(PRESS RELEASE) – The National Awards Committee is hoping to get a greater number and high level of quality of submissions from Saint Lucians for persons deserving of national recognition.
The Awards Committee met with the local media on Monday November 13th 2017 at the Office of the Prime Minister in order to educate persons about the awards, the criteria and how they could participate.
Chairperson of the Committee, Senator Mauricia Thomas-Francis, while addressing the press launch explained that over the years several deserving Saint Lucians have been duly recognized under this programme.
“Consistent with our mandate to ensure that deserving persons are continuously nominated for recognition we have embarked on a series of PR activities which will run over the next six weeks,” Mrs. Thomas-Francis explained.
She noted that the committee has already embarked on some public awareness activities to ensure that nominations are received. We have issued over 500 nomination forms to various organizations, to the social clubs, to mother and fathers groups and to the various embassies.
“I want to implore Saint Lucians to pay particular attention to the good work that is done by youth in the community. We have been plagued with a lot of social ills and we believe our young people who have fallen into the trap of those social ills, through these awards can get an opportunity to see role models and be inspired to do the right thing. This will go a long way in developing a better society,” Thomas-Francis said.
Mr. Wilbert King, Assistant Chair of the Committee explained that, “Over the past few years the National Awards Committee appointed by the Governor General has endeavoured to encourage citizens and organizations to submit nominations to the committee for candidates who satisfy the eligibility criteria.”
“While the number of nominations for the past two years has shown some increases,” he noted, “the committee is yet to register the expected level of response from the general population.”
Mr. King sought to allay any misconceptions about the Awards.
“The Committee wants to make it very clear to all that there is no discrimination with respect to creed, ethnicity, colour, socio-economic status or gender. The essential factor in its consideration for selection for the grant of an award is how far the nominee has satisfied the stated criteria for eligibility. We are looking for persons who have over the years done or acquired certain qualities and have also exhibited certain qualities to show that they are very national in their approach and whatever they have acquired is of national importance or significance.”
Mr. King also stated that the Committee wants to help the public with regard to the proper filling out of the forms. The public awareness drive will also educate the public about the accurateness and relevancy of information contained in the forms.
He added: “I believe the onus is on all of us to encourage Saint Lucians to nominate persons who they believe can qualify for the receipt of honours and awards. The thinking that the awards are for a certain class of people must be dispelled.”
National Awards Committee Secretary, Mrs. Irene St Croix, explained the various awards and classes of awards and the deadline for submissions as 12th December 2017. They include: The Saint Lucia Cross, The Saint Lucia Medal of Honour, The Saint Lucia Medal of Merit, Saint Lucia Les Piton Medal.
Mrs. St. Croix informed the public that forms are available online and have also been distributed throughout the island and can be obtained from post offices and libraries.
She ended: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive a national award and we want Saint Lucians to truly embrace and treasure national awards.”
Submissions are possible online at http://recognition.govt.lc/ Additional Nomination Forms are available at http://governorgeneral.govt.lc/honors-and-awards