National Awards were first granted in 1969, seven years after Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Britain. These awards are presented to commemorate the Anniversary of our Independence.
Prior to our own local National Awards system, Trinidad and Tobago was involved in the system of Commonwealth Awards which was conferred by Her Majesty the Queen of England. These Commonwealth Awards comprised the Peerage and Baronestage, Privy Counsellors and various Orders of Knighthood, Decorations and Medals, in Civil and Military Divisions in some cases.
Upon gaining independence from Britain in 1962, it was decided that Trinidad and Tobago should have its own National Awards.
Although Cabinet had decided on 21st December 1967 that there should be seven (7) categories and fourteen (14) classes of National Awards, it subsequently amended these numbers to four (4) categories and ten (10) classes of National Awards.
The existing National Awards are The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, The Chaconia Medal in Gold, Silver and Bronze, The Hummingbird Medal in Gold, Silver and Bronze, and the Public Service Medal of Merit in Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The name of the Society to replace the Order of the Trinity is The Distinguished Society of Trinidad and Tobago and the initial O.R.T.T. is to be used by future holders of this award, after their names.
NATIONAL AWARDS NOMINEES
Nominations for National Awards are done annually. There is a National Awards Committee to oversee the procedure. In order that fair consideration be given to nominees, the National Awards Committee asks that the submission of nominees be made early, giving full detailed information, thereby building a solid and convincing case. This includes the nominee's name and activities, including how long he/she has done the work for which the person nominating him/her thinks he/she deserves the award.
The members of the National Awards Committee will then carry out a proper investigation of the nominees' activities in the field, after which, the Committee then considers all the recommendations submitted. Then the Committee forwards a shortened list to the Prime Minister for his consideration.
According to the 1969 Constitution of the Order of the Trinity, the Prime Minister has the right to accept, reject, or add to the list. The Prime Minister in turn advises the President who made the award, with the consent of the nominee.
WHERE TO GET NOMINATION FORMS
Nomination for a National Award forms and more information about nomination submission can be obtained at The Office of The Prime Minister, Tobago House of Assembly and City and Town Halls.