Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley has announced that recipients of the country’s highest award can now be titled ‘The Most Excellent’ as an alternative to Knight or Dame of St Andrew. Mottley made the announcement at Saturday’s ceremony to rename Spring Garden Highway the Mighty Grynner Highway in honour of the veteran calypsonian.
The PM sees the new title as an assertion of ‘Barbadianness’. “There will still be some who want the Knight of Saint Andrew, but there are many, many of us of the independence generation who would not know how to accept that award,” she said.
In order of precedence, Barbados’ honours are: Knight or Dame of St Andrew, Companion of Honour of Barbados, Crown of Merit (Gold and Silver) and the Barbados Service Award (Star and Medal).
For several countries, such as Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Grenada and Jamaica, the highest award is Order of National Hero followed by the Order of the Nation. Saint Lucia’s top honour is the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Lucia, while in Trinidad & Tobago it is Order of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, followed by the Trinity Cross, Chaconia Medal, Hummingbird Medal, Public Service Medal of Merit and the Medal for the Development of Women.
Two of the more curiously named Caribbean honours are the Order of Lignum Vitae in the Bahamas and the order of Princely Heritage in Antigua & Barbuda. The latter is subdivided into Grand Master, Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Medal – rather elaborate for a twin-island nation with a population of just 104,000 one might think.