FOUR Jamaicans, along with Washington’s former ambassador to Kingston Sue Cobb, have been awarded the country’s fourth highest national honour — the Order of Jamaica (OJ) — leading the list of 98 persons being honoured this year for their contribution to national development.
The four are:
• Arnold Foote, for services to Jamaica and internationally in the fields of advertising, sport and diplomacy.
• Dr Marshall Hall, for public service and his contribution in the fields of agriculture, industry and education.
• The Very Reverend Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, for services to community development and the care of the disadvantaged; and
• Professor Emeritus Sylvia Wynter, for services in the fields of education, history and culture.
Cobb, who served as America’s Ambassador to Jamaica from 2001 to 2005, is being honoured for her services in that capacity, as well as for her continuing efforts to promote Jamaica's interests and support of the country's development.
Observer columnist Ken Chaplin, OD, is among 18 Jamaicans — including retired Court of Appeal Justice Howard Cooke — who are being honoured with the Order of Distinction at the rank of Commander (CD). Chaplin, a former football referee, is being honoured for his achievements in the fields of journalism, public service and sports and Cooke for his service to the judiciary.
Meanwhile, veteran broadcaster Barrington 'Barry G' Gordon and Olympian Lorraine Fenton are among 29 people to be awarded the Order of Distinction at the rank of Officer (OD). Gordon is being recognised for services in the field of broadcasting, and Fenton for athletics.
Also up for honours, posthumously, are the late Sergeant Wayne O'Connor Henriques and Constable Jason Davis. Both are being recognised with the Badge of Honour for Gallantry. The men were killed on May 23, 2010 while attempting to rescue their colleagues who were pinned down by heavy gunfire from criminals in the vicinity of Excelsior High School along Mountain View Avenue in Kingston.
Eighteen people are being recognised with the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, while the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service will go to 25 people.
The honours take effect today, but recipients will be officially conferred with their awards at the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony at King's House on National Heroes' Day in October.
The full list of awardees is published in today's Observer.
(Photo of Sylvia Wynter courtesy of the Centre for Caribbean Thought)