Businessman Godfrey Kelly tops the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list which names 22 Bahamians of various backgrounds, including Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Carl Culmer and Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest, who are both being honored for service to politics.
Turnquest was among those who received national awards several months ago.
Kelly, a four-time Bahamian Olympic sailor and former politician, has been named Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for services to business and sports.
“That’s quite something for a person of my age to get this honor,” the 91-year-old told The Nassau Guardian.
“People don’t live to be my age nowadays.”
Kelly added, “I was very fortunate I could live so long.”
Turnquest, Peter Goulandris and Reverend Dr. Carrington Pinder are receiving the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of The British Empire.
Turnquest is also being honored for service to the public service; Pinder for religion and the community and Goulandris for services to business.
Turnquest also received a national honor just several months ago.
Asked whether he saw a contradiction in receiving both honors, he said, “I think that the government has decided to retain both sets of awards: the national honors that are given out on October 12 and announced on independence [day] and it has been decided that that’s going to be a national honor, and another set of national honors granted twice a year by the queen at the Queen’s Birthday Honours and the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
“The government and by extension the country have decided that they are going to maintain both sets of honors. That’s not a call for me to make.”
Turnquest said he hopes “the vast majority think that I deserve it”.
He said he was “humbled” to have been selected for the honor based on his services to politics and public service.
Peter Cole is receiving the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to business.
Senate President Dr. Mildred Hall-Watson, Coralie McMillan-Adderley and Captain Kenneth Carroll are being awarded the Member of the British Empire.
Also receiving the award are Reverend Dr. Irene Russell, Janis Saunders, Terence Gape and Juanita Lewis-Johnson.
Culmer, Matilda Robinson and Gregory Sherman are among those being awarded the British Empire Medal.
Culmer said it shows “that your hard work is being appreciated and persons would acknowledge it at the end of the day”.
He said he started working with the FNM when he was 18.
“The thing is you want persons to get involved, especially young people,” Culmer said.
“You know, it teaches you a lot of things and also gives you the opportunity to mix with a number of different types of persons. It also gives you an opportunity to see how The Bahamas operates from a political level as well as a business level and from a professional level.”
Joy Duncombe, Reverend Kenneth Knowles, Emily Colebrook, Everard Lewis and Charles Cates are also receiving the British Empire Medal.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Samuel Butler and ACP Ismela Davis-Delancy are receiving the Queen’s Police Medal for their “exceptional” services to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.