BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 27TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – At a historic investiture ceremony tomorrow, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris will pay tribute to Dr. the Rt. Excellent and the Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds, as well as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), Ms. Clarita Richards and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.), Mr. Keith Ian Scarborough.
His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP will install Sir Kennedy formally as our fifth National Hero, awarding him the designation of the Rt. Excellent Sir.
Dr. the Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds, our first Prime Minister, first attained the title of Sir in 2004 when Queen Elizabeth II appointed him as Knight Commander (K.C.M.G.) in the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Founded in 1818, “the Order of St. Michael and St. George is awarded to men and women of high office who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country or for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and commonwealth affairs,” according to www.gov.uk.
Significantly, Dr. the Rt. Excellent Sir Kennedy Simmonds is to become St. Kitts and Nevis’ only living National Hero, as the Rt. Excellent Sirs Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (1916-1978), Joseph Nathaniel France (1907-1997), Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell (1913-1979) and Simeon Daniel (1934-2012) were bestowed the Order of National Hero posthumously.
The National Honours Act, Act 19 of 1996, was put into force on September 16th, 1996, thereby establishing The Order of Honour, Decorations and Medals. Under the Act, the Order of National Hero may be awarded to any citizen of Saint Christopher and Nevis who has rendered distinguished and outstanding service to the Nation.
Section 7(2) of the National Honours Act, Act 19 of 1996, reads in part: “The Order of National Hero shall upon the passing of this Act, be conferred posthumously upon the late Honourable Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw…and the name of the late Honourable Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw shall be entered into the records as the first National Hero.”
Tomorrow morning, His Excellency the Governor-General also will confer formally the O.B.E. on Ms. Clarita Richards, for her contributions to education, music and public administration, and the M.B.E. on Mr. Keith Ian Scarborough, for his contributions to our cultural development.
Introduced by King George V on June 4th, 1917, awards under the Order of the British Empire were first presented by the King during a special investiture held at Buckingham Palace on September 27th, 1917.
In descending order, the rank of Officer (O.B.E.) is awarded to a recipient “for having a major local role in any activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area,” and the rank of Member (M.B.E.) is awarded to a recipient “for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An M.B.E. is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people,” according to www. gov.uk.
The ceremony will be carried live on ZIZ Radio and Television from 10:00am tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28th. To see the ceremony streamed live, please go to www.zizonline.com and click on “ZIZ TV” then “Channel 5,” or simply click the “Watch NOW!” icon at the top of the main page.