San Fernando, September 1st, 2013: President Anthony Carmona, at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on Saturday night; awarded Mr. Justice Shafeyei M. Shah (retired) the Chaconia Medal – Gold at the annual Independence Day National Awards ceremony. The National Awards of Trinidad and Tobago recognize the contributions of citizens and non-nationals who have had a significant and positive impact on the twin-island Republic. The Chaconia Medal – Gold is the second highest award that a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago can earn at these annual awards. The Chaconia Medal is awarded for long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago that promotes the national welfare or strengthens the community spirit.
Mr Justice Shah retired from the Bench of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1997, after being assigned as Judge of the High Court of Justice from 1993. His professional career, prior to his assignment to the High Court, spanned a period of thirty-three years from 1959 as Solicitor, and Conveyancer and then Attorney-at-Law in private practice. Since the year 2000, he has been a Legal Consultant and Director of the Haji Ruknudeen Institute.
He has been the recipient of several awards. He was honoured and presented with a Certificate for Outstanding and meritorious service in the field of Law by the City of San Fernando, (the city of his birth), and was also honoured in recognition of his sterling contributions to the judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, by the Assembly of Southern lawyers.
He received, from the Scout Association of Trinidad and Tobago, the distinguished Medal of Merit and Thanks Badge and, from the St John s Ambulance Brigade, a medal for long and meritorious service . The Jaycees also presented him with a trophy for the establishment of Junior Jaycees in Secondary Schools.
He graduated in 1951 from Naparima College with School Certificate (Grade I) and Higher School Certificate with exemption from Intermediate Bachelors of Arts (University of London). In 1964, he received a scholarship to pursue Courses at the University of Chicago.
He served from 1966 to 1971 as an Elected Member of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, and in 1971 was the country s delegate to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Meeting in Sydney, Australia.
He was a Member of the Disciplinary Committee of the legal profession for twelve years and was the founding member and First Honorary Secretary of the Assembly of Southern Lawyers. He was also a Member of the Statutory Authorities Appeal Board for two (2) terms, and in 1996 had judicial contact with the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Justice Shah was a Member of the Integrity Commission for a full three year term from 2000 to 2003. He is chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board CICB
Also Affieza Ogeer, President of the ASJA Ladies’ Association (Community Service) received the Medal for the Development of Women – Gold