PORT OF SPAIN –– Four-year-old Kal-el Alleyne, the country’s youngest ever recipient of a national award, received a “bounce” from Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar and was lifted into the air by Denise Archie, wife of Chief Justice Ivor Archie, after he collected his award for gallantry at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on Monday evening.
Alleyne — dubbed Superboy for bravery after his family’s car plunged over a precipice on the North Coast Road last month — wore a smart, pinstriped suit with a patriotic red shirt and black shoes. His hair was plaited in cornrows.
He was accompanied to the stage by his mother Amanda.
The youngster appeared cool, calm and collected as his name was called to accept the Humming Bird Medal (Bronze) from President Anthony Carmona who chatted with him. He then walked along the podium, being greeted by Carmona’s wife Reema, and then responded to Persad-Bissessar’s offer of a tightened fist, bouncing back with gusto. But it was Archie who seemed most keen to elevate the youngster, lifting the pint-sized boy up high in the air, more than twice his height.
The scenes reminded many of the last time such a young person received a national award. In 2007, five-year-old Priya Seeram received a Humming Bird Bronze Medal for gallantry from then President George Maxwell Richards. As she left the stage after receiving her medal from President Richards, little Priya was seen walking with a confident “bounce” and displaying her medal to those gathered at the Diplomatic Centre, La Fantasie, where that year’s awards ceremony was held.
Seeram got her award for an act of bravery in raising the alarm when her cousin Candice was kidnapped in September, 2006.
Four-year-old Kal-el received his award for climbing a steep precipice to get help to rescue his mother Amanda Graham and aunt Antonia Graham who crashed-landed at the base of a 300-feet steep precipice on the North Coast Road.