Monday, April 22, 2024

GG proud of first major function

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GOVERNOR GENERAL Dame Sandra Mason yesterday performed her first major official duty since taking office, presenting insignia to 35 of the 42 recipients of the 2017 National Independence Honours.

Under a large tent in the sprawling grounds of Government House, with rain pouring, the new Governor General dubbed three knights and presented other insignia in a two-hour ceremony.

Afterwards she said: “I felt especially proud that this was my first official function I had to perform because I believe in Independence. I believe that the persons who got the honours this morning truly deserved them.”

For her first big assignment, she was again fashionably turned out in a three-piece floral ensemble comprising a ruched bustier over a below-the-knee skirt with a flounce, and a flowing jacket with wide trumpet-styled sleeves. The Nefertari creation was complemented with a wide-brimmed matching hat, pale gold handbag and shoes.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and members of his Cabinet, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, and family and friends of the honorees were all at Government House for the occasion.

Citations were read in a lengthy presentation, and the Royal Barbados Police Force Band sounded a fanfare in tribute to the honorees after their awards were presented.

Christopher Holder, head of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust which has executed several philanthropic projects in Barbados, received the Silver Crown of Merit Honorary Award and he was elated.

“This was a complete shock to me, but I will wear this with honour,” said the Swiss-born, who is carrying on the work of his late mother Maria Holder.

Commenting on the recognition, he told the DAILY NATION: “This is in memory of my mum and the pride that she and the family would have and I have, in carrying on the work that she has done, started in Barbados together with my brother-in-law Chesterfield Brewster.”

“This award is precious,” said Barbados’ Honorary Consul in Germany, Regine Sixt, who is senior executive vice-president of the global car rental business SIXT SE.

She is also founder and chairwoman of the global organisation Regine Sixt Children’s Aid Foundation “Drying Little Tears”. In Barbados, she started the Barbados Trust “Drying Little Tears”. She has been patron of the St Peter Flower Festival for the past five years.

“I feel quite astounded,” 18-year-old Dre Browne said after receiving the Barbados Bravery Medal. “It makes me feel like I have a foundation so I have to continue to build on that foundation.”

The young man, who saved the life of a visitor who was drowning, said: “I feel quite happy and proud of myself that I actually got this award.”

He advised other young men: “Don’t matter what people say, despite where you live, how things are for you, never give up. Stay focused.” (GC)

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