BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Four individuals have been announced as the 2011 Independence National Honour Awardees for their contribution to different aspects of Kittitian and Nevisian society.
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, while delivering his independence speech on national radio and television, revealed the names of the awardees.
The Star of Merit is to be bestowed upon Mavis Browne for her contribution to nursing and health services, Pastor Reverend George Gilfillan will be bestowed the Medal of Honour for his contribution in the area of community service and religion, Eustace Warner will be bestowed the Medal of Honour for his contribution in the area of community service and for his service in the area of culture, historical research and documentation, Zack ‘The Cultural Doctor’ Nisbett will be bestowed Medal of Honour.
According to the process by which persons are selected for the awards, persons are invited to submit nominations to the Ministry of National Security for the awards in the various categories which are: the Order of National Hero, Star of Merit and Medal of Honour.
All nominations would be reviewed by a National Honours Awards Committee which would provide recommendations to the Prime Minister “with the consent of the nominee”. The nominees would then be assented by His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, acting on the advise of the Prime Minister.
The act which makes provision for these awards, the National Honours Act, was passed by the Federal Parliament in 1998, which also named September 16 as National Heroes Day.
St. Kitts’ first National Hero (whose date of birth coincides with that date) was posthumously named that year in the person of the Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, the nation’s first Premier.
The Order of National Hero was bestowed upon two others six years later, in the persons of the Right Excellent Sir Joseph N. France (who also celebrated his birthdate on September 16) and the Right Excellent Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell.
Persons who have received the Star of Merit award over the years include Edmund Wickham, May Stevens, William Kelsick, Basil Michael King, Frederick Lawrence Lam OBE and Kim Collins.
Individuals who have been in receipt of the Medal of Honour award include Konris Maynard, Willa Franks, Tamboura Kitwana, Laura Manners, Edgar Challenger, Rita Cable, Elston ‘Ellie Matt’ Nero, Basil E. Henderson and Jacqueline Armony.