dedicated to T&T: Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott, left, receives the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for his contribution to sport from President George Maxwell Richards at yesterday's 50th Independence anniversary National Awards function at Queen's Hall, Port of Spain. After receiving the award, Walcott said: "Topping this, it will be hard. I'm going to try my best. It is going to put a little bit of pressure on me knowing that the expectation is there for the next Olympics, so I'm just going to go out there and represent." Walcott, who dedicated the award to the people of this country, said he was honoured by the award but was not expecting it. "I am really honoured. I am proud to have received this tonight; it was a big surprise to me when I was told during this week." He said it was just another stepping stone for him and added that he had not forgotten the people of Toco. —Photo: Ishmael Salandy

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National award winners feel humbled

National awards recipients are both humbled and surprised at having received national awards but say there was still much to be done.

In an interview yesterday, Prof Rhoda Reddock, recipient of the Medal for the Development of Women (Gold), said: "I accept it graciously and humbly."

"I know that this is an award for which you are nominated by persons who value your work, so I thank them for their confidence and appreciation," she said.

Reddock added that although it was an honour to receive the award on the 50th anniversary of Independence, the work continued.

"There is still a lot of transformation that is required in Trinidad and Tobago, and it will strengthen my resolve to do more to continue the transformational work required," she said.

Dr Hamid Ghany, recipient of the Chaconia Medal (Gold) for education, said he was very honoured to be a recipient of the award, but he did not expect it.

"It is a very moving experience. I just finished serving two terms as dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI). I have given nine years of service to developing the Faculty of Social Sciences at UWI, and then before that, I'd given four years as head of the department of Behavioural Sciences at UWI. Two years prior to that, I was deputy dean for Distance Education and Outreach in the Faculty of Social Sciences at UWI.

"I have spent 25 years of my life at the University of the West Indies, and I have not yet reached retirement age," he said.

Promoter and businessman Anthony Maharaj, who received the Humming Bird Medal (Gold) for culture, said he was very surprised and very honoured by the award.

"When I received the call from the President's Offices, I was very surprised. I think I'm still quite surprised because whatever I may have done through the years was because of the passion for what I do."

Maharaj said the shows, films and other things he has done in the past would have been to keep the culture of the people alive.

"I really never expected or anticipated this," he said.

Maharaj thanked God, and his mother who he said made sacrifices that brought him to where he's at today, as well as the people who recommended him for the award."I feel humbled," he said.

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