National awards ceremony goes virtual

National awards ceremony goes virtual

Sunday, October 18, 2020

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The annual Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards, traditionally presented on the lawns of King's House, will this year go virtual due to the protocols dictated in light of the current pandemic.

The event set to take place tomorrow, National Heroes' Day, will still see hundreds of Jamaicans being honoured, however, this will not be done in the presence of government leaders and other State officials, family, friends and well-wishers who come out each year to witness the occasion.

The Chancery of the Societies of Honour, which has responsibility for this event and is located at the Office of the Prime Minister, has said that a decision has been taken to create a pre-packaged production for this year's ceremony for broadcast on local television as well as online.

The programme will have two components. The first will be a live stream of the floral tribute from National Heroes' Park, which will begin at 8:15 am. This will be followed by a produced package featuring the award recipients being honoured this year, a congratulatory message by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. The remarks on behalf of the award recipients will be offered by Professor Orlando Patterson who will receive the day's highest award, the Order of Merit, for his highly distinguished international contribution to academia, West Indian literature, sociology and the epistemology of social culture. Patterson is widely known in Jamaica for his 1968 classic novel Children of Sisyphus.

Other recipients from the areas of the arts and entertainment include actor and comedian Oliver Samuels who is being invested into the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander; recording artistes Eric Donaldson and Manley “Big Youth” Buchanan, musicians Willie Stewart and Keith Lyn, model scout Deiwght Peters and British broadcaster David Rodigan who will all be invested into the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer (OD). The late producer Robert “Bobby Digital” Dixon will also be honoured with the OD.

The presentation package will be interspersed with performances by well-known Jamaican artistes.

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