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JAMAICA: Recipients of National Honours and Awards Express Gratitude

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#Kingston, October 22, 2019 – Jamaica – Recipients of National Honors and Awards this year have expressed gratitude for the recognition accorded them by the Government for their contributions to the nation.

Notable among the honourees is Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and Central Clarendon Member of Parliament, Hon. Mike Henry, who is one of five persons conferred with the Order of Jamaica (OJ).  They were among the 215 individuals formally recognized during Monday’s (October 21) Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, at King’s House.

The event, which was presided over by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, and attended by dignitaries and officials, headed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, was one of the main activities commemorating National Heroes Day.

Mr. Henry, who was recognized for 40 years of Distinguished Public Service, Political Representation and Public Policy Development, told JIS News that he felt honoured and will continue to give of himself.

“This award means a lot to me. I will cherish it and build on it as life continues. The important [thing] is that we build on it [as] there are still a number of important things left to do,” he said.

The other persons conferred with the Order of Jamaica are: renowned Reggae singer, Dr. Alpharita Constantia ‘Rita’ Marley; Member of Parliament for St. Catherine North Western, Robert Pickersgill; Dr. Julius Winston Garvey, son of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey; and Jamaica Broilers Group Chairman, Robert Levy.

The overall list of recipients was headed by Professor Gerald Cecil Lalor, who was awarded the Order of Merit (OM) for his contribution to Jamaica and the world’s development through the application of Science, Technology and Innovation and Service to the Public and Private Sectors. In his absence, Professor Lalor’s award was collected by his son.

Forty-one persons were awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander [CD].  They include: were National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang; Supreme Court Judge, Mrs. Justice Sarah Thompson-James; veteran sportscaster, Edward Barnes; international recording artiste, Sean Paul Henriques; Reggae singer, Jacob Miller (Posthumous); and Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Chief Executive Officer, Valerie Veira.

Former United States to Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Johnson, received an honorary award in recognition for her outstanding philanthropic and humanitarian contribution to Jamaica.

Dr. Chang, who was awarded for distinguished public service in the area of politics, said he was gratified.

“I just want to say thanks to my colleagues… I really appreciate it. After many years of work, it is good to know that my colleagues and the country respect what I do,” he said.

Mrs. Thompson-James told the JIS News that “I have been in the service for many years and I am very pleased that the powers that be saw it fit to give me this award… I am truly humbled”.

Forty persons were awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer [OD].

They include: Deputy Commissioners of Police Clifford Blake and Selvin Haye; comedian and actor, Glen ‘Titus’ Campbell; National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Executive Director, Audley Gordon; and MVP Track Club President, Bruce James.

Mr. Campbell, whose announcement was met with deafening applause, said “it is a humbling experience”.

“I feel honoured, I feel blessed for this award from the Jamaican Government and the love from the Jamaican people was heartwarming,” he told JIS News.

Two Jamaicans, who risked their lives to save others, were awarded the Badge of Honour for Gallantry [BH(G)].  They are: Tamar Delise Blake, who was instrumental in recovering a baby who was stolen from Victoria Jubilee Hospital, and Suzan Foster, who assisted an injured police officer and transported him to the hospital after he was attacked and hit from his motorcycle by criminals.

Speaking with JIS News after collecting her award, Ms. Foster said she felt good about being publicly recognized.

“I was so nervous. But it really feels good to be honored for doing an act of kindness,” the customer service representative said.

Recounting the incident, Ms. Foster said the officer sustained multiple injuries and was bleeding, noting that many of persons on the scene opted to take pictures instead of assisting the helpless cop.

“I realized nobody would [help], so I decided to do so, and my spouse and I took him to the Kingston Public Hospital. He has recovered and is in good health now, and we are happy,” she said.

In light of this, she urges Jamaicans to be their brother’s keepers and think “what would you do if you [were] in a situation [like that], if it was your relative”.

Twenty-three persons were awarded with The Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service [BH(M)], while 30 individuals received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service [BH(L)].

Two members of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) were awarded the Medal of Honour for Gallantry.  They are Lance Corporal Ricardo Bennett (Posthumous), who was killed while trying to foil a robbery at a barbershop in Cross Roads, Kingston, in September 2016; and Lance Corporal Ferdinand Trench, who saved the life of a gentleman who fell down a precipice along the Junction main road in St. Mary in August 2011.

Lance Corporal Trench said he was very happy for the recognition, adding that “this award is very important”.

“Over the years, I have been helping people in various capacities; so it is good to be recognized at the highest level,” he said.

In the category of the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service, nine persons from the Jamaica Defence Force were awarded, 25 from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 26 from the Department of Correctional Services, and 11 from the Jamaica Fire Brigade.

Contact: Tanesha Mundle

Release: JIS

Header: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd left), congratulates Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, on being one of five persons conferred with the Order of Jamaica (OJ) by the Government, this year. He was presented with the award by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during Monday’s (October 21) Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, at King’s House. Among those looking on are: Jamaica Broilers Group Chairman, Robert Levy (right,. front row), who was also awarded the OJ; and National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (right, second row), who was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Rank).

1st Insert: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (right), congratulates international recording artiste, Sean Paul Henriques, on being awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Rank) by the Government, this year. He was presented with the award by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during Monday’s (October 21) Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, at King’s House.

2nd Insert: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left, standing), and the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, with four of the five persons conferred with the Order of Jamaica (OJ) national award by the Government, this year. The honourees (from left) are: veteran parliamentarian, Robert Pickersgill; Jamaica Broilers Group Chairman, Robert Levy; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and Central Clarendon Member of Parliament, Hon. Mike Henry; and Dr. Julius Garvey, son of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey. They, along with globally-acclaimed Reggae singer, Dr. Alpharita ‘Rita’ Marley, were presented with their award by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during Monday’s (October 21) Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, at King’s House.

Adrian Walker Photos

Caribbean News

ScotiaBank Turks & Caicos Awarded Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021

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Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Island – September 24, 2021 – Scotiabank TCI has been named the “Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021” by Global Finance (New York), which regularly selects the top performers amongst banks and financial services and is a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.

In commenting on the award, Patricia Adams, Managing Director (Acting), Scotiabank TCI said, “Supporting our customers during the ongoing uncertainties remains our top priority and we are thrilled that our significant focus and investments in our digital banking platforms continue to yield positive results.”

“During this period, we have continuously relied on feedback from our customers about their specific personal or business needs and we remain committed to further improvements as we aim to make it easier and safer for them to conduct their banking” Adams concluded.

Some of the most recent investments include the expansion of the capabilities of the Scotiabank Mobile App, upgrades made to the Bank’s ABM network to include intelligent deposit machines and the use of digital analytics to anticipate customer needs and deliver personalized financial solutions.

Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy  for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital  offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and web/mobile site design and functionality. Read more about the awards here.

Scotiabank TCI’s award for “Best Consumer Digital Bank” follows another recent global recognition for innovation in financial services by The Banker’s Global Innovation in Digital Banking Awards 2021. The ‘Most Innovative in Data’ award acknowledges the Bank’s investments in data and analytics, as well as its commitment to delivering a more personalized customer experience.

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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