Twelve groups were, Tuesday, on Guyana’s 46th Republic Anniversary, conferred with the insignia of the Medal of Service by President David Granger at the 2016 Investiture Ceremony, held earlier today at the Arthur Chung Convention Center.
It is the first time that an Investiture ceremony has been organized to specifically honor organizations and groups for their outstanding service to the nation.
Delivering his address, President Granger, who is the Chancellor of the Orders of Guyana, said that a better day could not have been chosen to confer the awards, since it is this date, 46 years ago that Guyana ended the incongruity of having the Queen of Great Britain as the Queen of independent Guyana.
He noted that the termination of the imperial system provided the opportunity for the initiation of a national system and national awards serve as the supreme symbol of that statehood.
“It is fitting, therefore, that this day – the anniversary of our Republic – should be selected as the day on which the State honors citizens and groups of distinction … They are the greatest gift that a grateful nation can offer. Awards are the embodiment of the spirit of our people; a spirit, which is manifested, similarly, in our national anthem, our national flag and our inspirational national motto – One People, One Nation, One Destiny,” he said.
President Granger noted that national symbols, like national awards, are ordained by the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and these should be cherished and never devalued or taken for granted.
“The Medals of Service, which you received, will not depreciate with the balance of trade. The parchment with which you have been presented will not disintegrate with age. The acclaim of this congregation is not to be discredited. National awards constitute an important institution of the state. It is my personal obligation, as Chancellor of the Orders of Guyana, to discharge my duty to our deserving citizens and to pay respect to those to whom respect is due,” he said.
However, the president noted that while receiving an award is a prestigious national honor, it is merely a token that cannot measure the magnitude of selflessness and dedicated service that citizens have given to their country.
“National awards, it must be iterated, have not been conferred capriciously. They have been ordained by the Constitution of the Orders of Guyana. The Medal of Service, the award of which this investiture ceremony celebrates, acknowledges the achievements of groups – that is, of collectives, cooperatives and communities. The Medal of Service honors associations, corporations, organizations and other groups. Their sacrifice, selflessness, success and service to their communities, country and society have been consistent and of a high quality. The medal is an acknowledgement of your service,” he said.
The President told the groups that the national awards serve as a reflection of the respect and reverence of a grateful nation, stating that their years of labor and hard work have been noted and recognized.
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