National Awards 2020: Order of the Republic for Dr Wayne Frederick

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Wayne Frederick, left, is congratulated by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley after receiving the Order of the Republic of TT from President Paula-Mae Weekes, centre, as Chief Justice Ivor Archie looks on at a ceremony at President’s House on Monday. – MEDIA POOL PHOTOGRAPER

DR WAYNE FREDERICK, surgeon and president of Howard University in Washington, DC, was awarded the nation’s highest honour, the Order of the Republic of TT (ORTT), for medicine and education, at the postponed National Awards for 2020. The ORTT is given for distinguished and outstanding service to TT.

A statement from President’s House, where the awards were conferred on Monday afternoon, said Frederick is the distinguished Charles R Drew Endowed Chair of Surgery at the Howard University College of Medicine.

“He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts, and editorials, and is a widely recognised expert on disparities in health care and medical education.

“In April 2020, he became the first-ever recipient of the Educator Award from the Lowell F Hawthorne Foundation Incorporated.”

After the function, Frederick told reporters, “It’s a very humbling honour (but) a little bittersweet. My stepfather passed (died) earlier today. So that will take me time. A public servant, just like my mum.” He said his stepfather was named Peter Hill and had worked in the Prison Service.”

Frederick said, “I’m a surgical oncologist, so I have provided care for cancer patients. I’m also the sitting President of Howard University, for the past nine years.

“So what I’ve tried to do is pour education into others.” He said he was also in TT to help with volunteer activities and other activities.

“We’ve held recruiting trips here at schools like Laventille. I think its important to provide an opportunity for other young people to see a model, somebody who benefitted like myself frm the public system here, both in education and health.” Saying he had sickle-cell anaemia, he said he had benefitted from TT’s public health system.

“So coming back here and volunteering help for others and also to provide educational opportunities for young people as well is extremely important to me.”

Asked of any messages for youngsters, he said, “I hope any young people today would be inspired to go after their dreams and make sure their dreams are as big as possible.”

Newsday columnist and prison reform advocate Debbie Jacob was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold. A journalist and former librarian, she received it for humanitarian work, as one of eight awardees.

Journalist Debbie Jacob receives the Chaconia Medal Gold for humanitarian work from President Paula-Mae Weekes as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley looks on at President’s House on Monday. – MEDIA POOL PHOTOGRAPHER

Jacob is president of the Wishing for Wings Foundation, which sponsors many skill-based programmes. The statement said, “She has performed charitable work within the TT Police Service’s Canine Branch. She has also contributed to the preparation of the prison population for re-entry into society.”

The Chaconia Medal is awarded for long and meritorious service, tending to promote national welfare or strengthen community spirit.

Also receiving the Chaconia Medal Gold:

– Justice Rolston Nelson, retired judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), for law and business.

– Prof Stephan Gift, Pro Vice Chancellor, UWI, St Augustine, for electrical engineering and engineering science.

– Orville London, former higher commissioner and former school principal, for education and public service.

– Dr Emanuel Hosein, medical practitioner, for the empowerment of disabled people.

– Errol Ince, senior lecturer and composer, for music and culture.

– Dr Lakshmi Seeterram, author, for literature, education and culture.

– Pundit Hari Prasad (posthumous), Hindu priest/pundit, for religion, culture and social service.

The Chaconia Medal Silver was awarded to:

– Maureen Clement, retired educator/musician, for community service and prison reform.

– Edgar Vidale, former coach of the national football team, for sport and community service.

– Ken “Professor” Philmore (posthumous), composer, arranger and musician, for steelband music and culture.

– Asgar Ali, chairman Weldfab, Barbados Ltd, for business.

The Humming Bird Medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service in any field of human endeavour, or for gallantry or other humane action.

The Humming Bird Medal Gold was awarded to:

– Dr Lester Goetz, urologist, for medicine.

– Gillian Bishop, jeweller/designer, for arts and culture.

– Dominic Kalipersad, journalist, for journalism.

– Reeanna Harrilal, former broadcast journalist and founder of Lupus Learning Resource Centre, for community service/education and empowerment.

– Neil Guiseppi, retired managing director of Trinidad Broadcasting Company, for media and culture.

– Kari Polanyi Levitt, professor emerita (retired), for economics and education.

– Ainsley Mark (posthumous), accountant, for community service.

The Humming Bird Medal Silver:

– Dr Indrawatee Haraksingh, university lecturer, for education.

– Gregory Medina, artist/designer, for arts/costume design.

– Oliver Chapman, music composer, producer and singer, for music and culture

– Christopher Santos, artist/designer, for art/costume design.

– Sister Kawalee Narinesingh, community service provider, for community service/rehabilitation of inmates.

– Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung, artiste, in the spheres of music and culture.

– Clifton “Mighty Bomber” Ryan, calypsonian/songwriter, for music and culture.

The Humming Bird Medal Bronze was awarded to:

– Charles Mitchell, retired Supt of Police, for gallantry.

The Public Service Medal of Merit is awarded for outstanding and meritorious service to TT.

The Public Service Medal of Merit Gold was awarded to:

– Herwald Elder, principal/lecturer and founder of Elder’s Classes, for education.

– Carlisle Harris, visual artist and former vice principal of John Donaldson Technical Institute, for culture/education.

– Girdharry Seerattansingh, retired principal of San Francique Hindu School, for education.

– Dr Verleen Bobb-Lewis, retired school supervisor, for education.

– Wilma Collins, radiographer/lecturer, for radiology and health sciences.

– Sr Marie-Therese Rétout, religious sister and nun, for public service, communications and child development.

– Elton Nelson (posthumous), principal, for education.

Medal for the Development of Women is awarded for outstanding contribution to the development of women’s rights and issues. It ws awarded to:

– Terry Ince, development consultant, for the development of women’s rights.