National Emblems » Awards

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The National Honours and Awards Act, promulgated on July 18, 1969, made it possible for Jamaica to recognise those who, by their service and contribution have had a meaningful and significant impact on national life.

Formal recognition of service to Jamaica and its citizens may be given by the conferment of the Orders of the six Societies of Honour established under the provisions of the Act, namely, the Order of National Hero, the Order of the Nation, the Order of Excellence, the Order of Merit, the Order of Jamaica, and the Order of Distinction; and by the award of the Badge of Honour or the Medal of Honour.

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ORDER OF NATIONAL HERO    ORDER OF THE NATION            ORDER OF MERIT               ORDER OF JAMAICA          ORDER OF DISTINCTION

 

THE ORDER OF NATIONAL HERO

The Order of National Hero, the highest of the five Jamaican Orders of the Societies of Honour, was instituted in 1969 by an Act of Parliament – The National Honours and Awards Act.

The Motto of the Order is, "He built a city which hath foundation".

The honour of the Order is conferred upon any citizen of Jamaica who has rendered service of the most distinguishing nature to Jamaica.

A National Hero is entitled:

  • to wear the Insignia of the Order, as a decoration; and
  • to be styled ‘Right Excellent'.

Link to Our National Heroes

 

THE ORDER OF THE NATION

The Order of the Nation, the second highest Order, was instituted in 1973 by Regulations made under the National Honours and Awards Act.

The Motto of the Order is, "One nation under God".

The Order consists of members of the Order.

Members of the Order are entitled:

  • to wear the Insignia of the Order, as a decoration.
  • to be styled, ‘The Most Honourable’. To use the post nominal letters ‘ON’

The spouse of a member of the Order is entitled to be styled ‘The Most Honourable’.

 

THE ORDER OF MERIT

The Order of Merit, the third in the order of precedence of the five Orders of the Societies of Honour, was established in 1969, by an Act of Parliament – The National Honours and Awards Act.

The Motto of the Order is, "He that does truth comes into the light".

The honour of the Order is conferred upon

  • Members - Any citizen of Jamaica who has achieved eminent international distinction in the field of science, the arts, literature or any other endeavour.
  • Honorary Members - Any distinguished citizen of a country other than Jamaica

Members or Honorary Members of the Order are entitled:

  • to wear the Insignia of the Order, as a decoration
  • to be styled, ‘Honourable’
  • to use the post nominal letters ‘OM’ in the case of Members, and ‘OM (Hon.)’ in the case of Honourary Members

 

THE ORDER OF JAMAICA

The Order of Jamaica, the fourth in order of precedence of the five Order of the Societies of Honour, was established in 1969, by an Act of Parliament – the National Honours and Awards Act.

The Motto is, "For a covenant of the people".

The honour of the Order is conferred:

  • Upon Members – Any Jamaican citizen of outstanding distinction.
  • Upon Honourary Members – Any distinguishing citizen of a country other than Jamaica.

Members and Honorary Members are entitled:

  • to wear the Insignia of the Order as a decoration
  • to be styled ‘Honourable’
  • to use the post nominal letters ‘OJ’ in the case of Members and ‘OJ (Hon.)’ in the case of Honorary Members.

 

THE ORDER OF DISTINCTION

The Order of Distinction is the fifth in order of precedence of the Orders of Societies of Honour, which were instituted by an Act of Parliament – The National Honours and Awards Act.

The Motto of the Order is, "Distinction through service".

The Order has two ranks:

  • The higher class – Commander
  • The lower class - Officer

Commanders take place and precedence immediately after Members and Honorary Members of the Order of Jamaica

A Member or Honorary Member may be promoted from the rank of Officer to that of Commander.

The Honour of the Order of Distinction is conferred upon

  • Members – Citizens of Jamaica who rendered outstanding and important service to Jamaica.
  • Honorary Members – Distinguished citizens of a country other than Jamaica.

Commanders of the Order of Distinction are entitled to use the post nominal letters:

  • ‘CD’ in the case of Members;
  • ‘CD (Hon.)’ in the case of Honorary Members.

Officers of the Order of Distinction are entitled to use the post nominal letters:

  • ‘OD’ in the case of Members;
  • ‘OD (Hon.)’ in the case of Honorary Members

The term’ Order of Distinction’ should never be abbreviated by the letters ‘OD’ as the post nominal letters ‘OD’ denote ‘Officer of the Order of Distinction’.

Source: Directory of the Orders of the Jamaican Societies of Honour