BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 16TH 2006 (CUOPM)
Saturday 16th September, a public holiday.
First commemorated in 1998, with the St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Parliament passing the National Honours Act, setting every September 16th â€“ the birthdates of First National Hero â€“ the Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw and the Right Excellent Sir Joseph N. France, a holiday.
The inaugural National Heroâ€™s Day, on the 16th September 1998 saw the National Hero Honour being bestowed posthumously on Sir Robert Bradshaw and the renaming of the Golden Rock Airport, the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.
To mark the occasion, the Mrs. Mildred Bradshaw unveiled a bust of Bradshaw, donated by Cuba, in the arrival lounge at the airport. Mrs. Bradshaw was also presented with the insignia of the Order of National Hero.
In 2004, two other persons were elevated to the status of National Heroes, the late Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell and the late Sir Joseph N. France.Â The Order of the National Hero bestows the title – Knight Commander of the Order of National Hero.
Although not an honour under the National Heroes Act, Her Majesty the Queen accepted the recommendation of Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas on September 16th 2004 and bestowed the Knight Commander in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael & Saint George on First Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds.
In 2005, another class of award was added, that of â€śThe Order of St. Christopher and Nevisâ€ť given to its first recipient, the visiting President of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency Chen Shiu-bian.
Several Kittitians and Nevisians have been awarded the Star of Merit or the Medal of Honour for their contribution to the economic, political and social development of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in the fields of nursing, public health, education, sports, music, manufacturing, industry, community development and trade unionism.
A Standing National Awards Committee has been established under the Act. The committee is composed of members of the Public Service Commission, Trades Unions, Chamber of Commerce, the public, church and women organisations and the National Youth Council. Members of the public are able to submit nominations for the awards which are for citizens of the Federation who given distinguished service to their country.