Government officials will pay homage to Jamaicans, who have received the nation’s highest honour, the Order of National Hero. They fought for freedom against slavery, for the right of all adult Jamaicans to vote, and for the birth of independent Jamaica.
In an interview with JIS News, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Production Manager, Gregory Simms, said a decision was taken this year to begin the national celebrations by honouring the heroes.
“This year, there is a particular interest to ensure that we honour and recognise members of the highest order that can be given in Jamaica, which is the Order of the National Hero. In the past, there was usually a salute to these heroes in the afternoon at the Heroes’ Park but we’ve decided to change things up a bit this year and to begin the day by saluting these heroes before we proceed to the National Honours and Awards,” he said.
There will be floral tributes from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna; President of the Senate, Senator Floyd Morris; Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness; Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Senator Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke; and Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla.
This will be followed by the Ceremony of Investiture and presentation of National Honours on the lawns of King’s House, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
A total of 222 men and women will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to nation building through service in various fields.
The ceremony, to be presided over by the Governor-General, will be streamed live on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) website at: www.jis.gov.jm
Guests attending the function should be seated by 8:30 a.m.
Heading the list of recipients is Dr. Glenford Christian, OD, who will receive the Order of Jamaica (OJ), for invaluable contribution to the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Seven other persons will be conferred with the Order of Jamaica. They are Ambassador Derrick Roy Heaven, CD, for distinguished service in the Public Sector and sterling leadership provided to the Sugar Industry; Dr. Vincent Getchun Hosang, OD, for philanthropic and dedicated service to Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora in New York; Professor Elsa Ann Leo-Rhynie, CD, for outstanding contribution to Academia; and Reverend Dr. Burchell Knibb Taylor, CD, for distinguished service in the field of Religion locally and internationally.
Also to receive the OJ are: Denis O’Brien (Honorary), for his sterling contribution to the Telecommunications Industry in Jamaica; Reverend Father Louis Letellier Grenier, SJ, OD, for distinguished service to Religion, Education and Voluntary Service for more than 60 years; and Professor Graham Roger Serjeant, CD, for sterling contribution to Sickle Cell research, locally and internationally.
Other award categories include the Order of Distinction (in the ranks of Commander (CD) and Officer (OD); the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service; and the Badge of Honour for Meritorious and Long and Faithful Service.