was not something she had expected, because she was not aiming for an award.
“However, it does feel very good to be recognised for your efforts and it makes it even more heart-warming when persons like the Governor-General can see that people in Jamaica are working,” she said.
She intends to continue the blood drive and hopes to extend the scholarship programme to benefit students in need across all 14 parishes.
“I love my country because it is important to understand that to whom much is given, much is expected. Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. If we want Jamaica to be the place where we can work and raise families, we must be a blessing to others, and to that end I’m very grateful,” she said.
The GGAA was established in 1991 to recognise Jamaican citizens from humble beginnings who have improved themselves through their own efforts and are working to serve their communities.
The programme has been expanded to include a youth component (ages 18-35 years) for individuals who excel academically, demonstrate strong community leadership, and exemplify strong interest in Jamaica.