First national honors bestowed
Thirty-eight Bahamians have been named to receive the first national honors in the country, the Office of the Governor General announced yesterday.
The list of names features political giants, activists, physicians, clergymen and men and women who have helped shape The Bahamas over the past 40 years.
Former Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling, former Governor General the late Sir Milo Butler, former Free National Movement (FNM) Leader the late Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and former leader of the now defunct United Bahamian Party and Premier the late Sir Roland Symonette were honored posthumously with the Order of National Hero.
The honor recognizes Bahamians who have “given selfless service to The Bahamas of a most distinguished nature”.
Recipients of this honor are entitled to be referred to as “right excellent”.
Order of the Nation
Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling and former governors general Sir Orville Turnquest, Dame Ivy Dumont, Arthur Hanna and Sir Arthur Foulkes were awarded the honor Order of the Nation.
Former governors general the late Sir Milo Butler, the late Sir Gerald Cash, the late Sir Henry Taylor and the late Sir Clifford Darling were also posthumously honored with the Order of the Nation.
Former prime ministers Sir Lynden, Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie as well as Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis were also awarded the honor of Order of the Nation.
The Order of the Nation is awarded to all people appointed governor general of The Bahamas and appointed as prime minister.
Recipients of this honor are entitled to be referred to as “most honorable”.
Order of The Bahamas
Founding father of the Free National Movement Maurice Moore, former Cabinet minister Janet Bostwick, the late Dame Doris Johnson, a suffragette and former Cabinet minister, and the late Dr. Myles Munroe were awarded the Order of The Bahamas.
This honor is given to any Bahamian “who has achieved outstanding distinction in The Bahamas and given distinguished and exemplary service to The Bahamas”.
Recipients of this honor are entitled to be referred to as “right honorable”.
Order of Distinction
Former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Pratt, Anita Bernard, Eileen Carron, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, Dr. Elwood Donaldson, Lowell Mortimer, Barry Rassin, Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson, Dr. Patrick Roberts, William Sands and Robert Sweeting were honored with the Order of Distinction.
Former Minister of National Security the late Dr. Bernard Nottage was honored with the Order of Distinction posthumously.
This honor is given to Bahamians recognized for exemplary service provided to The Bahamas.
Order of Merit
Reverend Sebastian Campbell, Golden Girl Pauline Davis-Thompson, Monsignor Preston Moss, Rev. Dr. J. Emmette Weir, Rev. Ervin Clarke, Rev. Dr. Gary Curry and Rev. Walter Hanchell were awarded with the Order of Merit.
This honor is given to Bahamians who have “achieved eminent national or international distinction in the field of science, education, public service, the arts, literature or any other endeavor”.
The National Honors Act was put into law under the Christie administration in 2016.
At the time, Christie noted, “We have over the past few years been naming buildings, defense force vessels and roads after national heroes.
“We want our children to understand their noble heritage. We want our young men and women to understand what it means to stand on the shoulders of Pompey, Stephen Dillett, Clarence Bain, Milo Butler, Georgiana Symonette, Dame Doris Johnson, Rev. Dr. H.W. Brown, Clement Bethel, Amos Ferguson, Winston (Gus) Cooper, Sir Lynden Pindling and hundreds of others.”