BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 16, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Fifteen nationals were recognised and awarded for their meritorious work in nation building at the observance of National Heroes’ Day 2020 ceremony which was held at the National Heroes’ Park in Basseterre on Wednesday September 16.
“I want you to acknowledge each and all of them whose meritorious work has led them being recognised for the following awards in accordance with the National Honours Act,” said Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris who delivered the commemorative address.
The awards were in two categories, the Companion of the Star of Merit which had seven awardees, and the Medal of Honour which had eight awardees.
“I want us to recognise Dr Burnell Nisbett, who all of us growing up called the ‘Animal Doctor’,” said Prime Minister Harris when he called out the name of the first awardee for the Companion of the Star of Merit.
Also being awarded the Companion of the Star of Merit were Teacher Ms Viola Jacobs for her service in education; Archdeacon J. Rudolph Smithen for religious service; and Teacher Shirley Gloria E. Browne for her service in education.
“I must ask you to give special recognition to one outstanding lady, who has blessed us and helped us at the time of Covid-19 pandemic which is still with us,” said the Honourable Prime Minister before he called the name: “Dr Hazel Oreta Laws for National Service at the time of crisis for which she has been accorded Companion of the Star of Merit.”
Added Dr Harris: “Usually at the NEOC briefings when we see Dr Laws, we will see somewhere close by Dr Cameron Wilkinson – he too has been accorded the Companion of the Star of Merit for National Service in a crisis. We add to that list, Mr Abdias Samuel, National Service in a crisis, Companion of the Star of Merit.”
Dr Hazel Laws is the Chief Medical Officer and member of the National COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Cameron Wilkinson is the Medical Chief of Staff at the JNF General Hospital, while Mr Abdias Samuel who is the National Disaster Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is also the Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Task Force.
Receiving the Medal of Honour were Ms Patricia Mary Nurse-Clarke for Community Service; Mrs Pearline Mussenden for Service in Education; Mr Joseph Benders for Arts; Dr A. Linton Liburd for Medicine; Ms Pamela Brookes for Nursing; Mr Charles McMaster for Community Service; Mr Brian Dyer for National Service in a crisis; and Dr Judy Nisbett for National Service in a crisis.
Mr Brian Dyer who is the Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) is the Deputy Chair of the Nevis Covid-19 Task Force, while Dr Judy Nisbett who is the Medical Officer of Health in Nevis, is also the Head of the Nevis Covid-19 Task Force.
The colourful ceremony at the National Heroes Park was graced with the presence of the Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, LL.D; Deputy Governor General for Nevis Her Honour Mrs Hyleta Liburd and Mr Liburd; First Prime Minister and only living National Hero Dr the Rt. Honourable and Rt. Excellent Hon Sir Kennedy Simmonds, and members of the Federal and the Nevis Island Assembly Cabinets.