Friday, 7 August 2009

ARTS BRIEF: Order of Merit for Mervyn Morris

GETTING HIS DUE: OM for poet Mervyn Morris

Celebrated poet and author Professor Mervyn Morris has been conferred with the Jamaica’s third highest honour - the Order of Merit (OM) – and will be among 103 persons who will receive national honours and awards come National Heroes’ Day, October 19.

Though Morris’ appointment takes effect today, the award will be made amidst the pomp and pageantry of the annual civic ceremony at King's House on Heroes' Day in October. Morris, a 72-year-old professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, Mona, is this year’s sole recipient of the OM, which is in recognition of his distinguished contribution to West Indian Literature. Past honorees who have been bestowed with the Order of Merit include the late music superstar Bob Marley, cultural pioneer Louise Bennett-Coverley and reggae icon Jimmy Cliff.

Meanwhile, seven persons - the Right Rev Archbishop Lawrence Burke, Dr Mavis Gilmour-Peterson, Dr Jennifer Carolyn Gomes, Dr Muriel Valentine, Justice Patrick Robinson, Professor Gordon Shirley and Charles Bernard Rangel (honorary) - have been appointed as members of the Order of Jamaica (OJ), the country's fourth highest honour.

On Heroe's Day, seventeen persons will be appointed to the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD), while 31 will be awarded the Order of Distinction - in the rank of officer (OD). Seven Jamaicans will receive the Badge of Honour for Gallantry, 16 will be awarded the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service while 23 will receive the Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service.

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