More than half of the 88 awards in the Independence Day Honours of the new republic announced Tuesday have gone to key figures in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
And among the seven individuals who received a new rank of highest national honours to mark 55 years of independence are the COVID-19 leadership team of seven who share the Order of Freedom of Barbados.
Topping the list for that same honour is Dame Sandra Mason for being the first President of the Republic.
The visiting heir to the British throne and future Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles, who witnessed the island’s transition from a realm to a republic within the Commonwealth received the Honorary Order of Freedom of Barbados. The award is in recognition of his support for the efforts of developing countries in the area of climate change and sustainable development and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people globally.
The members of the COVID-19 leadership team who will share the apex honour include Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
The other team members being recognized for their “committed, untiring and outstanding leadership” during the COVID-19 pandemic are Head of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID Senator Jerome Walcott, Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George, Head of Quarantine Facilities Dr. Corey Forde, Director of the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory Dr Songee Beckles, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Janet Phillips and Alies Jordan, Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Also honoured with the Order of Freedom of Barbados are veteran hotelier Peter Odle for “committed and outstanding contribution to tourism and the hospitality sectors and civic duties”; former Barbados and West Indies cricket opening great Desmond Haynes; prominent businessman Bertram Hall and multiple calypso monarch Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire for his “enduring contribution to music, the arts, entertainment and culture in Barbados and internationally”.
The second highest honours went to five people for their distinguished national achievement and merit, including former President of the Senate Rudolph Cappy Greenidge, Anthony Pickering, Nisha L. Hiramand Thani, John Richard Alleyne and Juliet Skinner.
The Gold Trident of Excellence was also conferred on five Barbadians, including Peter Adonijah Alleyne for his distinguished contribution to culture and journalism and church leader Reverend Vincent Wood.
Among the five individuals who have been given the Silver Trident of Excellence honour is Secretary of the Muslim Community of Barbados Sulieman Bulbulia for his commitment to seeing Barbados become a place of inclusivity and mutual respect.
Responding to his award, Bulbulia said he was “extremely grateful, thankful to the Almighty, to my parents, my wife, my daughters and son, my brothers, my friends, the community I serve and my country”.
He continued: “I am humbled to be given this National Honor and so sorry my father couldn’t be here to witness this moment.”
Broadcaster Larry Mayers has also been conferred with this national honour for his long and distinguished career in broadcasting and his passion for community engagement, which led to the birth of the popular Q in the Community.
The new Gold Award of Achievement honours 48 people for their extraordinary service to the country on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.