By Theresa Goodwin
Two Knights and one Dame were included in the list of 14 nationals who were recognised on Independence Day for their contributions to nation building.
David Harrison, founder of the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, and Businessman Sir Ramez Fares Hadeed were accorded Knight Grand Cross the most distinguished Order of the Nation (KGCN) for contributions to national development and unbroken years of service in the Diplomatic Corps.
Retired Nurse Ann Matilda Sophia Edwards, the only rose among the thorns receiving the country’s second highest honour, was named Dame Commander, the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (DCN) for outstanding contribution in the field of nursing and community service.
Six professionals were conferred with the honour Commander, the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (CN) for contributions in a number of fields.
They include Bernadette Sherman, for outstanding contributions in the field of education and national development; Joseph Derias Hughes Pinder, for exemplary service in the field of entrepreneurship and community development; Dr Austin Josiah, for exemplary service in the field of labour relations; and education; and Wigley George for exemplary service in the field of labour relations.
George, the longstanding President of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) said he was elated to be recognised in this way.
“I do appreciate the award given to me. First and foremost, I want to say it is with a sense of humility that I do accept graciously, this award. I would have served long and hard in the trade union movement and I may have made an impact on the lives of some persons. It is quite an honour to walk in the footsteps of great men like Sir Vere Cornwall Bird and others,” George told observer.
Edric Potter also received the same honour for exemplary service in the national security sector and Trevor Simon for exemplary performance in the field of sports and heritage development.
Simon says his interest and success in the game of warri has helped placed Antigua and Barbuda on the map. The sportsman also added that he was “humbled” by the honour.
Veteran Calypsonian and writer Ogliver Greenberge Jacobs otherwise known by his stage name Destroyer Snr was named Grand Cross, the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage (GCH) for lifelong contribution to Calypso artform in Antigua and Barbuda.
The calypso veteran and writer has dominated the field on and off the stage.
He told Observer, “It’s not for me alone, it’s for all the calypsonians who never won a crown and kept on going. It is not about how much crown you win, it’s about the contribution that you make and I am happy”.
Patrick Johnny Gomes was named member of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage (MH) for meritorious contribution to steelpan music development in Antigua and Barbuda and the diaspora, while Veronica Gordon was named member the Most Illustrious Order of Merit (MM) for meritorious contribution to education and community service.
Gordon said while the honour was long awaited, she is humbled by the recognition.
This year’s institution award (Gold) went to the Empire Football Club for exemplary performance in sports and community development.
This was accepted by the club’s treasurer and former player Kennedy Greenaway. He said the club is honoured to receive the acknowledgement.
“Empire Football Club is like the child the community raised and we are so honoured. We also came out of the bowels of the cricket club so we have to give credit to the cricket club as well,” Greenaway said.