The National Heroes Day, National Honor and Awards ceremony held at Kings House Jamaica each year is the most prestigious ceremony held in Jamaica to recognize distinguished, gallant and notable citizens of Jamaica. As with every year on the morn of National Heroes Day, a public holiday, this year’s ceremony was held on Monday, Oct. 17, on the great lawns of Kings House, Kingston Jamaica.
Appointments of honor are made in accordance with the National Honours and Awards Act of 1969 of Jamaica. Thus on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of Independence of Jamaica, Governor-General Sir Patrick Linton Allen ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, acting in accordance with the regulations made under Section 7 of the National Honours and Awards Act, and on the advice of the Prime Minister Andrew Holness, ON, MP, made the appointment to the Orders of the Societies of Honor and to award the Badge of Honor to notable citizens of Jamaica effective from Jamaica Independence Day, Aug. 6, 2016.
The formalities of the ceremony begin with the Royal Salute, Inspection of the Guard of Honour, a subsequent Royal Salute once the Guard of Honor marches in, followed by the arrivals of public officers by rank and file: the Commissioner of Police, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Dr. Carl Williams, CD; Chief of the Defense Force, Major General Antony Anderson, CD, ADC. JP; Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP; Prime Minister Andrew Holness, ON, MP, and Mrs. Holness, MP. Prime minister accepting the general salute is escorted to his seat by the chief of the Defense Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force; and of The Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J. and Lady Allen. The governor-general is escorted to the presentation platform by the chief of the Jamaica Defence Staff / Force while attended by Lieutenant Colonel Rohan Johnson, commanding officer of the Jamaica Regiment Second Battalion. The guard of honor then marches off followed by Flourish of Trumpets by the Jamaica Regiment Band. This marks the beginning of the Investiture Ceremony by the governor-general, awarding appointees with their respective medals for their outstanding contribution.
Among the extensive list of this year’s awardees were members and family of the Jamaican Diaspora who have served and impacted the New York community.
In order of rank and distinction: Christopher Joseph Chin, CEO of VP Records, reggae’s largest independent record label, based in Queens Jamaica was awarded with Order of Distinction in Rank of Commander (CD) for outstanding work in the music industry in Jamaica and internationally. Herman George LaMont, former consul general of Jamaica (New York) for the Northeast region in the United States, who served the Jamaican Diaspora in this capacity from April 2012 to April of 2016 was awarded with Rank of Commander (CD) for his outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s Foreign Service.
Leading physician, Dr. Millicent Comrie MD, MPH, FACOG present director of the Brooklyn Heights Women’s Center at Maimonides, who has been named among the “Top 10 Caribbean-Born Female Doctors in the U.S.” was awarded with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Office(OD) for outstanding contribution and service in Medicine and Family Life.
Mother of media professional, the Reverend Floris Muir were among the awardees for more than 60 years of dedicated service to Religion and for service to Community Development and Civil Society with Badge of Honor for Meritorious Service.
Noteworthy mention of awardees posthumously for their contribution in music were: William Alexander “Bunny Rugs” Clarke the husky-voiced lead singer of Third World Reggae Band and Gregory Anthony Isaacs. a.k.a. the Cool Ruler for their Outstanding Contribution to the Jamaican Music Industry and globally.
The fanfare, the formalities, as the Brits would say with ‘pomp and circumstance’ elevated the solemn occasion, highlighting the significance of these deserving citizens who continue to make their indelible contribution to Jamaica and the world at large.
For further details visit JIS.gov.jm.