A respected chartered accountant, his now 100-year-old school teacher and a noted lawyer are the toast of Barbados’ 52nd Independence celebrations having been named at the top of this year’s Honours LiSt
Kenneth Rudolph Hewitt, 82, Philip Evan Serrao, 72 and Avisene Caesaretta Carrington are the newest Knights and Dame of St Andrew heading up an impressive list of 27 awardees, local men and women who have been rewarded for their meritorious service to Barbados.
Hewitt received recognition for his outstanding contribution to the development of the international business sector, while Sir Philip has been rewarded for his efforts at modernizing the Barbados electoral system and its administrative processes. The newest Dame is the founder of the former Merrivale Prep School through which many of Barbados’ elite scholars, sportsmen, musicians, businessmen and politicians received their early education.
Hewitt, a retired executive of the accounting firm KPMG, was the first President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), the first chairman of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Chairman of Barbados National Bank (BNB), Vice Chairman of Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) and a director of Central Bank of Barbados. He has also recently acted as Governor General of Barbados in the absence of Dame Sandra Mason.
Although he was occupied in a wide range of business and accounting activities, he acknowledges his greatest satisfaction to be the role he played in encouraging and assisting young Barbadians to develop into well-rounded professionals. Many of KPMG’S alumni now hold senior positions in the public and private sectors.
The new Knight of St Andrew was awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and the Barbados Jubilee Honour (BJH) in 2016. He is the recipient of awards of appreciation from ICAB, Barbados Cooperative Credit Union League, and the Barbados Workers’ Union.
Serrao, an attorney at law, served as a member of the Electoral & Boundaries Commission for the period 1985 to 1990. He became its chairman in 1996 remained in that role for 14 uninterrupted years until 2010. This Commission had as its primary responsibility the registration of voters and conduct of Parliamentary Elections throughout Barbados.
During his tenure, one of the principal decisions taken and implemented was contained in a Report and Recommendations made to the then Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, for the division of Barbados into thirty constituencies by the creation of two new constituencies namely, St James Central and St Philip West and the alterations to be made to the boundaries of certain constituencies. These recommendations received the unanimous approval of the Parliament.
The Commission under his guidance was also responsible for the conduct of Parliamentary General Elections for the years 1999, 2003 and 2008 and a by-election for St Thomas in 2001.
From an early age Carrington had a passion for teaching, which had its origins in a Divine plan that kept her in the classroom for 87 years. She was educated at the then Belmont Girls’ School and at the St Michael’s Girls’ School. Her secondary education set her on the path to academic success and inspired a passion for teaching with emphasis on the comfort and happiness of the child.
At the end of her secondary schooling she was assigned to St Giles Boys’ School as an honorary teacher and taught for one year before receiving a salary. She was mentored by Ignatius Byer and Glyne Atherley. She received her formal training at Erdiston Teachers’ Training College and was an exceptional teacher whose signature quality was her persistence with children with learning disabilities.
As word of “Miss Carrington’s school” spread, the school population increased rapidly and spilled onto the verandah of her home. In the summer of 1967 a school building was erected to the east of the property; the roll peaked at 220 in the 1980s. The school was 51 years old when the bell rang for the last time in June 2010.
A former Cabinet member in the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) DeLisle Othneil Bradshaw – father of Education Minister Santia Bradshaw – is among three Barbadians who received the nation’s second highest award – the Companion of Honour – for his outstanding contribution to political affairs and education. The other award went to Chesterfield Nathaniel Brewster for his outstanding philanthropic contribution, especially to the development of sports and Dr. Peter Douglas Laurie, for his outstanding contribution to diplomacy and the Foreign Service.
Accolades have also gone to areas such as journalism, special needs education, child welfare, horseracing, alternate energy, disabilities, cosmetology, philanthropy, emergency medicine, nursing, teaching, the church, community development and youth affairs, the fishing industry and bravery.