One of the most anticipated events on the Jamaican historical and social calendar each year is National Heroes Day (the 3rd Monday in October), a day on which The Jamaica National Honors and Awards is presented to Jamaicans living in Jamaica, and (foreign nationals) abroad, who have made significant and meaningful contributions to the upliftment of Jamaica.
On August 6th, 1962, Jamaica won its independence from Britain, and seven years later July 18, 1969, the National Honors was instituted with six categories of awards; since then, each year the awards have been presented to persons who have made a significant and meaningful impact on the Jamaican community. Then in 2003 thirty-four years later The Order of the Nation (ON) was added to the roster of awards and is the second highest honors among the order.
The event, which is held at Kings House, the official home of the Governor General of Jamaica is nationally televised and attracts worldwide viewership, and a significant attendance from Jamaicans at home and abroad. This requires extensive preparation of the event space and a dress rehearsal of the event to ensure its orderliness and conformity to required protocol. So days before the event, the Kings House grounds are manicured, the trees and stones lining the driveway get the customary whitewashing; the big top was strategically laid out and beautifully decorated with the colors of the Jamaican flag, and portable air conditioning units installed. While all this was being done, the honorees were also having a full-dress rehearsal on Saturday two days before the ceremony.
Monday October 17th, 2022, the day of the event was a-buzz with excitement. The over 200 honorees and the audience were seated, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the dignitaries who were: the Governor General, His Excellency the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen, and the Prime Minister, The Most Honorable Andrew Holness. Men were nattily dressed and the women, not to be outdone, had varying styles of head gear from Netted hats to Fascinators and African Head Wraps, while some wore matching African gowns. Eventually the dignitaries arrived, the National Anthem was performed, and the pomp and circumstance began with the honors being presented by the Governor General who presided over the ceremony. Among the honorees were some notables such as Cheryl Lee Ralph (whom we met at the Pegasus Hotel), Shericka Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Monty Alexander, Dr. Sandra Lindsay and our very own, Dr. Clive Williams, who was presented with a Badge of Honor for Meritorious Service, BH(M) to the Jamaican community in the diaspora.
For over fifteen years Dr. Williams managed PSP Counseling Services a family counseling practice in Behavioral Therapy in both Hempstead, Long Island and Jamaica Estates, Queens; it was from here he started his advocacy for the Jamaican and Caribbean community whose children and adolescents were being routinely placed on anti-psychotic medication or being held back from promotion in local school districts. During that time, he used his talk and advice radio show on the former WNWK 105.9 to pursue his advocacy on behalf of the families, and the women and children that he served. There he was dubbed as the “Love Doctor,” dispensing advice on Love, Life, and relationships. His radio show represented a departure from the traditional Caribbean radio show in New York City. Clive received international recognition after the publication of his first book, “100 Steps Necessary for Survival in a Stressful Environment,” was released by Seaburn Publishing in 1998. Subsequently Clive authored a second book titled, “Release Stress and Revitalize Your Life,” in 2005, which garnered him further recognition in the field of behavior modification and stress management. Then from 1996 to 2003 eight years (8) he founded and funded along with sponsors – The Mother of the Year Pageant, a retreat program designed for mothers who were physically and mentally overwhelmed with the rigors of balancing their lives.
Dr. Williams is noted for his dedication to the concerns of his fellow Jamaicans. His philanthropy – (both in time and substance) – to his community, is well known. Clive lives for uplifting his people by showing positive imagery through his family publication Whereitzat Magazine, and the philanthropy of the Business Innovators & Game-Changers Awards Organization – (B.I.G AWARDS GALA) which annually recognizes outstanding people of color for their contributions to the upliftment of their respective communities. He makes it a ritual to support Black or Jamaican businesses that emerge in his community. As a former Local Government official he has given advice and support to a myriad of businesses and professional endeavors in the Queens, Brooklyn, and Bronx communities of New York. Anyone who knows him well, knows that he offers support to anyone who is committed to improving their life, career, or business. He has served as Chairman of Queens Community Board 13, where he also Chaired the Public Safety Committee and the Economic Development Committee and has received numerous awards and recognition from the United States Congress, the New York City Council, The Queens Borough President, the New York Mayor’s Office as well as local community organizations.
Clive’s most recent project – Jamaicanomics – “Investing in Brand Jamaica”, is designed to focus on the curation of the stories of outstanding Jamaicans, and its world-renowned assets: Music, Food, Culture, Sports, and Tourism.