Press release 444/2010
(05 November 2010)

REMARKS BY H.E. EDWIN WILBERFORCE CARRINGTON, SECRETARY GENERAL CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM),  AT THE CEREMONY BESTOWING ON HIM THE AWARD OF KNIGHT COMMANDER (AD HONOREM) OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF THE NATION (KCN) , 05 NOVEMBER 2010, ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
 

 
Today, Friday 5 November 2010, is, for me a very special and truly humbling experience. Allow me therefore to make the following brief remarks.

To have been bestowed with the Award of Knight Commander (ad honorem) of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (KCN), and moreso by such an esteemed personage as the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake-Tack, makes this ceremony for me, an occasion of historic proportions.

I would therefore like at the very outset, to thank Her Excellency the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Baldwin Spencer, the other members of the Government and indeed all the people of Antigua and Barbuda, for investing me with this signal and distinguished honour.

Antigua and Barbuda has, from the very beginning, been central to my service to the Region. I well recall my very first mission as Secretary General of CARICOM - it was to this country. On that occasion I received the wise and stern advice, from the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Sir Vere Cornwall Bird. That advice, on relevance, focus and hard work, has served in many ways to guide me throughout my career as Secretary General of the Caribbean Community.

It is also here in Antigua and Barbuda that our Founding Fathers signed the historic founding instrument of regional integration – the Dickenson Bay Agreement, in 1965, from which sprung the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA), the precursor to CARICOM.

I have been conferred with this honour thanks to the kind consideration of the Hon. Prime Minister and the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda. I accept it with all humility.

This honour has been awarded to me as a consequence of my decades of dedicated service to the Member States of the Caribbean Community, in the ACP Group of States and in the Caribbean Community, both as diplomat and international public servant. However, I doubt very much that I would have been as successful, had I not, along the way, received significant help, much of it from Antigua and Barbuda itself. Its leadership, its Ministers, its diplomats and others have all contributed in no small measure, to such success as I have achieved. It has therefore been very much their success as well. I remain committed and available to lending such assistance as I may be capable of, to their worthy causes. Today’s ceremony is all the more inspiring and memorable because of their presence.

Of course they were not the only ones to have contributed. Many others, especially my staff, made yeoman [and even yeowoman] contributions to my achievements; my thanks go out to them all on this occasion.

It is in that spirit of contribution by many to that success that I am also particularly touched that my dear wife Patricia could join me today, to receive this accolade and to share in the joy of this moment. For, those many years of service to the people of the Region, have not come without tremendous sacrifice by Pat and the other members of the family. Throughout it all, they have been an indefatigable pillar of support.

[Salutations] In closing, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude, on behalf of my wife - or should I now say Lady Patricia – and I, go out once more to the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda for this tremendous honour, for which I will be forever grateful and seek to be worthy thereof always.

I thank you.

Contact: piu@caricom.org
 

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