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PM reveals National Honours Regulations

The Prime Minister Doctor Hubert Minnis tabled the regulations yesterday for a National Honours System.

The Prime Minister said that the system would honour persons who have sacrificially given in areas such as culture, politics, athleticism, charity and artistry, among other areas,  from both the public and private sector as well as uniformed branches of government.

“There are a number of honours called Societies of Honours, pursuant to section 5 of this Act. These honours include, The Order of National Hero, The Order of The Nation, The Order of The Bahamas, The Order of Excellence, The Order of Distinction, The Order of Merit, The Order of Lignum Vitae and any other honour that may be constituted by the Governor General by order at a later date,” Dr. Minnis said.

He added that the development of a Bahamian system of National Honors will greatly enhance the ability to recognize a wider cross-section of fellow-citizens who have offered exemplary public, national and community service.

“It is important to note that a national honours system must be jealously guarded to prevent over-indulgence and potential misuse. There must be balance and prudence in the grant honours. A National Honours System must not become a partisan political system, given mostly to awarding certain categories of individuals,” Dr. Minnis said.

A committee of 10 persons would be appointed to advise both the Prime Minister and the Governor General on individuals worthy of recommendation and awards.

Each society will have its own rules and rights and privileges.

All awards would be announced by July 10th with confirmation taking place the second Monday each October.

Prime Minister Minnis said the Act will not exclude those who would have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.
“The National Honours Act clearly states: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, any honour conferred upon any citizen of The Bahamas by Her Majesty the Queen shall not be extinguished by reason of this Act  coming into force or the appointment of such a person to an order or the award of any other honour prescribed by this Act,” Dr. Minnis said.

He added that the Act will not cause a person who has been awarded with an honour by Her Majesty The Queen, or any other honour to be ineligible for award of an honour under this Act.

The first set of honourees should be announced next year.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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