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Outstanding Jamaicans Honoured



#Jamaica, October 19, 2017 – Kingston – Two hundred and fifty-seven outstanding Jamaicans who have made significant contributions to nation building, were formally recognized at the ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, on Monday  (October 16), at King’s House.   Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and his wife, Mrs. Juliet Holness, headed the list of dignitaries and other guests who attended the annual event to witness the awards being handed out by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.

Heading the list of recipients this year was musical icon, the Hon. Neville O’Reilly Livingston, popularly known as “Bunny Wailer”, who was awarded the Order of Merit.

“It’s an honour to be awarded. I have been contributing over these years with Bob (Marley) and Peter (Tosh). It feels good to be recognised for the great things which happened for me in music,” he told JIS News at the ceremony.

Following his award, five persons – Mr. Vincent Francis, Mr. Phillip Gore, Mr. Anthony Hart, Professor Archibald McDonald and Ambassador Clifton Stone were presented with the Order of Jamaica.

Forty-two persons were awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander [CD]. They were The Reverend Dr. Ronald Blair, Dr. Ellen Grizzle, Senior Superintendent Vance Carter, Mrs. Heather Cooke, Mrs. Laleta Davis-Mattis, Mr. Herrick Dear, Sister Mary Figueroa, Professor Fletcher, Mr. Ian Forbes, Dr. Marcia Forbes, Colonel (Rtd.) Samuel Francis, Mr. Christopher Gayle, Dr. Gladys Gordon-Veitch, Mr. Alexander Hamilton, Mr. Kevin Hendrickson, Mr. Paul Hoo, Mr. Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, Mr. John Lynch, Dr. Noel Lynch and The Hon. Mrs. Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop.

Others given the CD were Ambassador Vilma McNish, Major General Rocky Meade, Mr. Howard Mitchell, Professor Keith Morrison, Dr. Donald Phillibert, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, Mr. George Quallo, Mr. John Robinson, Mr. Robert Russell, Mr. Paul Scott, Mr. Lyttleton Shirley, Mr. Edward Shoucair, Mr. George Soutar, Mrs. Joy Spence, Hon. Ms. Justice Jennifer Straw, Hon. Mr. Justice Bryan Sykes, Dr. Cleo Taylor, Mr. Sylvester Tulloch, Dr. Kenneth Vaughn, Mr. Albert Webb, Senator Donald Wehby, Mr. Noel Whyte and Mr. Clifton Yap.

Dr. Marcia Forbes, co-owner and Executive Chairperson of Phase Three Productions Limited, who was awarded in this category for her sterling contribution to multimedia television production, public service and volunteerism, said she “felt fantastic”.

“I don’t work to get any recognition or award, but when you get it, it’s amazing, especially when you’re alive and young enough to appreciate it as I am. It’s really a good feeling. I thank all who have nominated me,” she told JIS News.

Sixty-six persons were awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer [OD]. They were Mrs. Sonia Abrahams, Captain (Rtd.) Christopher Annamunthodo, Mr. Khaleel Azan, Mr. Carl Bradshaw, Mr. Patrick Brown, Mr. John Breese, Mr. Isbert Clarke, Mr. Robert Clarke, Mrs. Pearline Cooper Sharpe, The Right Reverend Harold Daniel, Mr. Alston Douglas, Mr. Michael Drakulich, Ms. Simone Edwards, Mr. Copeland Forbes, Mr. Alvin Francis, Mr. Ferdinand Gaynair, Mrs. Mabel Grandison, Mrs. Antonica Gunter Gayle, Mr. Courtney Barrington and Ms. Joyce Harris.

Also receiving the OD were Mr. George Ho Sang, Mr. Indru Khemlani, Mr. Ramesh Lakhwani, Mr. Leroy Lindsay, Ms. Eslyn Lynch, Mr. Carlos Malcolm, Dr. Donna McFarlane, The Reverend Cannon McIntyre, Mr. Clyde McKenzie, Professor Collie Miller, Mrs. Gloria Millwood, Mrs. Rosina Moder, Mr. Earl Moore, Mr. Kenneth Neale, Mrs. Delores O’Connor, Mr. Hugh Osborne, Mr. Paul Pennicook, Mr. Lloyd Pommells, Ms. Sandra Levy-Ramsay, Mr. Carl Rhoden, Mr. Gary Sadler, Ms. Hermine Salmon, Pastor Glen Samuels, Mrs. Methelina Scarlet-Jones, Mr. Richard Simpson, Dr. Iris Soutar, Mr. Lloyd Stanbury, Mr. Joseph Sterling, Ms. Stafanie Taylor, Dr. Ian Titus, Mrs. Maxine Walters, Mr. Theodore Whitmore, Mr. Joel Williams, Mr. Maurice Wilson, Mr. Dennis Wright, Ms. Joyce Young and Mrs. Margaret Steuart.

