November 14, 2016
By: Chris Patterson
Thirty-nine distinguished Jamaicans, have been bestowed with the 2016 Governor-General’s Achievement Awards (GGAA), in recognition of their sterling contribution to the upliftment of their communities and country.
The recipients were honoured during the 25th staging of the pinning ceremony held on the lawns of King’s House yesterday (November 10).
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, praised the recipients for their commitment to excellence, accomplishments in social and economic circumstances, as well as contributions to their communities.
He said throughout the 25 years, the award has taken high-achieving, unsung heroes from anonymity to national awareness by recognising their selfless service in community development, and the examples they have set in the pursuit of their own development.
“It is their stories of fortitude, endurance, determination and triumph that have left a solid impression on our minds,” he said.
He informed that since the inception of the GGAA, more than 600 persons in Jamaica and the diaspora have been recognised and inducted into the programme of excellence for their sheer altruism, reflected through various community and voluntary initiatives to enhance the quality of people’s lives.
He said the GGAA has benefited from the leadership and sound advice, skills and abilities of various national coordinators and advisory board members, and thanked the Custodes and their Parish Committees, as well as sponsors of the event, for their support over the years.
National Coordinator, the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence, Major (Ret’d) Effiom Whyte, encouraged the awardees to continue using their talent and time to inspire and positively impact and transform the lives of others.
The GGAA began in 1991 under the leadership of then Governor-General, the late Sir Howard Cooke, to recognise Jamaicans 35 years and older, who had achieved greatly despite difficult and challenging socio-economic circumstances, and are making substantial contribution to the nation, but were not recipients of National Honours and Awards.
This programme was expanded by Governor-General Sir Kenneth Hall in 2006 to include youth aged 18 to 35, for excellence in academia and voluntary service, as well as individuals in the diaspora, who were making significant contribution to Jamaica and in their host countries.
In February 2014, the GGAA and the ‘I Believe Initiative’, launched by Sir Patrick Allen, were merged to create the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE).