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Attorney-at-law receives CD for multifaceted service

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Attorney-at-law, Sylvester Jeraud Hemmings, is being honoured by the Government for his varied contribution to country and community.

Hemmings is one of 215 Jamaicans who will be presented with National Honours and Awards at King's House on Heroes Day (October 21). He will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD).

The successful attorney, who is managing director of Sylvester Hemmings and Associates, gives back to his community by providing free legal service and advice to people in need.

He said that he has provided pro bono services through the Bethel Baptist Church.

“I assisted the residents of Jones Town for four years with free advice. I believe in giving back,” he said.

Hemmings, who is a dedicated Christian, served as moderator of the Johnson Mountain Baptist Church in St Thomas for over five years, where he was instrumental in the restoration of the church building.

“When I went there, the building was in a dilapidated condition and I prophesied that it would be rebuilt… which was done within four years,” he said.

He said that his work was not confined to the church as “I took the time to meet every member of the community. I believe in taking the church to the people.”

Before joining the legal profession, Hemmings worked in the public sector for many years as manager of the Jamaica Pre-Investment Programme at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, where, through conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank, studies were funded to undertake developmental projects.

“These were solely for areas of the economy considered developmental,” he said.

He was a police officer for 18 years and worked with the Financial Intelligence Unit for over five years.

Despite a hectic schedule, Hemmings finds time to serve as president of the citizens association in the St Andrew community where he resides, providing true hands-on leadership.

“I am concerned about the improper disposal of garbage, especially plastic bottles,” he said.

“I collect as many polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers as I can because I don't want them to block the drains,” he added.

Hemmings said he believes that success is achieved through hard work.

“Some people say I am bright, but I don't accept that. The key to my success is hard work, as well as the discipline instilled in me by my parents,” he pointed out.

“The only time when I am not working is when I am asleep, and that's because I need to restore my energy,” he quipped, adding that the Lord, in a dream, advised him that he was going to get the National Honour.

Hence he was not surprised, though very honoured. “I intend to have a reception with persons, who have been influential in my life. I would love to have my mom and father there, but they are in heaven,” he said.

— JIS


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