Chairperson of the committee, Senator Mauricia Thomas-Francis, opened the 2018 National Awards launch on November 13, 2017 by explaining its purpose simply: “As you may be aware, a Society of Honour was established under our constitution [on February 22, 2000] for the purpose of recognition of citizens of Saint Lucia and other persons for achievement and acts of bravery or for meritorious service. This is referred to as the Order of Saint Lucia.”
Over the years Saint Lucians have been awarded for various contributions to the country’s development but the National Awards Committee entreats the public to be more avid with nominations. Wilbert King, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, advised, “The essential factor in its consideration for selection for the grant of an award is how far the nominee has satisfied the stated criteria for eligibility.” The committee, according to King, is not concerned with religious, ethnic, gender, creed or socio-economic status; therefore nominations should far exceed the number that the committee presently receives.
Thomas-Francis added, “I want to take this opportunity to implore Saint Lucians to pay particular attention to the good work that is being done by some of our youth in the community. We have been plagued with a lot of social ills and we believe that our young people who have fallen into the trap of those social ills [will] get an opportunity to see role models, to be inspired to do the right thing.”
To ensure optimum consideration of nominees, Saint Lucians are encouraged to amply supply the resume of the proposed candidate. King said, “Where insufficient information is provided, it makes it extremely difficult for the nominee to be given favourable consideration. We actually depend on the information to help us arrive at our decision.”
The deadline for nominations for the Saint Lucia National Awards is December 13, 2017. Persons are not allowed to nominate themselves and neither should the public dilute the integrity of the award. Nomination forms can be collected at various public and social organisations such as post offices, libraries and Mothers and Fathers groups, or can be found online on the Office of the Governor General’s website under the category ‘honours and awards’.