On observance of the nation’s 46th Republic Anniversary yesterday, President David Granger opted to award 12 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) for their remarkable contribution in the area of service.
President Granger honoured representatives of the 12 groups with medals of service during an investiture ceremony held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
The awarded NGOs include the African Cultural and Developmental Association, (ACDA), the Central Assembly of God Church, the E.R. Burrowes School of Art, Guyana Islamic Trust, Guyana Veterans Legion, Makushi Research Unit, Mings Products and Services Limited, National Dance Company of Guyana, the Road Side Baptist Church Skills Training Centre, Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, the South Central People’s Developmental Association and the Theatre Guild of Guyana.
Among those present to witness the event were Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, other members of Cabinet and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps.
In his address to the gathering, the Head of State noted that the awarded groups had earned their induction into the National Hall of Honour.
Granger explained that though the Republic Act of 1970 ended the incongruity of having the Queen of Great Britain as the Queen of Guyana, it also ended the British Honours system of which Guyana was a part for one hundred and fifty years.
The termination of the imperial system of awards provided the opportunity for the initiation of a national system. As such, President Granger said that “it is only fitting that this day – the anniversary of our Republic – should be selected as the day on which the State honours citizens and groups of distinction”.
“You, the awardees, have now been inducted in the national ‘Hall of Honour.’ The nation celebrates your achievements, consecrates your sterling service, congratulates you, and wishes you continued success in the future,” Granger stated.
“Our nation was built by the combined efforts of our people, political parties, trade unions and cultural, economic, religious and social organisations. We need you to continue your good work.”
The President went on to note that National Awards are a supreme symbol of statehood.
“They are the greatest gift that a grateful nation can offer. Awards are the embodiment of the spirit of our people; a spirit, which is manifested, similarly, in our National Anthem, our National Flag and our inspirational National Motto – One People, One Nation, One Destiny.”
Much like National symbols, the President explained that National Awards are ordained by the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana – the supreme law.
He noted that the Medal of Service is an award of which the investiture ceremony celebrates and acknowledges the achievements of groups – that is, of collectives, cooperatives and communities.
“The Medal of Service honours associations, corporations, organisations and other groups. Their sacrifice, selflessness, success and service to their communities, country and society have been consistent and of a high quality. The Medal is an acknowledgement of your service.”
The President reassured the recipients that the Medals of Service that they received will not depreciate with the balance of trade.
“The parchment with which you have been presented will not disintegrate with age. The acclaim of this congregation is not to be discredited. Guyanese cherish these dear symbols of nationhood. Their significance is not to be devalued,” he reiterated.
Since National Awards constitute an important institution of the state, the President noted that is his obligation, as Chancellor of the Orders of Guyana, to pay respect to deserving citizens.
The National Awards, he iterated, have not been conferred capriciously.
“Selection was done by the Advisory Council of the Orders of Guyana under the distinguished chairmanship of the Chancellor of the Judiciary.”
“These Awards, indeed, were reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in the service of the nation. We applaud your accomplishments. We appreciate the outstanding service that you have rendered. We commend you for your commitment to the common good.”
Granger encouraged the recipients to continue, through precept and example, to serve their country and community.
“Civil society and non-governmental organisations are deserving of admiration and emulation by the nation, particularly by young Guyanese.”
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