ROSEAU –– Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles has been presented with Dominica’s second highest state award – the Sisserou Award of Honour.
That country’s president Charles Savarin made the presentation during a ceremony yesterday marking the island’s 38th anniversary of Independence.
The Sisserou Award of Honour, created in 1967, is named after the national bird, the Sisserou – a parrot indigenous only to Dominica, particularly near the island’s rainforest.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit had earlier revealed that it was being conferred on Sir Hilary in recognition of his contribution to Dominica and the region in the field of education.
“This is an unexpected and extraordinary honour that gives me considerable personal satisfaction as an educator and much pride as Vice-Chancellor of the UWI. Serving the Caribbean people in both capacities is my principal objective and Dominica is one of my favourite societies in the world. I am deeply moved by this recognition and I give thanks,” said Sir Hilary in accepting the honour.
He was among six distinguished persons who received the Sisserou Award of Honour this year. Other awardees were Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Ambassador Irwin LaRocque for his contribution to public service; Dr Curvin Ferreira for his contribution to medicine; former government minister Julius Timothy for his contribution to politics and business; Jennifer Astaphan for her contribution to public service and Cecil Shillingford for his contribution in the field of disaster management.