Following her official appointment on Monday, Barbados’ new Governor General, Dame Sandra Mason, carried out her first official duties today as she presented the 2017 recipients of Independence Honours with their insignia.
Publisher Sir Anthony Bryan, former parliamentarian and land surveyor Sir Warwick Franklin and former West Indies cricketer Sir Charles Griffith, all received the Knight of St Andrew designation for their outstanding work in their respective fields of endeavour.
The second highest award, Companion of Honour of Barbados, went to Orlando Marville and Avril Gollop for their work in the civil service, while Harold Keith Melville received the honour for his work in the field of optometry.
Four Barbadians received the Gold Crown of Merit (GCM), including veteran trade unionist Joseph Goddard; Director of the Barbados National Youth Symphony Orchestra Joy Knight-Lynch; Minister of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Stephen Lashley and Sonja Welch for her contribution to the public service.
Medical Director at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada (SickKids) Dr Victor Blanchette; John Hutson, another Barbadian medical professional based in Canada; independent Senator and businessman, John Watson, and musician John Roett, who composed the 50th anniversary of Independence theme song, were presented with the Silver Crown of Merit.
Barbados’ Honorary Consul in Germany Regine Sixt and Christopher Holder of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust received Honorary Silver Crown of Merit Awards. The Barbados Service Star went to Permanent Secretary Ruth Blackman, who along with Lashley were honoured for their leadership in the island’s staging of CARIFESTA X111 last August; Leroy Gibbs; Veronica Griffith; Gabrielle Springer and Alston Williams, while Grace Wilma Clement; Cheryl Forder; James Gittens; Cobin Hinds and Ryvan Ainsley Humphrey all received the Barbados Service Medal.
The Barbados Bravery Medal went to Dre Shakur Browne, for rescuing a visitor to the island who got into difficulties while swimming off the coast, as well as 15 young men who helped extinguish a fire in their Bayville, St. Michael neighbourhood on September 12 last year. They were Chad Boyce; shacarlo Boyce; Shakeem Boyce; Shamr Boyce; Shaquille Boyce; Kareem Brathwaite; Keshane Bynoe; Kyle Gibson; Jerome Giles; Terry Nurse; Mario Peters; Tio Peters; Traven Sandiford; Tio Warner and Lynden Watson.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson were also present at the ceremony.