Gleaner Editors’ Forum | Unsung heroes working under the radar
Just over 206 persons who have contributed tremendously to the development of the nation will be conferred with national honours and awards today, but scores of Jamaicans who give selflessly daily may never be recognised because they operate under the radar.
This was underscored last Friday by four of this year's awardees who used a Gleaner Editors' Forum to appeal for more recognition for those unsung heroes who stitch the fabric of the nation together.
"We must recognise people for work done anywhere, whether it's done in the school, workplace, or Church, because that motivates people to continue," declared trade unionist Kavan Gayle, who is to be conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for his contribution to the trade union movement and public service.
"If we don't talk about it, if we don't pat somebody on the shoulder and say, 'Good work, I am proud of you', there's no encouragement," added Gayle.
With nods of approval from the others on the panel, Gayle continued: "Jamaicans are strong people, but we can't be doing the work and we in the dark doing it. We must turn on the light".
Veteran councillor Neville Whittaker, who represents the Gordon Town division in the St Andrew East Rural constituency, is to be awarded the badge of honour for long and faithful service to the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation. He was adamant that there are many who are working in their quiet way to make Jamaica better.
"The unsung heroes that we have inside of our communities, we as leaders need to find time in order to recognise those persons who are not going to get a national award," said Whittaker.
"We can put things in place to award those people and say, 'Thanks, we see what you have been doing and we appreciate it'," added Whittaker.