President David Granger on Saturday bestowed the insignias of Guyana’s National Awards to 97 persons in recognition of their sterling contribution to the development of Guyana. This year, 49 women from various fields were among those conferred with national awards, making it the first time so many women were honoured.
The Investiture Ceremony was held at the National Cultural Centre and in delivering his remarks, the President sought to remind of the importance of national awards. He noted that the National Honour System on which national awards are conferred is not a ceremonial or cosmetic ritual, but rather an essential cultural convention in any civilised society. He added that it is used to express appreciation to those who serves the nation selflessly.
“The National Honour System is part of our culture. National awards should never again be disregarded, disparaged or debased through capricious conferment. Today’s investiture ceremony is a public manifestation of appreciation for those rendered exemplary service to the nation. National awards are conferred to express the esteem in which the recipients are held by a grateful nation; to recognise their exemplary service and success and to encourage others, especially younger persons, to emulate their achievements,” the President said.
Granger further explained that the National Honour System seeks to recognise and reward citizens along with servicemen and women who displayed values of selfless service and social responsibility. He reminded that Guyana was built by the collective contribution of ordinary citizens in their various organisations and that the nation has an obligation to pay homage to those distinguished sons and daughters who provided outstanding service to their communities.
“Our nation honours them out of respect for the values which they exemplify and the contributions which they have made and continues to make. Our nation relies on voluntary work of men and women who prepared to render selfless service without though of reward. The National Honour System is ordained by the Constitution of Guyana. It is a supreme symbol of statehood reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in service to the nation,” he added.
Meanwhile, acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings said that the Investiture Ceremony is held to recognise and honour the immense contribution of the ordinary citizens. She added that the national award is a badge of honour and distinction which carries with it the price of a nation’s appreciation for exceptional and dedicated service.
The recipients of this year’s Cacique’s Crown of Honour are Komal Samaroo, Justice Oslen Ainsworth Fitzgerald Small and Professor Alvin Oliver Thompson. The Golden Arrow of Achievement recipients are Karen Abrams, Arnon Adriel Cornelius Adams, Holly Patricia Alexander, Valeska Austin, Robert Jiteshvar Badal, Claude Holmon Blackmore, Jerome Bulkan, John Goodridge Carpenter, Donna Ann Chapman, Eton McDonald Chester, Michael Orlando Correia, Pravinchandra Dave, Rovin Deodat, Denise Dawn DeSouza, Maurice Rudranauth Gajadhar, Sarah Julia Gordon, Everett Nathaniel Harewood, Noel Gordon Holder, Alim Azad Hosein, Mohamed Shabir Hussain, Salmaa Naseebah Khan, Monica Elizabeth La Bennett, Geraldine Maison Halls, Yvette Anita Martin, Michelle Ming, Hakeem Mohamed, Haji Shaheed Mohamed, Mohamod Zabeer Mujay, Aleema Nasir, Brian John O’Toole, Kent Brentnol Phillips, Berneita Louretta Primo, Canon Thurston Riehl, Viola Rowe, Lennox Oliver Shuffler, David Jaikarran Singh, Angold Thompson, Aiesha Unickie Williams, Mathilda Saigo-Williams, Bertram Wilkinson, Norris Witter.
Medal of Service awards were awarded to Loretta Brotherson-Alexander, Morgan Allicock, Baidwantie Balgobin, Denise Yvonne Belgrave, Clonel Wendella Samuels-Boston, Basil Selwyn Bradshaw, Hazel Halley-Burnett, Yvonette Rhonda Chichester, Renata Chuck-A-Sang, Henry Clenkian, Kawalpattie Dayaram, Carlotta DeJesus, Desiree Adele Edghill, Trenetta Hollis Elliot, Cleveland Leon Forde, Deon Cherryl Gould, Elaine Eugenie Grannum, Laurie Rufus Greenidge, Dhanrajie Haimraj, Paul Harris, Brenda Hastings, Casey Hastings, Wendy Ann Cleopatra Hermonstine, Yvette Herod, Ishwardai, Leontina Maria Jose, Darul Hakim Khan, Vernon Eustace Lambert, Barbara Angela Lawrence, Julie Lewis, Erol Kemal Makzume, Syeada Manbodh, Paula Erlena McAdam, Stanley Ignatius McGarrell, Pearl Gladys McLean, Shirley Melville, Barbara Pilgrim-Roberts, Gail Primo, Sandra Helouise Prince, Paulette Elene Ragoobeer, Nadia Ramdin, Sharifah Razack, Amanda Richards, Gaitree Singh-Henry, Ignatius Wilson and Nicholas Andre Young.
Military Service Medal recipients are Lieutenant Colonel Lester Sherwin Anderson, Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Bess, and Lieutenant Colonel Julius Randolph Skeete.
Disciplined Services Medal recipients are Police Commissioner Leslie Albert James, Deputy Commissioner Paul Andrew Williams and Divisional Fire Officer (Retired) Paul Egerton Carmichael.