President David Granger: Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, First Vice President and Prime Minister; Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chancellor of the Judiciary; Honourable Dr. Barton Scotland, Speaker of the National Assembly; Ministers of the Government; Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, Chief Justice; Members of the National Assembly; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; distinguished recipients of awards this year, 2018, special invitees; ladies and gentlemen; members of the media:
Guyana’s greatest assets are its people. The National Honours system seeks to recognise and reward citizens and servicemen and women from the four corners of the Republic who display the values of selfless service and social responsibility.
– Our nation 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.
– Our nation honours them out of respect for the values which they exemplify and the contributions which they make.
– Our nation relies on the voluntary work of patriotic men and women who are prepared to render selfless service with no thought of reward.
Ladies and gentlemen, the National Honours System is ordained by the Constitution of the Orders of Guyana. 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 used to express appreciation to those who serve selflessly.
The National Honours 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 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 recognise their exemplary service and success and to encourage others, especially young persons, to emulate their achievements.
I congratulate the national awardees. I applaud their contributions to Guyana. I thank them for their selfless and sterling service.
I thank you.