The Governor-General’s
Achievement Awards Scheme
award recipients : st ann
A qualified nurse, Ruth Jacinth Mirth Brown has demonstrated her commitment to the development of her country, Jamaica, through the health service, championing health promotion as a “vehicle for bringing about the requisite changes.”


Miss Brown has been highly commended for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of Youth Development and Empowerment, through the Jamaica Family Planning Association (FAMPLAN Jamaica) and the Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM); as well as, a project to fight AIDS through training and education, in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Education, the Jamaica Red Cross and Police Youth Clubs.


Her work has been evaluated by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and was highly rated, as having impacted young people whom she has trained as Peer Educators.


Through her involvement with health initiatives, she has participated in several regional workshops in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Surinam, and Guyana, in the areas of youth advocacy and sexual and reproductive health and rights.


A graduate of Ferncourt High School, Miss Brown served as Head Girl, and was active in the Debate and Drama Clubs. She also participated in track and field and was a member of the Girls Guides Association. She then attended Moneague College; and subsequently matriculated at The University of the West Indies, where she achieved the B.Sc. in Nursing and a Diploma in Business Administration.


In her community, Miss Brown has participated in health fairs and carried out projects in conjunction with the Jamaica Red Cross, Jamaica AIDS Support and Children First. She was also an active participant in several training workshops hosted by the Canadian International Development Agency, Pan American Health Organisation and Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation.


Ms. Brown, who now works as a Registered Nurse at Cornwall Regional Hospital, has also coordinated a Practical Nursing Project for the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET). Her primary ambition is to operate a Home, which caters to children and the elderly.


Ruth Jacinth Mirth Brown, it is with pride and confidence that the members of the Governor General’s Achievement Awards Committee of St. Ann have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Excellence 2011.


Mrs. Mavis “Cissy” May Williams has devoted more than a quarter of a century to the development of a basic school at the Methodist Church in St. Ann. This school is now housed in a new two storey multi-purpose building, which was named in her honour in November 2010.


On the death of her father, young “Cissy” and her eight siblings assisted their mother with the many daily chores while attending school, sometimes walking bare-feet for over three miles. At the age of 16, she was successful in the Jamaica Local Examinations; and worked for a while, before getting married, at the age of 19, to a farmer.


During the early 1950s when many Jamaicans were migrating to the United Kingdom, Mrs. Williams and her husband, Rupert, went to England. In the UK, she worked in a hospital and a factory, and after gaining the appropriate qualifications, joined the British Civil Service. 


Soon after her return to Jamaica in 1975, Mrs. Williams became active in the Methodist Church; and was invited by Rev. Stephen Poxon to form a Youth Club for several young people who had responded to a crusade alter call. She accepted the challenge, and out of that experience the idea to establish a basic school emerged.


Parents were at first hesitant to send their children to a school in a church cellar; however, the resulting quality of the children’s education was outstanding, and the school became successful. Subsequently, the school received assistance from the United Methodist Church in Alabama, USA, which provided funds, equipment and physical labour to expand and upgrade the school. 


Mrs. Williams was born in Ebenezer, known as “Little Kent,” St. Ann, where she attended the Brittonville Elementary School; and furthered her education during her sojourn in England.  She continues to be active in the administration of the basic school; and is highly regarded in her community.


With a strong belief in the importance of high standards at the Basic School, she encouraged her teachers to improve their qualifications. As a result, four of them went to teachers college; and two are now university graduates. One is currently the Principal of the Ebenezer Methodist Basic School; and another, the Principal of the Pimento Walk Basic School.


Mavis Williams it is with pride and confidence that your colleagues and the members of the Governor General’s Achievement Awards Committee of St. Ann have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor General’s Achievement Award for 2011.


Mr. Rohan Champagnie strives to assist others to grow intellectually; and has organised clubs and spiritual ministries to enhance the lives of others. His own life was stimulated by persons such as Steve Rodney, a friend, who taught him to read. Mrs. Lorna Standford one of his teachers at Tackey High School, became his mentor, and guided his educational path.

After graduation from Tackey High School in 1996, Rohan matriculated at the University of Technology, where he achieved a Diploma in Technical Teacher Education in 2000; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with First Class Honours in Education, in 2005.

His teaching career includes working at the Ocho Rios High School; and as a part-time lecturer at the Jamaican Institute of Management.  The philosophy that has guided his development is that, “Success is not a talent, but an attitude.”

A baptized member and ordained Elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Mr. Champagnie serves as a lay preacher, Sabbath school teacher and youth leader; and he also provides assistance to the host pastor in the supervision of various departments, as well as to conduct church services.

He is an active participant in outreach programmes, and was instrumental in establishing a Clinic Ministry at the Gayle Health Centre, where he holds weekly devotions with patients on Wednesdays. At Tacky High School, he leads devotions for both senior and junior students.

