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Twenty Bahamians Receive Queen’s Birthday Honours
Sep 24, 2009 - 11:06:28 PM

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Recipients of the of the Queen’s Birthday Honours pose for a group shop during a gala ceremony at Government House on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Pictured in the foreground from left: Secretary to the Governor General, Diana Lightbourne; Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham; Governor General His Excellency Sir Arthur D. Hanna and President of The Bahamas Christian Council, Rev. Patrick Paul. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Nassau, Bahamas - Twenty Bahamian recipients of The Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2008, were presented with their medals during an investiture ceremony at Government House on Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Governor General His Excellency Arthur D. Hanna presented the medals.

Receiving the insignia of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) (Civil Division) (CBE) were Sen. the Hon. Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation; and Wendy Craigg, Governor of The Central Bank of The Bahamas.

The insignia of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) were Dr. George H. Sherman, for his contribution to medicine; Dr. Davidson Hepburn, a former Ambassador to the United Nations; and Sylvia E. Scriven, a former MP for Ann’s Town, for her contribution to politics.

The recipients of the Most Excellent Order of The British Empire (M.B.E.) were Mrs. Marina Glinton, Mr. John Campbell Albury, Mr. Frank Russell, Mr. Edwin Velock Brown, Mr. Oswald Marshall, Ms. Yvonne B. Isaacs and Mr. Wilbert Braynen.

The Queen’s Police Medal went to Christopher Noel McCoy, Retired Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police; and Willard Minzo Cunningham, Chief Superintendent of Police.

Presented with the British Empire Medal (BEM) (Civil Division) were Ms. Beryl Adams, Mr. Laurin Knowles, Mrs. Melvern Bootle-Cornish, Rev. Newton Williamson, Ms. Barbara Darville, Mrs. Joanna Newton-Russell, Ms. Felamease Sawyer, Mrs. Dolly Mills and Mr. George Russell.

The Governor General thanked the recipients for their contributions to The Bahamas.

“Honourees, you exemplify those characteristics and qualities that make a nation proud,” the Governor General said. “You’ve enriched the lives of so many Bahamians with your generosity.  You’ve put country before self in so many instances and for this, we say a heartfelt thank you.”

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham said that in an effort to secure its future and national identity, a nation must take steps such as this. 

“All nations, in an effort to secure their futures and the conservation, cultivation and promotion of their national identity and indigenous culture, must endeavour to ensure their futures efforts taken are conducive to nation building,” said Mr. Ingraham.

He said to this end, the Government of The Bahamas continues with the tradition of recognizing deserving Bahamians with the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Mr. Ingraham said: “When our founding fathers, the Governor General included, sought to achieve independence, they made a determination to retain the Queen of Britain as Queen of The Bahamas as part of Bahamian heritage and legacy.  Their determination has not been altered.”

The Prime Minster also invited Bahamians to assist the government in identifying individuals who have contributed toward the political, intellectual, business, sport and cultural development of the country.

 “Each year, the government is given a quota of awards which Her Majesty confers on the recommendation of the Government of The Bahamas,” he said.  “These awards may be granted either at New Year’s or June.  Those honoured this morning represents the first batch of recipients of the honours since the installation of the FNM Government in 2007.”

Governor General His Excellency Sir Arthur D. Hanna addresses recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours at a gala ceremony at Government House on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Also pictured is Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson).

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham addresses recipients of the 2008 Queen's birthday honours during a gala ceremony held at Government House on Thursday, September 24. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay).

Your Excellency Arthur Hanna;

Colleague Ministers and Members of Parliament;

Senior Government Officers;

Distinguished Honourees;

Ladies and Gentlemen  


       All nations endeavour to secure their futures through the conservation, cultivation and promotion of a national identity, an indigenous culture and a common set of values conducive to nation building.  This is as true for young nations like our own whose longest period of history and whose early identity were shaped by a distant colonial power as it is for the colonial power whose history may have been shaped more in the field of battle.  But we are both the product and the shaper of our history.  

       As a young nation this endeavour to assure our future takes on a greater urgency.  Toward this end, the Government annually identifies deserving and worthy individuals who have contributed toward the political, intellectual, business or cultural development of our country for recognition and reward.  The selection of such persons is entirely our prerogative, in every way reflecting a Bahamas consideration of those among its citizenry who are most deserving of high honour.  

       The highest Honours that our country can confer upon citizens today are awards granted by Her Majesty the Queen in her role as Queen of The Bahamas.  When our founding fathers sought and achieved independence from Great Britain, they made the determination that we would, as a part of our heritage and legacy, retain the Queen of Britain as Queen of The Bahamas.  Their determination has not been altered.  

