WE CONGRATULATE all our outstanding citizens — including Newsday’s very own Jones P Madeira — who were singled out for National Awards yesterday. The bestowing of these laurels rightly recognises achievement and serves as inspiration for others. Madeira’s long and unique career has been one full of journalistic distinction. Few journalists can boast of having a wider practice, encompassing print, radio, and television. While today Madeira is a household name largely because of his bravery during the events of July 1990, his contribution extends to matters that have not often been under the public spotlight. For instance, his time at TTT saw important innovations in broadcast media. It was his campaign for the proceedings of Parliament to be televised that paved the way for the kind of Parliamentary coverage that is today taken for granted. He has also had a career which has taken him all over the world and has inspired and fostered generations of journalists. He was also involved in the sensitisation of local and Caribbean media in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the Special Programme on Sexually Transmitted Infections (SPSTI) at the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) in Port of Spain. In recent years he has continued his service, despite the many sacrifices the journalistic vocation entails, at Newsday, first in the capacity as editor in chief and now as an executive editorial consultant. We heartily congratulate him. We also congratulate Dr Kris Rampersad, who has been awarded the Medal for the Development of Women. In a varied career, Rampersad previously worked at Newsday.
The award of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) to Wendell Mottley recognises the truly unique contribution he has made to this country. Very few individuals can boast of representing their nation at the Olympics, serving as a government minister and rising to become a senior economist at one of the world’s most famous investment banks. But Mottley can.
As a sportsman, Mottley reached the heights of excellence. He won a silver medal in the 400m and a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He also took two gold medals at the 1966 Commonwealth Games. But Mottley also served as one of this country’s most import ministers of finance. Between 1991 and 1995, he was a member of the first Patrick Manning Cabinet, overseeing the floatation of the TT dollar, a pivotal innovation in our economic policymaking. Mottley then served as a senior advisor and investment banker at Credit Suisse in New York, and further served on the Energy Task Force of the current Cabinet, a post he left in May. His has been a long and varied career. The bestowing of national awards on cyclists Teniel Campbell, Nicholas Paul, Kwesi Browne, and Njisane Phillip, as well as on swimmer Dylan Carter, shines a light on the energy and talent of these hard-working achievers. We are also elated to see 17-year old Sariah Estrada honoured for her feat of saving a drowning man at Marianne Beach, Blanchisseuse. All are inspiring reminders of the potential of our citizenry.