Sun | Aug 14, 2022

Fraser-Pryce among 10 to receive Order of Jamaica

143 set to get national honours this year

Published:Saturday | August 6, 2022 | 12:11 AMDavid Salmon, Andre Williams and Janet Silvera/Gleaner Writers
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Sprinting sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is among 10 people who will be inducted into the Order of Jamaica (OJ) as the island prepares to honour 143 persons with national awards this year.

The OJ is the country’s fourth-highest honour and is awarded to Jamaican citizens of outstanding distinction.

A decorated Olympian, Fraser-Pryce recently stormed to a historic fifth 100m title at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.

Also among the OJ recipients is business pioneer Joan Duncan, who played a pivotal role in the development of the country’s banking sector, in particular the money market, with the establishment of Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd (JMMB).

JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan said the family was honoured that the country would be saluting his late mother.

“We are grateful, blessed and honoured and we are happy that she has been acknowledged. She was a pioneer and she was a woman ahead of her time,” he told The Gleaner yesterday.

Rounding out the OJ recipients this year are Monty Alexander, Olivia Grange, Justice (ret’d) Karl Harrison, Rita Lewin, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, Audrey Sewell and Professor Alvin Wint. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is of Jamaican heritage, will receive an honorary OJ.

No recipients have been named for the Order of Merit this year. This award, which is Jamaica’s fourth-highest honour, can be held by no more than 15 living persons.

Thirty Jamaicans will be awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD). Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie and Dr Sandra Lindsay are among those receiving the award this year for their efforts in the COVID-19 fight.

Richard Pandohie, who is being inducted into the Order of Distinction, said when he first received the call from the Office of the Prime Minister informing him of the award, he thought it was a prank.

“I am just in disbelief. I am totally surprised and I am truly honoured to be bestowed this honour by the Government of Jamaica. I feel very blessed to be given numerous opportunities to contribute to Jamaica’s development,” said Pandohie, who also thanked his team and family.

“The work isn’t done. This award serves as a massive motivation for me to even want to contribute more to Jamaica and to the Caribbean at large. I am dedicating this award to my mother, Evadney Pandohie. I hope she will be proud,” he added.

Mark Hart, founder of Caribbean Producers Jamaica, is also grateful at his Order of Distinction nod.

“It has been such a great honour to serve ... . It has also been rewarding to have input in our beloved Montego Bay. I have a legacy to live up to,” he said. “I believe Jamaica’s best years are ahead.”

SHERICKA JACKSON FOR OD

Shericka Jackson, who won gold in the 200m at last month’s World Athletics Championships, will also be inducted into the Order of Distinction.

Others awarded include Chief of Defence Staff Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman; politicians Dr Morais Guy and Everald Warmington; Professor Colin Gyles, acting president of the University of Technology, Jamaica; and Jamaica Social Investment Fund Managing Director Omar Sweeney.

Jeffrey ‘Agent Sasco’ Campbell is one of the 35 Jamaicans who will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer.

At least four journalists are also receiving national honours, including Vernon Davidson, executive editor of the Jamaica Observer, who is receiving an OD in the rank of Commander, and former Gleaner editor Lloyd Williams, who will receive an OD in the rank of Officer. Veteran Gleaner photojournalists Ian Allen and Rudolph Brown also join the list of awardees receiving the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service.

Nine Jamaicans will be recognised for gallantry this year – seven civilians and two policemen.

The policemen, Sergeant Leon Fisher and Constable Kevin Lewars, both demonstrated dedication, commitment and extraordinary courage in circumstances of extreme danger as they pursued a suspect considered Jamaica’s most wanted man during an operation on April 28, 2018 in St James.

Fisher was injured by the suspect, but made a conscious decision and supported the team, including using his body as a human shield.

Both Fisher and Lewars, whose ballistic helmet and vest were shot up and damaged, placed themselves in the firing line to safely remove a number of persons, including an 18-month-old child, from nearby apartments.

Badges for gallantry will be bestowed on Tanesha Brown, Junior Clark, Aselee Sutherland and Cedesiha Williams for an incident on March 10, 2022, where they prevented the abduction of a young schoolgirl.

Winston Thorpe and Josiah Wright are being recognised for saving the life of a policeman, who was shot and left for dead on February 15, 2022.

Jeffrey Bowen, who saved a young boy from drowning on July 31, 2020, is the other gallantry recipient.