Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
ACCOLADES WERE poured on 12 outstanding achievers from the county of Surrey during the Governor General's Achievement Awards ceremony, held at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, Portland.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen commended the recipients for their dedication and commitment shown during their quest to improve their economic, social, and financial conditions, despite them hailing from humble beginnings.
"Your determination has paid dividends. Against the odds, you rose above the occasion. This is a testimony that poverty doesn't prevent one from achieving, and you are an inspiration to many. Today, you are the recipients of this prestigious award, and it is a proud moment for you."
The awardees, who also received plaques, in St Thomas, were Nerissa McKenzie-Harris, recipient of the Governor General's Youth Award for 2012; Bertram Antonio Anderson, Governor General's Award for Excellence for 2012; and Christopher Dave-Montrose Sinclair, the Governor General Achievement Award for 2012.
Kingston recipients were Jodi Ann Thomas, Governor General's Achievement Award for 2012; Merrick Mayeton Hay, Governor General's Youth Award for 2012; and Albert George Gray, Governor General's Achievement Award for 2012.
Three residents of St Andrew were presented with awards: O'Danielle Tiffany O'Sullivan, who is the recipient of the Governor General's Youth Award for 2012; Raun Shawn Barrett, Governor General's Youth Award for 2012; and Ian Noel St Michael Wong, Governor General's Achievement Award for 2012.
There were three awardees from Portland: Rohan Alexander Lawson, Governor General's Youth Award for 2012; Anthony Ross, Governor General's Award for Excellence; and Barbara Burke, Governor General's Achievement Award for 2012.
Meanwhile, Burke said she was pleased to have been recognised.
"I had no idea that persons were observing my work and contribution," said Burke. She added: "It is pretty much the same with all the awardees, our work and contribution towards society, which touched lives in many ways, were done out of kindness, compassion, and love. It is really an honour to be recognised, and my love for helping people, healing their pain and giving them hope are what I do."
Burke, who was born in Buff Bay, Portland, is matron at the Port Antonio Hospital, where she started out in 1978 as staff nurse. She first started her professional career as a schoolteacher, but later switched profession as a result of having a passion to care for sick people.