Pomp, pageantry, precision at national honours and awards

A royal salute signalled the opening of the National Honours and Awards Ceremony 2022 on Monday, where hundreds of Jamaicans were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the country.

The recipients were presented with their awards by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen in the presence of government ministers, leaders of industry, family, friends, and well-wishers who came out to witness the occasion at King’s House.

Strict security protocols were observed as members of the military were out in formal uniform, while media and other personnel were assigned to designated areas.

Among those invested with the Order of Jamaica was permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Sewell for distinguished contribution to the public service.

Additionally, there was a standing ovation, cheers, and applause as Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and five-time World Championships 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce collected their awards.

Ralph, who wore a stunning yellow dress, got her award, which was categorised as honorary, for her sterling contribution as an actress and cultural ambassador for Jamaica and contribution to the international film industry. While Fraser-Pryce, who was decked in a sharp pink suit, was awarded for her outstanding performance in athletics at the international level.

They both waved to the audience as people took out their cameras to capture the brief moment.

Cheers grew even louder for Jeffery Lloyd Bowen, who was among six people to receive the Badge of Honour for Gallantry.

He was awarded for his heroism in saving the life of a young boy from drowning on July 31, 2020.

For the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie was awarded for her outstanding public service in health.

They were among 30 recipients for that category.

Meanwhile, 35 Jamaicans received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer, 29 received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service, and 30 received the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service.

Jazz vocalist Dr Myrna Hague-Bradshaw, known as the First Lady of Jazz, serenaded the audience before members of the uniformed services received their Medal of Honour for Gallantry and Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service.

The ceremony ended with a harmonious rendition of the national anthem.

The national awards were made under the National Honours and Awards Act, 1969. They are presented annually at a ceremony at King’s House on National Heroes’ Day.

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