Dame Karlene Davis and the Rt. Rev. Rose Hudson Wilkin, two Jamaican trailblazers living in the United Kingdom (UK), have been presented with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding contribution in their fields.
High Commissioner, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, made the presentation on behalf of the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at a reception held recently at the High Commission in London.
The national honourees were unable to travel to Jamaica to attend the National Honours and Awards Ceremony held at King’s House on October 21.
Dame Karlene Davis, who was born in Portland, is a former General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives. She was awarded for her dedicated contribution and services in the Field of Health, in particular, Midwifery to the Jamaican diaspora.
Rev. Wilkin, who hails from Montego Bay, St. James, was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Religion and Community Development. She is the newly appointed Bishop of Dover.
High Commissioner Ramocan, in congratulating the honourees, said that “both Dame Karlene and Bishop Rose have made exceptional contributions in their chosen fields. They are trailblazing women who have broken glass ceilings to become exemplary role models for generations to come”.
He praised and thanked them for also being great supporters of the High Commission and of the wider Jamaican community in the UK.
The awards ceremony followed the historic Consecration Service for Bishop Hudson Wilkin at the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The newly appointed Bishop of Dover is the Church of England’s first black female Bishop. She is also the first black woman to have been appointed Chaplain to the Queen and to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Dame Karlene Davis made history when she was appointed in 1994 as the first black General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives. She was also Britain’s first female trade union leader.
In commemoration of its 70th anniversary last year, the National Health Service (NHS) named her among the 70 persons recognised for their contribution to the development of the health service.
The honourees, in response, conveyed gratitude to the Government of Jamaica for recognising their work through the conferment of the national award.
They expressed appreciation to their families, friends and all who supported them over the years.
The intimate event was attended by family members and close friends of the honourees.
Among the attendees were Jamaica’s Honorary Consul, Birmingham, Wade Lyn, and members of the Anglican Clergy from Jamaica, including Custos of Westmorland, Rev. Canon Hartley Perrin; Rev. Canon Calvin McIntyre; and Rev. Canon Serrano Kitson from the St. Andrew Parish Church.