Hurricane Dorian heroes unlikely to get national honors this year

Heroes of Hurricane Dorian and frontline workers for the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be eligible for national honors next year, according to National Honours Advisory Committee Chairman Mark Humes.

None of those individuals were recommended for this year’s national honors when announced on July 10.

“There’s something in the legislation that has to be amended, so that persons who will receive distinguished medals of honors and the likes can be awarded those medals,” Humes told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen in this iteration. We’re working with the chancellor of the honors right now on those amendments. We’re hoping that they will be ready for next year.”

The National Honours Act 2016 establishes eight societies of honor in The Bahamas: the Order of National Hero, the Order of Nation, the Order of The Bahamas, the Order of Excellence, the Order of Distinction, the Order of Merit, the Order of Lignum Vitae and any other honor constituted by the governor general by order.

The government’s website notes that regulations made under the act also allow for the award of medals in recognition of exceptional service in public service or the civil society, badges of honor for persons in the civil society who perform exceptional service to The Bahamas and medals for bravery undertaken in The Bahamas by any person.

However, Humes said yesterday that is not the case.

“Whatever is on that site right now is an error and we’re now putting in place the regulations, amendments to the legislation that would ensure that we’re able to award persons in those categories,” he said.

Currently, the committee can only make recommendations for the first six societies of honor, according to Humes.

He said he and Governor General C.A. Smith, who is the chancellor of the Societies of Honours, will meet today “to finalize the amendments”.

Humes said the amendments will be sent to the attorney general once they are finalized.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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