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Distinguished nationals awarded for outstanding service

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Philip Buxo, T&T’s High Commissioner to Canada, right, and award recipients, from left, Richard Aziz, Dawn Addison and Dr Gyaandeo Maharajh.

Philip Buxo, Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner to Canada, has reiterated his Government’s commitment to engaging all citizens in the decision-making process, ensuring they remain the nucleus of the development process. Buxo made the point at the High Commission’s Republic Day Reception last weekend in Ottawa. He spoke about the strong bilateral relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada since 1962. Canada was one of the first countries to recognise and welcome T&T as an independent state.“Canada and Trinidad and Tobago share many similarities. We are both viewed as multicultural nations that honour all cultures. Our people have worked together to build peaceful, prosperous and respected nations,” Buxo said. 

He also announced that the High Commission will soon be publishing a book, Together we Aspire, Together we Achieve: Trinidad and Tobago in Canada 1962 to 2012. More than 50 nationals will be included in this publication which honours members of the T&T Diaspora in Canada. Speaking directly to those nationals, Buxo told them they are the true ambassadors of T&T. “You know who you are and now others know where you are in the Canadian landscape. I entrust you to connect with each other and together you must aspire to inspire the next generation to achieve excellence in Canada.”
The  Distinguished National of Trinidad and Tobago Canada Award was conferred on five people for their significant contributions to their communities, in the fields of education, politics, medicine, arts and sports in Canada. The recipients of this award in 2012 are: Dawn Gayle Eudova Addison, principal of Morning Star Middle School. This educator and administrator has made it her mandate to encourage students to participate in community-oriented projects that support mental health, self-esteem and healthy activities, and to be REAL—Respectful, Excellent, Accountable and Life-long learners.
Richard Rawle Aziz, impresario, is a permanent fixture within the T&T Diaspora in the Greater Toronto area and is involved with all religious festivals and propagation of spiritual and charitable programmes. His leadership and involvement in promoting T&T’s culture in Canada is unparalleled. He is a vibrant voice in the media, community, the arts and entertainment, culture, and social justice. Dr Gyaandeo Seusaran Maharajh, chief of cardiovascular surgery for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, has remained committed to his roots and has been returning to Trinidad and Tobago on a voluntary basis to perform cardiac surgery for the less fortunate.
Last year, Maharajh celebrated an important milestone—his first full decade of regularly providing cardiac surgery to residents of his native country. To date he has performed 150 surgeries in T&T and continues to take the lead on related medical missions. Dr Deo Poonwassie, Prof Emeritus, University of Manitoba, founding director of two groundbreaking programmes focusing on aboriginal students—the Access Programme and the Special Premedical Programme. Both projects received national awards from the Canadian Association for Continuing Education. Poonwassie’s contributions and accomplishments as an educator have been recognised with promotion to the prestigious rank of Prof Emeritus.
Earlier this month, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II 2012 Diamond Jubilee Medal Award. Justice Selwyn Reginald Romilly, Superior Court judge, created history as the first black person appointed to any court in British Columbia, and only the second black person appointed to any court in Canada. He has made significant contributions to judicial and legal education, conducted seminars and workshops for judges, presented papers to the Canadian Bar Association, the National Justice Institute, the National Criminal Law Programme and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.


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