Religion

Seven religious leaders receive queen’s birthday honors

Of the 18 people recognized for outstanding services and contributions to the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and on the occasion of the 2022 Birthday Honours, Queen Elizabeth II conferred the Chivalry of Award to seven religious leaders.

Bishop Dr. Delton Fernander, Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) president and senior pastor at New Destiny Cathedral, was conferred the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG). Pastor Francis M. Carey II was conferred the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to community.

Bishop Walter S. Hanchell was conferred the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to religion and community, along with Pastor Samuel Boodle for services to religion. Bishop Lawrence Rolle received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to religion and community. Reverend Hencil Kenneth B. Adderley and Rev. Basil Johnson received the BEM for services to religion.

Fernander said he was “honored and humbled” by the honor.

“I believe that my work for the church and my country is a calling from God and ultimately my greatest reward comes from Him. But I am honored and humbled that my efforts have been recognized, especially in the area of work to which I have dedicated much of my life and efforts.”

Fernander hopes the recognition he has received will serve as an indication that he takes his work seriously and that he tries to do it not only for the glory of God, but at a standard of excellence befiting that of a leader in the Christian community.

“Although we live in a time when quick and easy seems like the better route, we must demonstrate to future generations that being extraordinary … by aiming high in whatever you endeavor to do is still the surest route to success,” said Fernander.

While The Bahamas has a National Honours system, there has been agitation on some fronts for the country to completely move away from the queen’s honors and Fernander said he believes in both systems.

“I believe that, as a sovereign nation, we should have a national system of honoring those [people] who do exceptional work in the various sectors of our society. However, I also believe that honors such as those bestowed by her majesty the queen have their merit; it has international acclaim. Across the Commonwealth of Nations, maybe even further – CMG, KCMG and GCMG, etc., are easily identifiable suffixes. Also considering that we are an independent country that recognizes her majesty as head of state, it is understood that my country, The Bahamas, has chosen to honor me by suggesting me to her majesty for one of the highest recognitions for a non-politician,” said Fernander.

Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, said being recognized in the queen’s birthday honors means a lot to him.

“Obviously, some person or persons thought much of me to recommend me for such an honor. I never in my wildest dream thought I would ever receive such an honor because the work that we do in the church and the community is our Christian duty,” said Boodle. “Our Lord commanded us in His church to proclaim the good news to the world, feed the hungry and the poor, care for the sick, clothe the naked, and stand up for justice. Often, as we work, the state acknowledges our good work and reward us for same. For this, I am appreciative.”

While he is uncertain how the honor will translate into what he does, he said if it helps him to win souls for the Lord, then he will be happy.

“Maybe, in some way, it may open doors that would cause me to assist others,” said Boodle.

As for accepting the honor, he said people to have the option to refuse, but he has learned that when someone takes the time and effort to give you something, the least a person can do is be appreciative and say thanks.

“I am deeply appreciative to those who considered me worthy and recommended me for this honor. To have refused such an honor would have been an affront to those who recommended me,” said the Lutheran Church pastor. “Furthermore, we are a Commonwealth country, the queen is head of state, therefore, because we are, I support the monarchy.”

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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