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N Touch
Thursday 22 February 2018
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Natl awards shifted to Republic Day

THE annual national awards ceremony will take place on Republic Day (September 24) and not Independence Day (August 31), as has been the case since TT gained independence from the United Kingdom 55 years ago. President Anthony Carmona announced the change in a statement yesterday.

Carmona explained that he had previously written to several stakeholders, to express his view that the awards ceremony should be held on Republic Day. In his letters of consultation, Carmona said he is the Chancellor of the Order of the Republic of TT, “which is that Society of Honour established in the Constitution for the recognition and awarding of what are commonly referred to as National Awards.”

As Chancellor, Carmona said he is responsible, “for the administration of the Order, which includes the ceremonial presentation of the National Awards.” He reminded stakeholders that with TT having achieved republican status and no longer owing allegiance to the Queen, “this paved the way for National Awards to be conferred in the name of the Head of State, the President, whose constitutional and ceremonial authority, legitimacy and remit are embedded and rooted in the Republican Constitution.”

Carmona recalled that in his Republic Day speech in 2013, he spoke about many people in TT being uncertain about the significance of Republic Day and its difference to Independence Day. The President said holding the National Awards Ceremony on Republic Day, is not meant to, “ minimize or trivialize the historic significance and importance of Independence Day.”

The President was confident that staging the ceremony on Republic Day would, “raise the national consciousness of our people, deepen our sense of patriotism and pride in ourselves, give added credence to the Republican Constitution.” Carmona said he looked forward to celebrating the achievements of the awardees, “who will be receiving National Awards for distinguished or meritorious service or gallantry to this great Republic”, on September 24.

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