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Twenty-four receive Queen’s Birthday Honors

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday thanked the recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honors, saying that their contributions to the society were essential to the progress of the country.

The awards–which are highest honors that the Bahamian state can confer upon its citizens–are awards granted by Her Majesty the Queen.

Twenty-four persons were awarded yesterday during a special ceremony at Government House.

Receiving the highest award was Kerzner International CEO Sir Sol Kerzner, who was given the Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George(KCMG).

Former member of Parliament and one of the founding fathers of the Free National Movement Warren Levarity, and Roman Catholic Priest Monsignor Preston received the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George(CMG).

Ingraham said Levarity has served his country with distinction in the political arena. Referring to Preston the prime minister said his”contributions to national life and the spiritual and social welfare of Catholics and other men and women of our community are extraordinary and diverse.”

Receiving the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire(OBE)were Bishop Wenith Davis, of Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, Reverend Kenris Carey, of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church, and Reverend Vernon Moses, of the Assemblies of God. They were awarded for their faithful and long service to the church and the community.

William Lowe, of Lowe’s Pharmacy also received an OBE honor. Ingraham described him as a”successful entrepreneur and businessman who is perhaps even better known for his faithfulness to his fellowman and for his unrelenting belief in salvation.”

Receiving the Queen’s Police Medal were Deputy Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames, and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Quinn McCartney. Dames was chosen for his exemplary proactive leadership in the execution of his duties as a law enforcement officer, and McCartney for his dedicated service in the modernization and development of the police force, Ingraham said.

Six persons received the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire(MBE).

They include Marvin Vernon Bethel, Alfred Bismark Coakley, Susan Gail Larson, Elaine Ann Pinder, Susan Roberts and Reverend Ralph Russell.

Ingraham said they were awarded for their”invaluable and dedicated contributions in the areas of business, insurance, environmental stewardship, charitable outreach, religion, and work in non-governmental organizations.”

Cleomie Antonio, Betty Archer, James Dean, Claretta Duncombe, Arlene Nash Ferguson, Emmett Munroe, Olivia Turnquest, Reverend John Wallace and Erma Williams received the British Empire Medal in the Civil Division(BEM).

Ingraham said contributions of all the awardees in tourism, in the church, in business, in politics, in philanthropy and community development and in a variety of professions have been essential to the building of a vibrant and modern Bahamas.

“You are all most deserving of having your names and your accomplishments etched in the annals of our history. Your selection for recognition by your government, many at the recommendation of those who work beside you or who have benefitted from your unselfish service, is a demonstration of that fact,”he said.

Ingraham said in some cases the technological advances of the society have resulted in the”increasing disrespect for others and the cheapening of human life.”

“Sadly, despite the many benefits of modern life, today we are confronted with a loss of respect for individual life as well as the life and well-being of the broader community.

“Within this context, it is increasingly important for all of us, but especially for young people to be provided with wholesome and constant role models; that is, people who have succeeded because of honest hard work, dedication, perseverance and service to a goal or cause bigger than themselves.

“We need those individuals who will constantly remind us of not only the dignity of human life, but also the joy of a life well worth living in the pursuit of excellence and noble ends, as well as service to others,”the PM continued.

He said he believes the honorees are such role models.

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