A cricketer, he was a valuable member of the Inter-Department Cricket Team; and an active participant in the 4-H Club. On a regular basis, he also visits the Port Maria Infirmary and the Richmond Adult Prison; and participates in the annual treats at these institutions.

Rohan Champagnie, it is with pride and confidence that the members of the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards Committee of St. Ann have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Award for Excellence for 2010.


Miss Tabitha Williamson, was trained as an Early Childhood Educator, and is highly regarded by her peers for her motivating abilities, which bring out the best in children, and gives focus to her own belief that, “everyone is born for a purpose.”

Tabitha, who was born in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann, is a graduate of Shortwood Teacher’s College, where she received a Diploma, in 2009. She previously attended Ardenne High School achieving seven subjects in the General Certificate of Education (CX), including Mathematics, English, Integrated Science, Principles of Business and Social Studies, in 2005. She also holds a Certificate of Academic Activities from Ferncourt High School.

During those formative years in high school, she was an active participant in the Speech & Drama Club at Ferncourt High School; a member of the Spanish Club at both Ardenne and Ferncourt High; and a member of the female football team.

She worked as a Craft Teacher at Elim basic School in 2009; and as a Clerical Assistant at National Meats & Food Distributors in 2009. Under the National Youth Service Programme in August 2006, she served as a Clerical Assistant at the Ocho Rios Police Station; and she also taught at Golden Grove Basic School, in 2005.

A faithful member of the Golden Grove Gospel Chapel, she participates in the Young Persons Youth Group, and teaches Vocation Bible School. For four years she was also active in the Home Work Programme.

Tabitha Williamson, it is with pride and confidence that the members of the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards Committee of St. Ann have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Youth Award for Excellence for 2010.

St. Ann //DR. CINDO NICHOLSON (2010)

Dr. Cindo Nicholson, the last of 12 children for his parents—a mason and a fulltime housewife—was born in Parry Town, Ocho Rios, in St. Ann.


While his parents worked hard to sustain the family, he became conscious of the limitations of poverty from an early age. He never had enough “tuck” in boarding school; and his teachers “muttered” about his need for more clothing. Never-the-less, he survived.


Cindo Nicholson had his own...”Road to Damascus” experience, when a teacher asked him what he wanted to be, and his response was, “I want to be a doctor, but I don’t think I will be able to afford it.” His teacher responded, “Do not let money and background be a hindrance—you can be whatever you want to be.” That statement became the creed that he decided to live by; and, that credo has been a driving force in his life.


He was educated at Pimento Walk Basic School; Ocho Rios and Linstead Primary Schools; as well as York Castle and Excelsior High Schools. He subsequently read for his Medical Degree at The University of the West Indies.


In his service to the community, Dr. Nicholson has been Chairman of the St. Ann Drug Abuse Committee; a past President and member of the Lions Club of North St. Ann for more than 25 years, and was recognized by Lions International for his contribution to “Education about Diabetes.”


He is a member of the Board of several high schools, including Marcus Garvey and York Castle; and was the President of the Jamaica Chapter of the Christian Business Men Committee. He currently serves as Chairman of the North East Branch of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ).


Dr. Cindo Nicholson, it is with pride and confidence that your colleagues and the members of the Governor-General’s Achievement Awards Committee of St. Ann have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Achievement Award for 2010.



Romane George Paul Thomas has been a role model to his peers; and, in an era when more young women than young men are pursuing tertiary education, he was the first young man from his community of Blue Hole, Moneague, in St. Ann, to attend university.


While his career plans include being an Actuary, entering the field of medicine. As a result of his strong mathematics background, Romane has already acquired a degree in Actuarial Science.


Mr. Thomas contributes to his community through sports by coaching the Watsonville Primary School Cricket Team. He has also assisted with the rebuilding of the Watsonville Basic School and the Rio Hoe Postal Agency. As a specialist in mathematics and chemistry he tutors students for CXC examinations and counsels troubled teens.


He has been an active member of the Methodist Church, while teaching at Ocho Rios High school. He has also worked as a Technician at the Electoral Office.


A consistent high achiever, this recipient of the Wayne Chen Scholarship, was recognized as the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ at the Ocho Rios High School in mathematics, chemistry and biology. 


A graduate of Moneague Teachers’ College, in 2005, he received the Ministry of National Security Scholarship to attend The University of the West Indies from which he graduated in 2009.


Romane George Paul Thomas, it is with pride and confidence that the St. Ann Parish Committee of the GGAA Programme, have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Youth Award of Excellence for the parish of St. Ann in the year 2009.

