Portia now "Most Honourable"

Kingston, Jamaica, May 30, 2006 – Jamaica’s new prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, was yesterday conferred with the Order of the Nation at an investiture ceremony held at King’s House.

PM Simpson Miller, who made history in March by becoming Jamaica’s first female prime minister, can now add the title of “Most Honorable” before her name and add the letters “O.N.” after.

The Order of the Nation was instituted in 1973 by regulations made under the National Honors and Awards Act and is the second highest Order of the Five Societies of Honor, with the highest being the Order of National Hero.

Past and present prime ministers were first conferred with this honor in 2002 including Edward Seaga, Hugh Shearer and the most recent PM, P.J. Patterson.

Meanwhile, in Guyana last evening Patterson was given the country’s highest national award for his sterling contribution to regional integration at an investiture ceremony at State House.

President Bharrat Jagdeo bestowed the honor on Patterson while lauding ‘P.J’s’ formidable negotiating skills on any issue of debate, including Guyana’s border issues with sister CARICOM State Suriname.

Accepting the award, Patterson said he was caught by surprise when President Jagdeo announced the conferment in February.

“I am deeply honored in a personal way the conferment of this award,” an emotional Patterson said as he addressed the special invitees at the State House ceremony. (HBN)