Gong time again

| 08/04/2009

(CNS): Despite the growing controversy in the mother county with regards the symbolism of the Order of the British Empire and the Member of the British Empire, aka the OBE and MBE, the former colonies are still embracing these gongs regardless of their obvious connections to colonialism and slavery. Governor Stuart Jack is likely to get a significant response to his appeal this week for people to submit nominations for the Queen’s New Year Honours 2010 from Cayman.

According to a release nominations must be received by Monday 27 April 2009 it stated that final recommendations for OBEs and MBEs are considered in the United Kingdom, while recommendations for the Certificate and Badge of Honour are considered locally.

However, these gongs are not just awarded to the committed and hard working according to the criteria long service is not enough.

“Nominations must be supported by a persuasiveaccount of the outstanding or innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services,” the release from the Governor’s office stated.

Nomination forms can be collected from the reception desk of the Government Administration Building or requested by e-mail from mandy.heffield@fco.gov.uk.  Copies can also be found on the Governor’s Office website (www.ukincayman.fco.gov.uk).  Once completed, the forms should be submitted, under confidential cover, to the Governor’s Office.  While all recommendations will be acknowledged, the Governor’s Office cannot enter into correspondence about the action taken on them.

Over the years a growing number of people have refused to accept the honours. One of the most famous “refuseniks” is Benjamin Zephaniah, the acclaimed poet, who refused his OBE in 2004 describing it as a legacy of colonialism. Actress Helen Mirim, Comediennes Jennifer Saunders., author Roald  Dahl and musicians Hank Marvin and David Bowie have al refused OBE’s in the past.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OBE actually stands for "Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire", not just "Order of…".  It ranks above mere "Member of…"