SIXTY-ONE Jamaicans were recognised for outstanding contribution to nation building through service in the fields of health, security and emergency care at a special Diamond Jubilee Medal Awards ceremony held last Friday at King's House.
The commemorative Diamond Jubilee Medals are in recognition of the 60th year of the reign of the Queen Elizabeth II.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, who presided over the function, congratulated the awardees for their selfless service and contribution to the nation's safety.
"I warmly commend you for your career achievements in your respective organisations and hope that you will continue to give of your best in the service of your homeland," he said.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in offering commendation to the awardees, noted that the quality of their contribution to the country was a "fine example of patriotism that makes us proud".
"Over the years, you continue to attract admiration and honour, not only within our nation, but in other parts of the world where you have served," she stated. "The award of these commemorative Diamond Jubilee Medals by Her Majesty, The Queen, further underscores the recognition of your distinguished service and contribution."
Six persons, including Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Chief of Staff Major General Antony Anderson and Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, were presented with medals for their service at the helm of a state agency or organisation dedicated to security and health and emergency services. The other recipients were commandant of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), James Golding; Commissioner of Corrections Lt Colonel Garfield Prendergast; commissioner of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Laurie Williams; and Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse, principal medical officer/director of emergency, disaster mnagement and special services in the Ministry of Health.
Additionally, 45 uniformed personnel received awards for their service in the field of security. They included nine officers each from the JDF; Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); the ISCF; the Department of Correctional Services; and the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
In the meantime, 10 persons from the health ministry were presented with medals for their contribution to the development of health and emergency services. They were: Chief Medical Officer Dr Eva Lewis-Fuller; Dr Denise Duncan-Goffe, director, health services planning and integration; Senior Medical Officer (Health) Dr Pauline Weir; Senior Medical Officer Dr Cecil Batchelor; Chief Nursing Officer Dr Leila McWhinney-Dehaney; Regional Nursing Supervisor Ilene Buckle-Brown; Deputy Matron Jennifer Price-Miller; nurse anaesthetist, Hyacinth Rankine; and community nurse, Vivine Martin.
Diamond Jubilee Medals have also been presented to individuals in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the Commonwealth. The awards ceremony was the final feature of the country's celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Celebratory activities in Jamaica began with the visit of Prince Henry, always known as Prince Harry, from March 5 to 8, and included four beacon-lighting ceremonies at central points across the island, as well as a special church service at the St Andrew Parish Church in June.