       Each year, we are given a quota of awards which Her Majesty will confer on the recommendation of the Government of The Bahamas. These awards may be granted either at New Year’s or in June in what are termed Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours.  This morning we recognize the first group of individuals selected for recognition and award by my Government since my Party’s return to office in 2007.  These awards are given from the 2008 quota of awards available to The Bahamas and were granted as Birthday Honours by Her Majesty.   

       Awardees join scores of other deserving Bahamians in being recognized and honoured by the Government.  I take this opportunity to invite Bahamians to consider persons in their communities who are deserving of recognition and high honour for their contribution to our national development and I urge all citizens and residents of The Bahamas to recommend such persons as future awardees.  Often, we find ourselves lamenting upon the passing of a citizen that his or her unselfish dedication to country had not been nationally recognized in life.   

       And so, I ask each of you to assist us in identifying worthy recipients for future high honour.  Your recommendations should be submitted to the Cabinet Office so that they may be included among those considered by the Government.  

       I am privileged and honoured to join all of you as His Excellency the Governor-General, Her Majesty’s representative in The Bahamas, confers awards granted by Her Majesty as Queen of The Bahamas to each of you.  

       We acknowledge, thank, applaud and honour all of you for your invaluable contribution to The Bahamas.   

       This morning one person from New Providence is receiving the award of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) (Civil Division). She is Mrs. Wendy Craig in recognition of her outstanding contribution in our financial services sector.  

       Two individuals will receive the award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE):  Dr. George H. Sherman, medical doctor for his distinguished service in medicine, and Mrs. Sylvia E. Scriven of Long Island, for her contribution to community development and politics.  

       Two senior police officers are being awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service to our nation in law enforcement.  They are:  

       Mr. Christopher Noel McCoy, for his exemplary courage and proactive leadership in the execution of his duties as a law enforcement officer, and Mr. Willard Minzo Cunningham, for his dedicated service to the growth and development of the community as a law enforcement officer.  

       Seven individuals are being made members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for their contribution to business, architecture, charitable organizations, trade unionism, community development, politics and education:  

       Mrs. Marina Glinton (New Providence), Mr. John Campbell (Jack) Albury (Abaco), Mr. Frank Russell (Abaco), Mr. Edwin Velock “Vikie” Brown (New Providence), Mr. Oswald Marshall (New Providence), Mrs. Yvonne B. Isaacs (New Providence), and Mr. Rodney Wilbert Braynen (New Providence).   

       Nine individuals are being recognized by the award of the British Empire medal (Civil Division) (BEM) for their contributions to banking, business, education, fishing, community service and development, politics and law enforcement:  

       Mrs. Beryl Adams, New Providence

       Mt. Laurin Knowles, Long Island

       Mrs. Melvern Bootle-Cornish, Abaco

       Rev. Newton Williamson, Acklins

       Ms. Barbara Darville, Exuma

       Mrs. Joanna Newton-Russell, Grand Bahama

       Ms. Felamease Sawyer, Abaco

       Mrs. Dolly Mills, Abaco

       Mr. George Russell, Grand Cay  

       Some recipients have excelled in their careers or special field of endeavour; others have demonstrated yeoman’s service at the national level or in their local community and still others have, in the ordinary course of their life and work, proven to be outstanding nationals worthy of recognition and praise. 

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham greets newly installed Chief Protocol Officer, Melvin Seymour (left) during the gala ceremony held for recipients of the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours at Government House, Thursday, September 24. Also Pictured: Aide-de-Camp, Inspector Kirk Douglas. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay).

       I know that some of you have been surprised at having been singled out for honour believing that you have simply done your job, developed a business, honed a talent, or followed an inclination to become involved in politics at the community level.  

       I want to say to you today, that there is nothing ordinary about doing a good job, giving excellent service and being dedicated to the improvement of our social and civic conditions.  You are all deserving of having your names and your accomplishments etched in the annals of our history.   

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

       The challenges of this still new century: the breakdown of the traditional family, the glorification of material wealth, and the effects of social pressures fostered by virtual instant access to information are combining to create generations of self-centered individuals who seek instant gratification and who tolerate what most of us see as intolerable levels of violence.   

       It is important for all of us but especially for young people who are daily bombarded with such images to be provided with wholesome role models; that is, people who have succeeded because of honest hard work, dedication and perseverance.  

       I believe that all of you gathered here this morning are such role models.  I say to you that your contributions in tourism, in business, in politics, in community development and in a variety of professions have been essential to nation building.  

       Because of your service, we are better and we may look towards an even brighter tomorrow.   Congratulations.

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