KINGSTON, Jamaica – Two hundred and fifty-seven Jamaicans received national honours and awards on Monday at the annual investiture and awards ceremony held on the lawns of King’s House in St Andrew.
Famed musician Neville O’Reilly Livingstone, better known as “Bunny Wailer”, the only living member of the legendary Wailing Wailers band, headed the long list of distinguished honorees. He was conferred with the Order of Merit for his work in the field of popular music.
The Order of Merit is the country’s third-highest honour and is conferred on citizens who have achieved “eminent international distinction” in their field of endeavour.
Five Jamaicans received the Order of Jamaica, the fourth-highest honour, among them world-renowned track and field coach Vincent Stephen Francis of MVP track club; University of the West Indies Principal Professor Archibald McDonald for excellence in academia and public service; Phillip Gore for outstanding service in business, community development and humanitarianism; Ambassador Clifton Stone for outstanding public service; and Anthony Hart, for outstanding service in business, community development and humanitarianism.
There were 44 appointees to the Order of Distinction (Commander class), from various areas of national life including Police Commissioner George Quallo for distinguished service to the Jamaica Constabulary Force; West Indies batsman Christopher Gayle; Heather Cooke, for service to the Houses of Parliament; Lyttleton Shirley for contribution to the public sector; Senator Don Wehby, group chief executive officer of GraceKennedy, for sterling contribution to the private and public sectors; Sylvester Tulloch, for contribution to housing development and the Mico Foundation; Supreme Ventures Chairman Paul Hoo, for outstanding contribution to the sporting industry; and Clifton Yap, for service in the field of architecture and construction.
Meanwhile in the Officer class, there were 33 honorees, among them Antonica Gunter Gayle, for outstanding and dedicated service to children with disabilities; Pearline Cooper Sharpe, for sterling contribution to the nursing profession; Clyde McKenzie, for service to the creative industry, media and broadcasting; and Earl Moore, for outstanding contribution to the insurance industry and for community development.
A total of 23 individuals were honoured posthumously for significant contribution across various sectors, 25; received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, and 38 for Long and Faithful Service.
Eighty individuals from the uniformed groups were honoured. The Medal of Honour for Gallantry went to Corporal Vincent Allen, and Corporal Jermaine Stewart from the Department of Correctional Services. Allen was awarded for giving medical attention to a colleague who was suffering from a heart attack, while Stewart was recognised for demonstrating bravery and courage in discharging his firearm at armed robbers who boarded the department’s vehicle and attempted to rob staff members on November 25 last year.
Thirteen members of the Jamaica Defence Force received medals of honour for meritorious service along with 25 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 28 members of the Department of Correctional Services, and 12 members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade