Order of Merit for Bunny Wailer, 7 Jamaicans to get OJ

Monday, August 07, 2017

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Firebrand reggae star Bunny Wailer has been appointed a member of the Order of Merit (OM), Jamaica's third highest national honour, joining his late Wailers bandmates Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Marley, easily the most famous of the trio, was conferred with the honour a few weeks before he died from cancer in May 1981, while Tosh, who was murdered on September 11, 1987, was conferred with the honour in 2012.

Bunny Wailer, who was christened Neville O'Riley Livingston, had been previously awarded the Order of Jamaica (OJ) and, before that, the Order of Distinction, Commander Class (CD). He heads a list of 171 Jamaicans recognised this year for outstanding contribution to the country and who will receive their awards on National Heroes Day in October.

The OJ, the island's fourth highest national honour, will this year be conferred on legendary track and field coach Stephen Francis, head of the MVP Track Club who has already been conferred with the Order of Distinction, Officer Class (OD); housing developer Phillip Gore, OD; businessman and humanitarian Tony Hart, CD; University of the West Indies Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Archibald McDonald, CD; and Ambassador Clifton Whyms Stone, OD.

Among those being conferred with CDs are Heather Cooke for sterling service to the Houses of Parliament; Sister Mary Figueroa for outstanding public service in education and religion; Professor Horace Fletcher for outstanding contribution to the health sector; Ian Forbes for service through volunteerism in the field of sports and youth mentorship; cricketer Christopher Gayle for outstanding service to Jamaica and West Indies cricket for the past 20 years; Kevin Hendrickson for outstanding contribution to the hotel and tourism industries; Paul Hoo for outstanding contribution to the sporting industry in Jamaica; Chief of Defence Staff Major General Rocky Meade for distinguished service to the Jamaica Defence Force; Joy Spence for the promotion of Jamaica's rum industry and brand Jamaica globally; John Lynch for sterling service to the development of the tourism industry in the Caribbean; Don Wehby for sterling contribution to the public and private sectors; and justices Jennifer Straw and Bryan Sykes for distinguished service in the field of law.

Among the Jamaicans who will be conferred with the OD are renowned actor Carl Bradshaw; foundation dancehall artiste Joseph Sterling also known as “Josey Wales”; playwright Patrick Brown; current national football coach and former Reggae Boy Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore; director of tourism Paul Pennicook; musician Rosina Moder; tourism industry executive Gary Sadler; Pastor Glen Samuels; and insurance industry executive Earl Moore.

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