BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 17, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — At a colourful Investiture Ceremony held at Government House, Springfield in Basseterre, eight nationals were on Tuesday August 17 invested with the 2020 Medal of Honour (MH) by Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, LL.D.
Delivering remarks after seven of the eight honourees received the Medal of Honour, which is one of the two highest civilian honours the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis bestows on its sons and daughters, Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris informed them that their work, dedication and efforts were being publicly acknowledged and appreciated.
“We present these Medals to honour those who go above and beyond their call of duty,” said Dr Harris, who delivered his remarks under the theme ‘You are deserving of our Honour and Gratitude’. “This Medal of Honour is an acknowledgment that the recipient truly has put country before self.”
He added: “Today’s recipients have more than demonstrated this virtue. They are deserving of the Honour and they are deserving of our gratitude.”
The Prime Minister noted that in the times people are living, it is inspiring that there are people like the awardees who are prepared to put their fellow men, and the cause they believe in, first. Their example, he noted, is that service should be embraced and not avoided.
“The adversity we have all experienced this past year, a year like no other, has been more than countered by the great strength we have witnessed from many in our community, and the inspiration others have received from their service and from the example of our honourees,” pointed out the Honourable Prime Minister. “You, gathered here, are the community leaders who are inspiring all of us.”
Quoting from 2 Corinthians 9: 12-13, the Prime Minister told the honourees that the service they rendered is a lesson of what can be achieved when people are driven by their commitment to serve their people.
On behalf of the Federation he thanked the awardees for their passion, for their focus and their commitment, noting that they are truly helping to build a stronger and safer future for all the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, and that St. Kitts and Nevis as a Nation is stronger because of their collective efforts.
The awardees were Mrs Pearline Theresa Mussenden, for her role in Education; Mr Joseph Emmanuel Benders, pioneering in the field of Arts; Dr A. Linton Liburd, for his contribution in the field of Medicine; Mrs Patricia Mary Nurse-Clarke, for her role in Community Services; Mrs Pamela Elaine Brookes, for outstanding service in Nursing; Mr Charles Delvin McMaster, for outstanding Community Service; Mr Brian Dyer, for National Service in Crisis; and Dr Judy Nisbett, for National Service in Crisis.
Nevis-based Dr A. Linton Liburd was not present at the Investiture Ceremony and it was announced that he will be invested with the Medal of Honour by Deputy Governor General for Nevis Her Honour Hyleta Liburd at a later date in Charlestown, Nevis.
“Today we acknowledge, not just their service but the humility that each one brings to their area of service,” said Prime Minister Harris after he called out the names of the awardees and the areas of their service.
He told them: “Your service was not driven by a desire for attention. You did not seek reward or self-promotion. Your work was quiet and understated, driven by the motto that ‘a good deed is its own reward’.”
At the ceremony, which was co-chaired by Inspector Alphonso Hendrickson and Mrs Charisse Gumbs, Mrs Telca Wallace who is the Disaster Coordinator of the St. Kitts-Nevis Red Cross Society received the 161st Commonwealth Point of Light Award for St. Kitts and Nevis which had been conferred to her by Queen Elizabeth II.
Mrs Wallace is currently in Guyana on an International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) assignment and was represented by her daughter, Ms Shai Wallace, who received the award from Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton.
Present at the Investiture Ceremony were the Deputy Governor General for Nevis Her Honour Hyleta and Mr Elmo Liburd, and Governor General’s Deputy His Excellency Michael and Mrs Morton.
Also present were Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon Michael Perkins, Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, Cabinet Ministers – the Hon Eugene Hamilton, the Hon Jonel Powell, the Hon Alexis Jeffers, and the Hon Vincent Byron Jr. and Cabinet Secretary Mrs Josephine Huggins.
Others present included Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency Michael Lin, Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force Lt. Col J. Anthony Comrie, and Commissioner of Police Mr Hilroy Brandy.