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Prime Minister Gaston Browne confirmed yesterday that a knighthood will be bestowed upon Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph during the ongoing celebrations marking the country’s 39th anniversary of Independence.

Browne told Observer that Joseph deserves the distinction “as a symbol of excellent performance”.

“Molwyn has served as a minister of government for many years. In terms of longevity, he would have been a parliamentarian for over 30 years and would have served at the highest level as finance minister, health minister, tourism minister. He has been an outstanding minister and we are celebrating his significant contributions,” he said.

The announcement came as Browne addressed attendees at a special wreath-laying ceremony to celebrate National Heroes Day yesterday.

Joseph first entered politics in 1984 and was made a minister without portfolio in the government of Sir Vere Cornwall Bird.

He became minister of finance seven years later. From 1997 to 1999 he served as what was then called minister for planning, implementation and the environment.

Following the 1999 general elections he was appointed minister of health and social improvement before receiving the portfolio of minister of tourism and the environment a few months later.

Attempts to contact Joseph on the proclamation have been unsuccessful.

The National Awards Ceremony will be held on November 1 at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket stadium.

Meanwhile, the country’s leader also used yesterday’s occasion to highlight the accomplishments of the country’s six national heroes.

They include Dame Georgiana Nellie Robinson, Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Snr, Sir George Walter, Prince Klaas, Sir Lester Bird and Sir Vivian Richards. 

Browne urged citizens to echo the heroes’ strength and vigour to surmount the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that “the challenges that our forebears would have had to endure would have been far greater than the challenges of Covid-19”.

He therefore encouraged those displaced by the pandemic to “remain optimistic and to continue to press on as a people”.

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