St. Kitts – Nevis To Announce 2008 National Awards

Governor General - Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian

Governor General – Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 11, 2008 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis will know next week the names of the persons who will receive 2008 National Awards to mark the 25th Anniversary of political independence.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has forwarded to His Excellency the Governor Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, the names of the individuals recommended by the National Awards Committee, chaired by Mrs. Dulcie Richardson.

The Governor General’s Office is expected to officially announce the recipients of National Awards to coincide with National Heroes Day, Tuesday 16th September, a public holiday.

Several nationals at home and overseas will be honoured for their contribution to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis in the areas of nursing, education, community service, sports, manufacturing, music, trade unionism and politics.

National Heroes Day was first commemorated in 1998, with the St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Parliament passing the National Honours Act, setting every September 16th the birthdate of First National Hero, the Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, Knight Commander of the Order of National Hero, a public holiday. September 16th is also the birthdate of the Right Excellent Sir Joseph N. France, another National Hero.

The Act established three classes of award: The Order of National Hero, the Star of Merit and the Medal of Honour and a National Hero’s Day.

The inaugural National Hero’s Day, on the 16th September 1998 saw the National Hero status bestowed posthumously on Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw and the renaming of the Golden Rock Airport, the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

In 2004, two other persons were elevated to the status of National Heroes, Former Chief Minister and Chief Minister, the late Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell and trade union stalwart and former Minister of Government, Sir Joseph N. France.  The Order of the National Hero bestows the title – Knight Commander of the Order of National Hero on recipients.

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 of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on the First Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Right Hon. Dr. Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds.

In 2005, another class of award was added, that of “The Order of St. Christopher and Nevis” given to its first recipient, then President of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency Chen Shiu-bian.

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 submit nominations for the awards which are for citizens of the Federation.  The Committee forwards its recommendations to the Prime Minister.

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