Recipients of this year’s national awards expressed surprise yesterday at having been chosen to receive the awards and credited the people they have worked with for the recognition that they have been chosen to receive.

The awards were held last night at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

Prof Ramesh Deosaran and Cultural Ambassador Makandal Daaga received The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last night while Chief Justice Ivor Archie received his earlier in the week in Tobago.

Other recipients of national awards had this to say earlier yesterday:


Pastor Cecil Quamina — senior pastor — Religion who received the Chaconia Medal Silver told the Sunday Express: “I was surprised, I won’t say very surprised, but surprised. And also very encouraged. Personally, I am encouraged for our organisation (First Church of the Open Bible, San Fernando) because we are a people who really promote service. Jesus termed the leadership as actually being the servant and it is really a triumph for service. All the people who have served over the years this medal is not really so much for me it is for all the people who have served. We serve people because of the value of human beings. This is credit to the team and to the staff and all the people who I have worked with,” he said. 


John Humphrey — Former politician and legislator — Public Service and Community Service was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold said: “I was not anticipating that, quite frankly, because all that I did throughout my career was serve the people which is what I was supposed to do. I was surprised because I had gone into retirement from politics so I really was not seeking any notice. What I hope will happen is that the media will take me more seriously because I have been arguing for a long time about shelter being a fundamental human right and that our Constitution actually promises that all our citizens will be treated in a just manner and instead of a few houses being built and distributed to a minority that we will develop the land and distribute it to all who needs a home and give all our people a tangible part of their country to own. In that way we reverse the historical injustice that was imposed by colonialism. I am hoping that the media will take me on.” 


Dr Indrani Rampersad — pundit — Religion and Community Service who received the Medal for the Development of Women Gold said: “I didn’t feel happy about receiving the award for myself but I felt this from my heart for women, especially for rural women whose voices that are normally so silent. I work with the squatter women and the rural women the poor and disadvantaged and those women, I feel the award is for those women. I think they deserve this award.”


Roy Rique — Media Productions Specialists — Public Service, who received the Public Service Medal of Merit Gold, said: “I am extremely grateful for this award. Most of the persons who called me this morning are telling me that it is long overdue but I never thought of it like that. 

“I didn’t expect this. In fact last year for the 50th Anniversary of Independence I was pushing for the pioneers of where I started which was the Government Film Unit and all the material you see today of the hoisting of the flag on August 31 1962, were recorded by people who started it all. I refer to specifically to Wilfred Lee, Sidney Hill, Raymond Dardain, Levi Taitt, Roy Boyke those were the people who I felt and still feel are yet to be recognised for their contribution. Particularly as today 51 years later their material is still being used in television and radio programming. So I am glad that I have been chosen simply because I am in a position to pay tribute to those persons.”Recipients of this year’s national awards expressed surprise yesterday at having been chosen to receive the awards and credited the people they have worked with for the recognition that they have been chosen to receive.

The awards were held last night at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

Prof Ramesh Deosaran and Cultural Ambassador Makandal Daaga received The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last night while Chief Justice Ivor Archie received his earlier in the week in Tobago.

Other recipients of national awards had this to say earlier yesterday:


Pastor Cecil Quamina — senior pastor — Religion who received the Chaconia Medal Silver told the Sunday Express: “I was surprised, I won’t say very surprised, but surprised. And also very encouraged. Personally, I am encouraged for our organisation (First Church of the Open Bible, San Fernando) because we are a people who really promote service. Jesus termed the leadership as actually being the servant and it is really a triumph for service. All the people who have served over the years this medal is not really so much for me it is for all the people who have served. We serve people because of the value of human beings. This is credit to the team and to the staff and all the people who I have worked with,” he said. 


John Humphrey — Former politician and legislator — Public Service and Community Service was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold said: “I was not anticipating that, quite frankly, because all that I did throughout my career was serve the people which is what I was supposed to do. I was surprised because I had gone into retirement from politics so I really was not seeking any notice. What I hope will happen is that the media will take me more seriously because I have been arguing for a long time about shelter being a fundamental human right and that our Constitution actually promises that all our citizens will be treated in a just manner and instead of a few houses being built and distributed to a minority that we will develop the land and distribute it to all who needs a home and give all our people a tangible part of their country to own. In that way we reverse the historical injustice that was imposed by colonialism. I am hoping that the media will take me on.” 


Dr Indrani Rampersad — pundit — Religion and Community Service who received the Medal for the Development of Women Gold said: “I didn’t feel happy about receiving the award for myself but I felt this from my heart for women, especially for rural women whose voices that are normally so silent. I work with the squatter women and the rural women the poor and disadvantaged and those women, I feel the award is for those women. I think they deserve this award.”


Roy Rique — Media Productions Specialists — Public Service, who received the Public Service Medal of Merit Gold, said: “I am extremely grateful for this award. Most of the persons who called me this morning are telling me that it is long overdue but I never thought of it like that. 

“I didn’t expect this. In fact last year for the 50th Anniversary of Independence I was pushing for the pioneers of where I started which was the Government Film Unit and all the material you see today of the hoisting of the flag on August 31 1962, were recorded by people who started it all. I refer to specifically to Wilfred Lee, Sidney Hill, Raymond Dardain, Levi Taitt, Roy Boyke those were the people who I felt and still feel are yet to be recognised for their contribution. Particularly as today 51 years later their material is still being used in television and radio programming. So I am glad that I have been chosen simply because I am in a position to pay tribute to those persons.”