On July 18, 1969, the House of Representatives passed the National Honours and Awards Act effectively establishing Jamaica’s National Honours and Awards programme. This Act made it possible for the nation to recognize those who, by their service and contribution, had a meaningful and significant impact on national life.
The Act was piloted through the House by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Hugh Shearer, establishing four Societies of Honour:
- The Order of the National Hero
- The Order of Merit
- The Order of Jamaica
- The Order of Distinction
Currently there are six Societies of Honour:
- The Order of National Hero
- The Order of the Nation (ON)
- The Order of Excellence (OE)
- The Order of Merit (OM)
- The Order of Jamaica (OJ)
- The Order of Distinction: Commander Class (CD) and Officer Class (OD)
And two national awards:
- The Badge of Honour
- The Medal of Honour
Recipients are announced in the press on Independence Day and presentations are made on National Heroes Day, which is observed on the third Monday in October annually.
Until next time…
More information on Jamaica’s National Honours and Awards can be read in this Jamaica Information Service (JIS) publication.
Office of the Prime Minister National Civil Honours and Awards