PNM chairman Franklin Khan’s opening statements at Wednesday’s PNM Macoya Divali celebration noted that Divali transcends politics.
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Deosaran, Daaga top national awardees
Ambassador Makandal Daaga and criminologist Prof Ramesh Deosaran will receive the country's highest honour, the Order of the Republic of T&T, at today’s National Independence Award Ceremony at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando. They join Chief Justice Ivor Archie as recipients of the award for distinguished and outstanding service to the country. Archie received his honour earlier in the week.
Daaga will receive the honour for work in the sphere of national service, while Deosaran will receive his for his contribution to academics and national service. Daaga was the leader of the 1970 black power movement, the founder of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) and is now the cultural ambassador to Caricom. Deosaran has served as a former independent senator and currently serves as chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Recent World Championship gold medal winner Jehue Gordon is also among those receiving some of the country’s highest honours for contributions to the fields of medicine, sport, religion, law, music, gallantry, culture, national and community service, education, public service among others. Gordon has been awarded a Chaconia Medal (Gold) for his recent success at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, Russia. However, he is currently out of the country.
The relatives of slain police officer Hayden Manwaring will, posthumously, receive on his behalf the Humming Bird Medal (Bronze.) The Humming Bird Medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service in any field or for gallantry. Morvant resident John Julien, who discovered “miracle baby” Destiny on July 25 gagged and in a dumpster in Malick, will also be awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Bronze).
Cousins Ganesh and Shiv Bansraj, who saved Rolly Bhagwansingh after his car plunged into the Guayamare River on August 15, will also be awarded the Humming Bird bronze. Journalist and historian Louis B Homer, who died last week, and his colleague Theron Boodan were also awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Gold). A number of religious leaders featured among those honoured, with representatives of the Christian, Hindu and Orisha faiths on the list.
Among those receiving the Chaconia Medal (Gold) are the Rt Rev Claude Berkley, Bishop of T&T and head of the Anglican Diocese; senior Orisha priestess Valerie Stephenson Lee Chee, and Pundit Utham Maharaj, Dharmacharya of T&T. A Chaconia Medal (Silver) went to the Rev Cecil Quamina, a senior pastor. The Chaconia Medal is awarded for long and meritorious service tending to promote the national welfare or strengthen the community spirit.
Additionally, Pundit Indrani Rampersad received a Medal for the Development of Women (Gold), as did Affieza Ogeer, president of the ASJA Ladies’ Association.
Full list of national awardees
Order of the Republic of T&T
Cultural Ambassador Makandal Daaga (national service)
Prof Ramesh Deosaran (academics and national service)
Chief Justice Ivor Archie (law).
Chaconia Medal, gold
Appeal Court Judge Wendell Kangaloo (posthumous)
Retired Justices Shafeyei Shah and Appeal Court judge Margot Warner
The Rt Rev Claude Berkley, Bishop of T&T and head of the Anglican Diocese
Senior Orisha priestess Valerie Stephenson Lee Chee
Pundit Utham Maharaj, Dharmacharya of T&T
Pamela Nicholson, retired educator and politician (public service)
John Humphrey, former politician and legislator (public and community service)
Chaconia Medal Silver
Dr David Garth Toby (medicine)
Rev Cecil Quamina, senior pastor (religion)
Humming Bird Medal Gold
Journalists Louis B Homer (posthumously)
Lynette “Granny” Luces, athlete (sport)
Musicians Shivannand Maharaj and Earl Knight
Attorney Ramesh Persad-Maharaj (law and religion)
Businessmen George Janoura and Shaheed Mohammed
Humming Bird Medal Silver
Businessman Harbance Seejattan
Ramragee Prabhoo, artiste (culture)
Trade unionist John Jaglal (labour)
Humming Bird Medal Bronze
Martial arts instructor David Anthony Chin Leung (sport)
Police officer Hayden Dale Manwaring (posthumously)
Labourer Shiv Bansraj
Construction worker Ganesh Bansraj
Painter John Julien
Retired police officer Hubert Peter “Flagman” Diaz (national service)
Kiwanis Club of St Helena (community service)
Public Service Medal of Merit, Gold
Dr Steve Ravindra Budhooram (medicine)
Retired Permanent Secretary Roopdial Ramnarine
Media productions specialist Roy Rique
Attorney at law Deo Bhagowtee
Retired principal Michael Samuel (education)
Retired Commissioner of Valuations Ronald Heeralal
Public Service Medal of Merit, Silver
Retired public servants Sita Dalkan-Pragg and Johnny Ramdular
Medal for the Development of Women, Gold
Pundit Dr Indrani Rampersad (religion and community service)
Public servant Aileen Clarke (national service)
Affieza Ogeer, president of the ASJA Ladies’ Association (community