Photo: Gov. Gen. Seaton (front row, center) and Deputy Prime Minister Richards (front row, second from left) with awardees from today’s investiture ceremony.


Eight nationals awarded at Government House for contributions to nation building


Basseterre, St. Kitts – The contributions of eight outstanding individuals to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis were celebrated on June 14 at an investiture ceremony at Government House.

His Excellency S. W. Tapley Seaton, governor general, hosted the ceremony, which saw the Companion Star of Merit conferred upon Lady Hulda Lawrence for her contributions to music. Receiving the Medal of Honour were Dalia John for her contribution to the public service in education; Vanta Walters for her contribution to early childhood; Clarice Cotton for her contribution to education and Special Olympics; Sylvia Isaac for her contribution to nursing; and Maurice Widdowson for his contribution to tourism.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) was conferred upon Elquemedo Willet for his contribution to sports and international cricket and Vanta Archibald for her contribution to education including library services and community activity.

The deputy prime minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, addressed the invited guests at the ceremony and reflected on the diverse background of the awardees, who come from various communities across St. Kitts and Nevis.

It says to our own young people that you, too, can succeed, regardless of where you have come from; regardless of your economic circumstances, regardless of your social circumstances, you, too, can help to build this federation,” he said, noting it requires a deep sense of conviction and commitment. “If the young people take nothing else from these [people], that is the lesson they should take from them.”

The deputy prime minister added that he remained impressed that a number of the awardees continue to serve their country and he saluted them appropriately.

A number of dignitaries attended the ceremony, including the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, minister of public infrastructure; the Honourable Wendy Phipps and the Honourable Akilah Byron, senators; and national hero, Dr. the Right Excellent and the Right Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds.