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Dominica recognises Professor Sir Hilary Beckles with one of the country’s highest awards

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Government of Dominica has conferred the country’s second highest state award – the Sisserou Award of Honour on Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. The award was presented by President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin, at a ceremony earlier today, November 3, 2016; as part of Dominica’s 38th Independence celebrations.

The Sisserou Award of Honour, created in 1967, is named after the national bird, the Sisserou (imperial amazon/Amazona imperialis) – a parrot indigenous only to Dominica, particularly near the island’s rainforest.

In an official correspondence, Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit stated, “The Government of Dominica has taken a decision to advise the President of Dominica to confer the Sisserou Award of Honour in recognition of your (Vice-Chancellor Beckles’) contribution to the Commonwealth of Dominica and the region in the field of education”.

In responding to the news of the award, Vice-Chancellor Beckles said, “This is an unexpected and extraordinary honour that gives me considerable personal satisfaction as an educator and much pride as Vice-Chancellor of The UWI. Serving the Caribbean people in both capacities is my principal objective and Dominica is one of my favourite societies in the world. I am deeply moved by this recognition and I give thanks.”

Vice-Chancellor Beckles is among a total of six distinguished persons who received the Sisserou Award of Honour this year. Other awardees included: Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), AmbassadorIrwin LaRocque for his contribution to public service; Dr Curvin Ferreira, for his contribution to medicine; former Government Minister Julius Timothy, for his contribution to politics and business; Ms Jennifer Astaphan, for her contribution to public service and Mr Cecil Peter Shillingford, for his contribution in the field of disaster management.

Sir Hilary Beckles receives Sisserou Award-11-8-2016.jpg

President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, His Excellency Charles A.Savarin presents The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles with the Sisserou Award of Honour.


Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI is flanked by Dr. Lennox Honychurch, UWI Open Campus Council member (left) and Dr. Gerald Grell, former UWI Pro Vice-Chancellor (right).

Photography credits: Charles James.


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