For a second consecutive year, there was no National Independence Awards ceremony.
A February 07 news release from the Government Information Service (GIS) stated the National Celebrations Committee (NCC) said: “Unfortunately, nominations were few and many were incomplete, failing to meet the required conditions to allow for a thorough and fair consideration process.”
As a result, “the nomination exercise will be reviewed in the coming weeks with a view to streamline the process [and] valid nominations received in 2023 will be automatically re-submitted for consideration in 2024.”
The ceremony was to be incorporated into the Independence Day rally at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium on Tuesday.
One week before the January 19 deadline for submission, NCC chair Jacqueline Alexis called for nominations of Grenadians who have made signification contributions to nation building.
She said the hope was to distribute a maximum five awards. But The Grenadian Voice was told that “less than three” nominations were received.
An official associated with the event suggested to this newspaper that the NCC should engage in a vigorous public relations campaign so the public can see the importance of honoring individuals and the information necessary to be included in submissions.
In 2022, the Office of the Governor General, which spearheads this event, released the names of the three awardees, for their service within the Ministry of Health. They were nurses Audrey Lyons, Marva St Paul and Meryl Hutchinson-McQueen.
The Office told The Grenadian Voice then that with “not many” nominees for 2022, and the COVID-19 restrictions, this resulted in a delay in the ceremony taking place but it was still not held later in the year.
In 2021, nine awards were given, including five posthumously.
The National Awards and Honours Act No 32 of 2007 was established to provide for the grant of awards to citizens of Grenada and other persons for distinguished, outstanding or meritorious services or achievements, or for gallantry and related matters.