Georgetown, Guyana – (October 6, 2018) President David Granger, MSS, on Saturday evening said that National Awards are a cultural necessity which seek to recognise and reward citizens and servicemen and women of Guyana who display the values of selfless service and social responsibility.

The Head of State who is also the Chancellor of the Orders of Guyana was at the time delivering his address at this year’s Investiture Ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre. Some 97 persons, 53 per cent of which are women, received awards on Saturday.

“Guyana’s greatest assets are its people,” said President Granger who noted that the country was built by the collective contributions of ordinary citizens in their academic, occupational and social organizations, political parties, religious groups and trade unions.

“Our nation has an obligation to pay homage to those distinguished sons and daughters who, through precept and example, have provided outstanding service to their communities,” the President declared while noting that persons are honoured out of respect for the values which they exemplify and the contributions which they have made and continue to make.

“Our nation relies on the voluntary work of patriotic men and women who are prepared to render selfless service,” President Granger added.  He said too that the National Honours System is ordained by the Constitution of the Orders of Guyana noting that it is a supreme symbol of statehood, reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in service to the nation.

“The National Honours System, under which National Awards are conferred, is not a ceremonial or cosmetic ritual as some seem to think. It is an essential cultural convention in civilized society to express appreciation to those who serve selflessly,” President Granger stated.
Further, the President stressed that the National Honours System is part of our culture. “National awards should never again be disregarded, disparaged or debased through capricious conferment,” the Head of State stated while reminding that Saturday’s Investiture Ceremony is a public manifestation of appreciation for those who have 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 recognize their exemplary service and success and to encourage others, especially our youth, to emulate their achievements,” President Granger said as he congratulated the national awardees for their sterling service.

Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chairman of the Advisory Council of Orders of Guyana, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, OR, CCH like President Granger noted the importance of recognising the contributions made by Guyanese of all walks of life in building the nation.

Justice Cummings-Edwards emphasized that a National Award is a badge of honour, a badge of distinction and carries with it the pride of a nation in appreciation for exceptional and dedicated service. It is a national acknowledgment of a person’s service to country, the Chancellor stated.

She reminded that the attainment of Republican Status, allowed for several symbols of nationhood established and the provisions for Guyana’s own system of national awards.

“The National Award is a special honour which the State bestows on its members who have rendered outstanding service to this country…it is accompanied by the grant of medals and insignias as tokens of appreciation for such service,” said Justice Cummings-Edwards.

The Constitution of Orders of Guyana makes provision for three orders, the Order of Excellence, the Order of Roraima and the Order of Service. The Order of Excellence is the country’s highest award and is followed by the Order of Roraima and the Order of Service, which is made up of general and special awards.

The general award includes the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH), the Golden Arrow of Achievement and the Medal of Service. Special awards within the Order of Service may be made for courage and bravery, military service and service to the police, prison and fire services.

“The National Awards have become a representation of Guyanese culture and the investiture ceremony is an occasion to display national pride and joy,” the Chancellor stated as she expressed gratitude to all national awardees.

This year saw the largest number of female recipients of National Awards and according to Justice Cummings-Edwards, “This is indeed a game changer; glass ceilings are being shattered.” Recipients of the Cacique’s Crown of Honour are Komal Samaroo, Justice Oslen Ainsworth Fitzgerald Small and Professor Alvin Oliver Thompson.

The Golden Arrow of Achievement was bestowed on 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 and Norris Witter.

The Medal of Service Award was presented 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, Haimraj Dhanrajie, 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.

Meanwhile, the Military Service Medal was presented to Lt. Col Lester Sherwin Anderson, Lt. Col Godfrey Bess and Lt. Col. Julius Randolph Skeete while the Disciplined Services Medal Commissioner of Police, Leslie Albert James, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Paul Andrew Williams and Divisional Fire Officer (Retired) Patrick Egerton Carmichael.

Prime Minister, Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, several government ministers, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, Chief Justice, Ms. Allison Roxane George and members of the Diplomatic Corps were also present at the Investiture Ceremony.

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