St. Ann //DR. JANET DYER (ST. ANN) 2009


Dr. Janet Angella Dyer, currently the General Manager of the Runaway Bay HEART Hotel in St. Ann, is a product of The HEART Trust/NTA. Her dynamic journey from student to manager is paved with the knowledge, skills and desire to carve a successful career in Hospitality Management and Education.


Her road to a successful academic career and management posts was fraught with what would seem to be, insurmountable obstacles. However, neither lack of financial resources nor feelings of discouragement could prevent her from achieving her goals.


While working at the St. Elizabeth Parish Council in 1987, she learned about HEART and the opportunities that the training agency offered young people. That was the turning point in her life, which made it possible for her to study locally and overseas, and achieve her personal dream of becoming a teacher.


A confirmed optimist, she contributes to empowering young people in marginalized communities; and is involved with the work of the Runaway Bay Police Youth Club, where she encourages young people, through her own life story, that, “they can make it if they really want to.”


Over the years, Dr. Dyer has worked in many teaching capacities—as part time lecturer at the Northern Caribbean University; Principal and Manager, Runaway Bay HEART Hotel & Training Institute; and Lecturer at the Institute of Management and Production (IMP) influencing many students whose life touches her. She also worked in tourism, with international resorts such as Super Clubs and the Hilton Hotel.


Dr. Dyer is a member of several professional and civic organisations including: the Jamaica Culinary Development Committee; Caribbean Hotel Association; the Educational Institute of America; and the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the Optimist Club of Jamaica; and has received numerous awards, such as: Boss of the Year for St. Ann and the HEART Trust/NTA, Manager of the Year at Super Clubs, Boscobel Beach; and Jamaican Woman for being an outstanding female achiever,


Dr. Janet Dyer, it is with pride and confidence that your colleagues, and the St. Ann Parish Committee of the GGAA Programme, have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Achievement Award for the parish of St. Ann in the year 2009.

St. Ann //KEITH A. FOOTE (ST. ANN) 2008

Keith A. Foote’s desire for “a better way of life” was cemented in his consciousness at a very early age. The journey of the now successful entrepreneur, media mogul and altruist, remains rooted at the community level, where he shares the learning, love and positive influences he received throughout his life.

Believing that holistic development is critical to personal empowerment, the avid cricket-lover established a cricket team in his community of Ocho Rios, St. Ann. He is also an advocate for issues related to health, education, crime prevention and environmental protection, especially the preservation of watersheds, reefs and rivers.

Having volunteered as a caregiver during his teenage years, he enjoys working with the elderly, and is passionate about initiatives geared at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness. A caring philanthropist, he has also
contributed to the Paediatric Ward at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital.

Keith Foote has always demonstrated a positive attitude and strong work ethic within the business and social communities. Very early in his career, he developed an entrepreneurial spirit far beyond his age, and worked assiduously to seek out and create opportunities for continuous learning. His determination and resilience, as well as a keen sense of duty to family and service to his community, have been contributing factors to his success.

Born on June 20, 1944 in the small farming district of Chudleigh in Manchester, Keith Foote attended infant school in Baker’s Common and the Middlesex Primary School. With goals of becoming a banker or builder, he saved his money from an early age, a practice that has helped him to achieve financial freedom.

At age 16, Mr. Foote moved to Ocho Rios and found a job as a bricklayer. He later purchased the house he helped to build, and, during a stint at Carib Ocho Rios, he learned much about the hospitality and tourism industry. This latter experience propelled the former owner of the Little Pub to recruit him as manager of that
establishment. He eventually bought the Pub and expanded the property, demonstrating exceptional work ethic and determination as explained in his own words; “I was never afraid of challenges and never refused a task and its challenges.”

Mr. Foote is a pioneer of community television in Jamaica, starting the cable station Reggae Sun TV. By 1999, the station was beaming across the island, and was the first local television station to stream live on the Internet.

He is an outstanding businessman and philanthropist, mentor and exemplary community member, whose hard work has earned him a level of personal independence that allows him time to pursue charitable endeavours.

Keith A. Foote, it is with pride and confidence that your colleagues and the members of the St. Ann committee of the GGAA Scheme have selected you as a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s
Achievement Award for the parish of St. Ann in the year 2008.

St. Ann //LEON GORDON, ST. ANN (2007)

Leon Anthony Gordon, a Justice of the Peace and educator, placed leadership, teaching and community service at the centre of his life, and fostered training and development to change the lives of young people and adults in his adopted parish of St. Ann.

St. Ann //PIXLEY IRONS, JP; ST. ANN (2006)

Pixley Irons was born in St. Catherine on the 14th of December 1948 in a family of eight. Under humble circumstances, he assisted his father with farming the small plots of land around his home, and his mother with the household chores.


Newton Richards was born in 1926 as one of eight children. 

St. Ann //BRENTON LEVENE, ST. ANN (1993)

Brenton Levene received the coveted Governor-General’s Achievement Award in 1993 for St. Ann.

