National Award for ASJA’S Leader

Haji Yacoob Ali, President of the Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASJA)
Haji Yacoob Ali, President of the Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASJA) has been awarded the country’s second highest honour – The Chaconia Medal Gold.

This medal is awarded “to any person who has performed long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago tending to promote the national welfare or strengthen the community spirit.”

Awarded to a maximum of ten (10) persons annually, the Chaconia Medal is awarded in Gold, Silver or Bronze in accordance with the National Awards Committee’s “assessment of the value of the recipient’s service to Trinidad and Tobago.”

Haji Yacoob has dedicated a lifetime of service to the national community since his youth as a young leader in the Trinidad & |Tobago Muslim Youth Organization, as Chairman of the Education Board of ASJA since early 1970s and has served as ASJA’s President for well over a decade.  By virtue of this office Haji Yacoob is the Chief Representative of the Muslim Community in the State’s list of Protocol.  During his long tenure with ASJA Haji Yacoob has placed an indelible mark on ASJA’s educational thrust and activities.  He has influenced ASJA’s educational philosophy which emphasizes modern subjects to allow its student base the opportunity to earn an education that will allow them success in the workplace while promoting traditional values based on the  precepts of the Islamic faith.  Haji Ali is both a pharmacist and a lawyer by profession.

Also receiving the Chaconia Medal Gold is Dr Hamid Ghany in the category of Education.  Dr. Hamid Ghany – B. A. (UWI), M. A. (Fordham), Ph. D. from London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr. Hamid Ghany is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Government whose areas of teaching, research and publication lie in the fields of Parliamentary Studies and Constitutional Affairs.

He is the Coordinator of the Constitutional Affairs and Parliamentary Studies Unit (CAPSU) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Dr. Ghany is a well-known commentator and analyst of political and contemporary issues in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

He previously served as a member of the Constitution Review Commission (1988-90) under the chairmanship of the late Sir Isaac Hyatali, T.C.; the Tobago House of Assembly Technical Team for discussions with the Central Government (1992 – 1995) under the chairmanship of Mr. Karl Hudson-Phillips, Q.C.; the Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Constitution Reform (2008-10) under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Mr. Patrick Manning, M.P.

Ansar Ali received the Humming Bird Medal Gold – Consultant for Community Service along with Ackbar Khan—Justice of the Peace for Public Service .  This medal is awarded “to any person who has rendered loyal and devoted service beneficial to Trinidad and Tobago in any field of human endeavour or for gallantry or other humane action.”  The Humming Bird Silver was awarded to Shamoon Mohammed for contributions in the field of Culture.

Haseena Ali a retired Public Servant was awarded the Public Service Medal of Merit (Gold).  This medal is awarded for “outstanding and meritorious service in the Public Services, the Defence and Protective Services or service with Statutory Bodies performing national functions.”

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 their 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.

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