15 Jamaicans from Middlesex get Governor General's Achievement Awards
Fifteen brilliant and selfless Jamaicans from the county of Middlesex, some with heart warming tales of overcoming their struggles to achieve their goals, last Thursday received the 2018 Governor General's Achievement Awards at a ceremony at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa in Runaway Bay, St Ann.
The awardees are: From St Catherine - Everton Joseph Rattray, Cordell Elizabeth Williams-Graham and Dr Una Eugenie Harrison.
From St Mary - Kadesha Cassandra-Lee Croney, Gordon Eugene Lindsay and Evadney McIntosh-Amritt.
From Clarendon - Kedean Osmond Lee, Chevelle Cherice Campbell and Gaston Thomas, JP.
From St Ann - Damion Anthony Lawrence, Pastor Omar Zaheer Dwayne Oliphant, JP, and Everton George Walker.
From Manchester - Delmas Richard Brown, Paris-Michelle Georgina Barrett-Powell, and Lucinda Beverly Peart.
The Governor General Achievement Awards are presented to individuals in recognition of "the work of many unsung heroes and heroines who have not received national honours, but who are eligible for recognition based on their academic performance or their service in their communities".
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, in addressing the awardees, said that "during this year's recognition programme and awards, we have awarded some outstanding candidates, one of whom attained 20 units in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate. Another has journeyed from pushing a handcart to becoming chairman of a school board".
Sir Patrick said that "many other individuals have made it through the adversity of rain but avoided the raindrops of negative thought and discouragement, emerging victorious from their experiences to serve their communities and excelled academically in some instances".
He continued: "I congratulate each award recipient and encourage you to continue spreading gleams of hope across our country. You have chosen to be part of what is right with Jamaica through your conscious deeds of kindness and volunteerism. It is said that being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. You have done both."
St Ann recipient Everton George Walker, a lecturer at Moneague College who responded on behalf of the awardees, urged them not get lost in self-centredness.
"We should not be too quick to judge and punish but we need to develop the vision to distinguish between when others are breaking the rules and when the rules are breaking their reality," he said.
Presence needs to be felt
"The communities we serve should always feel our presence, and our actions should reflect dignity and accountability; so far the sake of humanity and being obedient to the commands of God, let us continue to be purposeful as we exemplify the epitome of meaningful change," Walker added.
The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited was one of the sponsors of the event and according to Managing Director Christopher Barnes, who spoke on behalf the corporate sponsors, said the awardees were 'silent heroes in their own right.'
Barnes said he always draws inspiration upon hearing stories of the recipients, which pushes him "to go back to work to continue to do my best to strive for excellence for the betterment of Jamaica."
Quoting from Chronixx's song Legend, which has the chorus: "Said I'm a legend that you've never heard of before; I said I am a lion, but you've never heard me; I am a hero, nobody celebrate; But if one person remembers my name, that means I made a change," Barnes encouraged them to make the words their mantra.
He continued: "It is because this programme lends a voice to us as sponsors, to be a part of something that's much larger than we are, the Yes We Can Movement, Governor General, where each day, as we unearth our true potential, we also inspire others along the way to be our best self, whether consciously or subconsciously.
"We recognise the value of rewarding and giving recognition to our silent heroes as we all, not just the sponsors, draw from the cascading effect of their efforts and beliefs, not just for the benefit of our businesses, but for the overall benefit of the country".
Other major sponsors were JN Group, Victoria Mutual, Scotia Jamaica Building Society, Jamaica Broilers Group and FLOW, with Cardiff Hotel, a local sponsor.