Jamaican Awards and Honours -
What are They and Who Gets Them?!

The National Jamaican Awards and Honours recognize those Jamaicans or foreign nationals who, by their service, have made a meaningful and significant contribution to national development.

Under the National Honours and Awards Act, promulgated on July 18, 1969, formal recognition of service to Jamaica and its citizens may be given by the conferment of the six (6) Orders of the Societies of Honour, and the two (2) national awards, which are as follows:

Order of Distinction Jamaica

Order of Distinction

The Order of Distinction may be conferred upon any citizen who has rendered outstanding and important service to Jamaica in any field of endeavour.

The Order has two ranks; the higher class - Commander - being the higher of the two.

Distinguished citizens of a country other than Jamaica may be conferred with this honour as honorary members.

The motto of this Order is ‘Distinction Through Service’. <continue reading>

Order of the Nation Jamaica

Order of The Nation

The Order of the Nation is the second highest Order and is conferred on the Governor-General and Prime Minister, upon whom the Order of National Hero was not previously conferred.

Recipients of this honour are entitled to be styled formally as 'The Most Honourable', wear the insignia of the Order, and use the post nominal letters ‘ON’.

Spouses of the recipients are also styled 'The Most Honourable'. <continue reading>

Order of Jamaica

Order of Jamaica

The honour of the Order of Jamaica may be bestowed on any Jamaican national or any distinguished citizen of a foreign country other than Jamaica, who has demonstrated outstanding distinction in service to Jamaica.

Members of the Order are entitled to be formally styled ‘The Honourable’, wear the insignia of the Order and use the post nominal letters ‘OJ’.

Foreign nationals receiving the award are honorary members and use the post nominal letters ‘OJ (Hon)’. <continue reading>

Order of Merit Jamaica

Order of Merit

The Order of Merit is the third highest honour and may be conferred upon any citizen of Jamaica who has achieved eminent international distinction in his or her field of endeavour.

A distinguished citizen of a country other than Jamaica may be conferred as an honorary member of this Order. <continue reading>

Order of Nationa Hero Jamaica

Order of National Hero

The Order of National Hero, established in 1969, is the highest of the Orders and may be conferred on any Jamaican or naturalised citizen who has rendered the most distinguished service to Jamaica.

The recipient is styled 'The Right Excellent' and wears the insignia of the Order. <continue reading>

Order of Excellence Jamaica

Order of Excellence

The Order of Excellence, which was created in 2003, is reserved for foreign heads of state or heads of government.

This Order is ranked with the same precedence as the honour of the Order of the Nation.

Recipients of this Order are styled ‘The Most Honourable’. <continue reading>

Sources: Directory of the Orders of the Jamaican Societies of Honour
                Jamaica Information Service

Continue reading about each of the six (6) Jamaican Awards and Honours to find out who has been awarded them since the inception!

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