Public responsible for no awards during 45th Independence celebrations

by Linda Straker

  • First time no one awarded for outstanding contribution since Independence 1974
  • National Honours and Awards Act established to award citizens of Grenada and other persons

The failure by the public to submit names to the National Honours and Heroes Committee is the reason why no one was awarded for outstanding services to the country for the 45th Independence Day celebrations which were celebrated on Thursday.

The highlight of the day was the traditional military parade and rally along with a concert featuring Grenadian entertainers and exposition featuring agri-business products ‘Made in Grenada’ at the athletic stadium.

John Williams, Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee said that the awards ceremony which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday did not occur because it was called off by the Office of the Governor General.

“This is an activity that is part of the Independence celebrations, but it’s not an activity of the Celebrations Committee,” said Williams. “We don’t know why it did not happen, but we were informed by the Governor-General’s office that it will not happen for Independence celebrations,” he added.

In June 2018, the Office of the Governor General published a public service announcement calling on Grenadians to submit persons for recognition in accordance with the National Honours and Awards Act. The deadline was 30 September 2018.

The June 2018 release from the Office of the Governor General explained that the National Honours and Awards Act No 32 of 2007 was established to provide for the grant of awards to citizens of Grenada and other persons for distinguished, outstanding or meritorious services or achievements, or for gallantry and related matters.

It called on the public to submit names for:

  • The Order of Grenada Gold Award for Excellence which is awarded to any person who has rendered excellent exemplary and outstanding service to Grenada tending to promote unity, whether domestically in Grenada or as between Grenada and any other country.
  • The Spice Isle Award which is awarded to any person who has rendered truly emulative service in any field of human endeavour or for other humane action.
  • The Camerhogne Award which awarded to any person who has rendered meritorious service to Grenada; in furtherance of national prestige or for gallantry.
  • The Medal of Honour which is awarded to any person for meritorious and productive service to Grenada in any field of human endeavour including but not limited to agriculture, business, sports and protection of the environment.

Nominations were to include: Name of Nominee, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Place of Residence, Occupation, Marital Status, Reason for nomination and Area of Contribution and Biography of the nominee.

When no submission was received by 30 September, the deadline was further extended to November 2018. Inquiries revealed that no names were submitted within the first or second deadline.

Excluding the period of the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), this is maybe the first time that no one was awarded for outstanding contribution to the country since Independence 1974.

However, despite no recognition through the National Honours and Awards Act, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell in his address announced that a stand in the cricket stadium will be named after cricketer Devon Smith.

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