MAURICIA Thomas Francis, Chairperson of the National Awards Committee, and Gregory St Jour, Representative of the National Awards Committee met with media personnel at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday 6th November to promote the National Awards for 2020. The National Awards are given to persons who have, according to Francis, “Gone over and above their call of duty and who have provided excellent and selfless service to the country.” Nominations for the awards are open to citizens in Saint Lucia as well as citizens in the Diaspora.
Francis stated that the National Awards consisted of four categories including the Saint Lucia Cross, Saint Lucia Medal of Honour, Saint Lucia Medal of Merit and Saint Lucia Les Pitons Medal. She announced that the Saint Lucia Cross will be awarded to three persons who have rendered distinguished and outstanding service of national importance to Saint Lucia. The Saint Lucia Medal of Honour consists of a gold and silver category. The gold is awarded to persons who have rendered eminent service of national importance to Saint Lucia for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril, and the silver is awarded for eminent service of national importance to Saint Lucia for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances. A total of six persons will be awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Honour.
The Saint Lucia Medal of Merit consists of a gold and silver category and will be awarded to a total of six persons who have performed long and meritorious services in the arts, literature, science and other similar fields in Saint Lucia. She announced that the Saint Lucia Les Pitons Medal consisted of a gold, silver and bronze category and will be awarded to persons, whom she said, “Have performed long and meritorious services to Saint Lucia tending to promote loyal public service, national welfare, or to inculcate and strengthen community spirit, and we have nine such awards.”
Francis indicated that nomination forms had already been submitted to the local libraries, post offices, banks, and various service groups and service organisations. Nomination forms can be obtained on the government website, at constituency councils and from the Office of the Prime Minister. Submission of nominations must be sent to the care of the Office of the Prime Minister at the Graham Louisy Administrative Building, Waterfront, Castries, before the deadline of December 6th, 2019. Nominations that are received after the deadline will not be considered. Nominations will be promoted on local talk shows throughout the month of November and the awards will be presented in February at the Investiture ceremony.
In relation to the National Awards, Francis said, “Over the years we have awarded and celebrated a number of Saint Lucians who have rendered such eminent service, and every year we launch the programme, inviting the citizens to nominate additional persons.” She claimed that an unprecedented number of nominations were received last year through the aid of robust press relation activities. She further stated, “Last year we did see a tremendous improvement in that regard and we implore all citizens who are submitting nominations to ensure that high quality is maintained.”