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More than 150 Jamaicans to receive National Honours

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2015 | 4:55 PMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Dr Burchell Taylor
Derick Heaven
Gary Allen, managing director of the RJR Communications Group
Fae Ellington

Having the names of two Baptist missionaries, Reverend Burchell Knibb Taylor, believes he could not have escaped pastoral work.

This journey, which includes serving at the Bethel Baptist Church in St Andrew for the last 45 years, has led him to being among seven Jamaicans, who have been awarded membership into the Order of Jamaica.

"I am surprised because I never thought I could do enough for my country. I honestly believe that I have received far more from the country than I could ever dream of giving back, and so I am humbled.

"I grew up in a Christian family, I don't know what kind of foresight my parents had, having given me the names of two Baptist missionaries who participated in the liberation of our people. But I have never left that path. It is a path (pastor) that has served me very well," he said.

Taylor will be honoured for distinguished service in the field of religion locally and internationally, on National Heroes Day in October, when the National Honours and Awards will be made to more than 150 people.


Similarly, former head of the Sugar Industry Authority Amba-ssador Derick Heaven noted that having served in several areas, including being a member of the Cabinet, state minister, consul general in New York, among other areas, he concluded that there is need for more persons to give of themselves.

"I'm very pleased that I have been considered to receive this honour. It's nice to know that my efforts on behalf of the country have been recognised. I am really deeply honoured," Heaven told The Gleaner.

"A lot of people spend their time complaining about the country. There is probably a lot to complain about, but the country would be much better if more people had volunteered their efforts to serve ... because the country cannot progress without people serving it," he said.

Taylor and Heaven are joined by Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie, Professor Graham Serjeant, Dr Vincent HoSang, Dr Glenford Christian, and Father Louis Grenier.

Head of Digicel, Ireland born Denis O'Brien, has been appoin-ted an honorary member of the order in recognition of his contribution to the telecommunications industry.

For his contribution to media and communication, RJR Com-munications Group Managing Director Gary Allen has been awarded membership in the Order of Distinction Comman-der Class.

Head of the Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency Colonel Desmond Edwards has been appointed to the Order of Distinction Commander Class for his contribution to the Jamaica Defence Force and national security.

Veteran broadcaster Fae Ellington has also been appointed to the Order of Distinction Commander Class for her contribution to communication, media, education and culture.