Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Our people have skills to fix Jamaica - Sir Patrick

Published:Wednesday | November 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Sir Patrick Allen (centre) Governor General of Jamaica in discussion with Rev. Dr Venice Guntley-McKenzie, (second left) awardee of the Governor General award with her husband Keith McKenzie, her sister Carol Guntley, (right) at the Governor-General's Achievement Award for the County of Surrey presentation ceremony held recently.

TWELVE OUTSTANDING Jamaicans from the county of Surrey were recently bestowed with the 2014 Governor General's Achievement Award (GGAA) in recognition of their selfless contributions

to the upliftment of their communities.

The recipients, from St Thomas, Portland, St Andrew and Kingston, were presented with plaques by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen during a ceremony in late September at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in St Andrew.

The recipients were Shanese Watson, Tameka Hue-Hamilton, and Pansy Murphy from St Thomas; Shanique Rogers, Kemoy Phillips and Novlet Chambers from Portland; Joel Nomdarkham, Lauren Marsh, and the Reverend Dr Venice Guntley-Mckenzie from St Andrew; and Anthony Stephens, Kerry-Ann Barrett and Alfred Grant from Kingston.

Sir Patrick urged recipients to continue making meaningful impacts towards the development of the nation, while embodying a culture of excellence.

He praised them for voluntarily using their skills, abilities and resources to make a difference in their spheres of influence.


"I ask that you bask in this moment, feel special and proud, as you are deserving of this recognition, and I encourage you to use this acknowledgement of your selfless contribution as a propellant for even greater accomplishments, which will motivate others in and around your communities to voluntarily give of themselves," he said.

The governor general noted that despite the challenges in the society, the country has the key elements for positive change.

"We have our people - who are what is right with Jamaica - and they possess the skills, the talents and abilities to fix what is wrong with our island," he said.

The GGAA began in 1991 under the leadership of then governor general, the late Sir Howard Cooke, to recognise Jamaicans 35 years and older, who had achieved greatly, despite difficult and challenging socio-economic circumstances, and are making substantial contributions to the nation but were not recipients of national honours and awards.

The programme was expanded by Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall in 2006 to recognise youth, between 18 and 35 years old,

for excellence in academia and voluntary service, as well as individuals in the diaspora,

who were making significant contribution to Jamaica and in their host country.

In February 2014, the GGAA and the I Believe Initiative were merged to create the Governor General's Programme for Excellence.

The I Believe Initiative was launched in 2011 by Sir Patrick to motivate and inspire young people to believe in themselves and to also give service to their country.