The Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica honoured 16 outstanding Justices of the Peace (JPs) during its annual Golden Scale Awards Banquet, which was held on August 22 at the Sea Garden Beach Resort in Montego Bay, St. James.
There were 13 parish awardees from the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey, as well as three JPs who received the prestigious Golden Scale Award.
Former Acting Custos for St. James and Golden Scale awardee, Claudette Bryan, said the role of a JP can be both rewarding and challenging, noting that many have been doing yeoman service throughout the length and breadth of the nation, sometimes unappreciated and without fanfare.
Bryan, who spoke on behalf of her fellow awardees, noted that the feeling of satisfaction and the realization that ‘we are contributing to nation building’ far outweigh the sometimes heavy demands on time and privacy. She added that JPs oftentimes resign themselves to the fact that it’s all about ‘service above self’.
“It has been a long journey,” Bryan noted, adding that she was commissioned in 2009 and became a member of the Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica, and she has given 11 years of sterling service to the Association.
“I enjoy every moment of what I do. Why? Because I love people. For me, it’s to serve – and that’s my greatest gratification,” she said.
Bryan noted that some of the high points in being a Justice of the Peace involved being appreciated.
“When someone comes to you and you offer service and they say ‘thank you, I appreciate it…’ That’s a special feeling,” she said.
Bryan added that she would readily recommend that others take on the responsibility of ‘service above self’, noting that it is always an honour to serve parish, country and community.
Meanwhile, another awardee, Fredrick Young, said being recognized with the Golden Scale Award is a high point of his career and a recognition for the 15 years since he was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St. Mary.
Young – who is an agricultural educator, a banker and also regional manager with the Jamaica National Group since 2004 – said his journey has taken him through numerous spheres of the public service, and has given him a sense of satisfaction that is very difficult to describe.
Meanwhile, Seiveright Dixon, the final Golden Scale awardee, who was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 2006 for the parish of St. Thomas, said his life has been all about giving back to his community and playing his part in the building of a better Jamaica.
He stated that, as with his fellow awardees, the Golden Scale Award is a culmination of a lifetime of hard work and service to country.
The parish awardees were Blossom Grant, Patrick Kerr, Lily Hope Hall, Julian Robinson and Christine Davidson for the county of Cornwall. Those from Middlesex were Annette McDonald, Daniel Roumel, Michael Johnson, Lurline Headley and B. Anthoney Carr. The awardees from Surrey were Major Clifton Lumsden, Donna Chippy and Ryan Bailey.
The information for this story was provided by the state-owned Jamaica Information Service
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