St. Ann //FRANK HAUGHTON, ST. ANN (2002)

Frank Haughton worked hard from his youth and made tremendous sacrifices to reach this high level of professionalism. And having reached there, he has committed himself to uplifting others, particularly young people.

St. Ann //Roland Douglas McPherson J.P., St. Ann (2005)

Roland McPherson, born into a poor family, always had the determination to succeed.  From his early childhood, he knew what it was to face the struggles of life, walking to school bare-footed, and assisting his father on his small farm in order to eke out an existence. His story is a case of  “Great opportunities come to those who make the most of small ones.”

St. Ann //Mr. Clinton Beam, St. Ann (2004)

Clinton Beam was born in Coultart Grove, Claremont, St. Ann on the 17th of April nineteen hundred and thirty eight, and is the second of six children.  His early education began at a basic school in Claremont, but his parents, dreaming of better opportunities for the family, moved to Pimento Walk, Ocho Rios, where Clinton and his siblings attended the Ocho Rios Primary School.

St. Ann //Citation for Rev. Carlton Mullings, St. Ann (2003)

Carlton Mullings’ committal of his life to his Creator from the early days of his youth enabled him to overcome very strong temptations and economic difficulties to become a useful citizen and an outstanding Pastor in his community. His story is a typical case of  “My mother who fathered me”, as he did not meet his father until age sixteen and even then he received very little support from him.

St. Ann //Marjorie Robinson - Nurse receives G-G award, St. Ann (2001)

Marjorie Robinson had no idea she would have become a registered nurse and make a career of it. The only female among the five persons from the county of Middlesex to receive the Governor-General's Achievement Award last week, she smiled with delight as the cameras flashed as she accepted her award. She had made a career out of something that `just happened` and she was being praised for it. She decided to make the most of something that `just happened.`

St. Ann //Theda Louise Scott, St. Ann (2000)

Theda Scott, born on December 29, 1922 was the first of eight children of Randolph and Etta Hylton who were peasant farmers residing in Retirement, St. Ann. She attended the Retirement Elementary School where she sat the Pupil Teacher Examinations. In 1943, she began her career in teaching at the Muir House Elementary School and within the year she transferred to the Charlton Infant School.

St. Ann //Citation to Mr. Newton Richards, St. Ann (1999)

Newton Richards was born in 1926 as one of eight children into a family of early tragedy and vicissitudes. He lost his father at the age of two years and was raised by his grandparents Josiah and Lucilla Atkinson. But grandmother died when Newton was ten years old and grandfather died when he was twelve.

St. Ann //Godfrey McDonald, St. Ann (1999)
Godfrey McDonald is the seventh of sixteen children whose parents, a farmer and a housewife, struggled to provide for them through the rearing of animals and the planting and marketing of cash crops.  Born on August 28, 1934 young Godfrey attended the Prickley Pole Elementary School.  At age 17, he transferred to the Alva Elementary school as a private student.  He remained there ...
St. Ann //Radcliffe Oneil Walters J.P., St. Ann (1998)
At nineteen when most young men were looking forward to personal independence and a certain degree of freedom to manage their own lives, Radcliffe Walters had to assume the financial responsibilities of his deceased father. As the first of four boys in a family of ten children, he had to care for his mother and siblings. He had to become the breadwinner of the family. Born in Dawson Town, St. Ann ...
St. Ann //Citation to Mrs. Dorothy `Rosita` Johnstone-Henry (1997)
Dorothy `Rosita` Johnston-Henry was born in Gibraltar St. Ann over seventy years ago and has been in the entertainment field for over 40 years. But life was not easy at the beginning. Her mother died when she was only fourteen and she was left to be brought up by her uncle and his wife, but she found herself pregnant at a rather early age. Through all of this she helped herself by learning ...
St. Ann //Citation to Mr. Cecil George Simmonds (1996)
Cecil Simmonds was born at Worthy Park, sixty-seven years ago into a family of 8 members but grew up in St. Ann. He attended Golden Grove Primary School 1937-1946 and Kingston Technical High.

In May 1950 he started working at Reynolds Jamaica Mines in the Building and Construction Department and was transferred in 1955 to the Heavy Duty Mechanical Department of that Company and within ...
St. Ann //Citation to Mrs. Doris Blackwell of Beecher Town, St. Ann (1995)
Doris Millicent Blackwell, a hyperactive septuagenarian, was born in Beecher Town, St. Ann, the sixth child and only girl among eleven boys in the family of the late Nathan and Hilda Rattigan. Her father who looked after cows on a neighbouring estate died in her teens and her mother raised a few chickens.

Doris attended the Beecher Town Elementary School up to sixth grade, leaving when she ...

Youth Awards