Mr. Ho Sang, a retired jockey, who was awarded the OD for his contribution to the horse racing industry in Jamaica, said he “feels great to have been awarded by his country”.

“I thank the people who nominated me for this award. I am so grateful to receive it while I am still alive to enjoy it,” he said in an interview with JIS News.

Seven Jamaicans who risked their lives to save others were awarded with the Badge of Honour for Gallantry [BH(G)] by the Governor-General. They were Mr. Howard Garcia, Ms. Anna Kay Martin, Mr. Ramone Peart, Mr. Jamwno Riley, Mr. Jermaine Riley, Ms. Davia Tucker and Mr. Tremayne Brown, who was recently added to the list for his act of bravery on September 10, after he jumped into a gully to save 12-year-old Renaldo Reynolds in Trench Town from being washed away.

Speaking with JIS News after collecting his award, Mr. Brown said he felt good about being publicly awarded.    “It feels good. It feels really good,” Mr. Brown, who was overwhelmed, simply said.

Twenty-four persons were awarded with The Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service [BH(M)]. They were Dr. Winsome Christie, Ms. Opal Davis, Mr. Easton Daley, Mrs. Daphne Dennis, Mrs. Alice Downer, Mr. Baldwin Dulston, Mr. Clive Edwards, Ms. Quindell Ferguson, Mrs. Helen Gauron, Mrs. Melody Haughton-Adams, Mrs. Murleen Kelly Henry, The Reverend Uriah Lawrence, Mrs. Sonia Lee, Mrs. Hilda McAnuff, Mrs. Marjorie Monteith, Mrs. Bernice Moore, Mr. Barrington Parsons, Dr. Michelle Russell, Ms. Maudlyn Roach, Mrs. June Torey-Scott, Mrs. Constance Witter, Mr. Elphyn Wright, Father Marek Bzinkowski, Mrs. Diane Pollard and Mr. Peter Rose.

Some 37 persons were awarded with the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service [BH(L)]. They were Mrs. Elaine Barker, Mr. Hebron Barrett, Mrs. Elizabeth Brown-James, Mrs. Roseline Brown-Moore, Mrs. Eumeda Byfield, Mrs. Jacqueline Champagnie, Mr. Anthony Colquhoun, Mrs. Sandra Daley Peart, Mrs. Carolm Dyer-Archer, Ms. Paulette Green, Mr. Phillip Hutchinson, Mrs. Beverley Ingram, Mr. Winston Jackson, Ms. Grace Johns, Mrs. Millicent Kerridge, Mrs. Sybil Leslie, Mrs. Nellie Lewis, Mrs. Patricia Linton-Khanni, Mrs. Linda Maragh, Ms. Lois McGregor, Ms. Marlene McGregor, Mrs. Sylvia McKenzie, Dr. Stewart McKoy, Mr. Felix Mitchell, Mrs. Yvonne Mitchell, Mrs. Matilda Morgan, Mr. Michael Nicholson, Ms. Juliet O’Sullivan, Ms. Marjorie Parkin, Mrs. Evelyn Richards, Mrs. Paula Rouse-McFarlane and Mrs. Ivet Russell.   Others were Ms. Yvette Smith, Ms. Yvonne Vassell, Ms. Leith Watson, Mr. Robert White and Mr. Howard Williams.

Mr. Brandon Freeman collected an award in this category on behalf of his grandfather, Mr. Horace Vickers Freeman, who died one month prior to the ceremony.

Speaking with JIS News, Brandon said it was a bittersweet feeling both sitting in the seat and collecting the award on behalf of his grandfather.

“My grandfather was a great man and I’m glad I was able to collect what he rightfully earned. It’s sad that he was not here today to receive it himself, but I believe his legacy has been passed on through my generation, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to collect my own reward for my own legacy,” he said.

Two persons from the Department of Correctional Services were awarded with the Medal of Honour for Gallantry.   They were Corporal Vincent Allen for rendering quick and alert assistance to Corporal Ivey who requested emergency medical assistance while suffering a heart attack; and Corporal Jermaine Stewart for demonstrating the act of bravery, courage and a keen sense of alertness to have discharged his firearm at two armed robbers who boarded the Department’s vehicle and attempted to rob staff members on Friday, November 25, 2016.

In the category of the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service, 12 persons from the Jamaica Defence Force were awarded, 24 from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 27 from the Department of Correctional Services and 11 from the Jamaica Fire Brigade.

Release: JIS

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Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival



#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.


Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo


Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York



New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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