2017 Golden Torch Awards

179 Educators Receive Golden Torch Awards This Year

Publication Date: 
Monday, July 10, 2017

One hundred and seventy nine educators from Schools Island were on Thursday, July 6, 2017 honoured for their contribution to education. The award is presented annually to members of the JTA who have given a minimum of 35 years of service to education and are still in service.

The educators, 155 females and 24 males participated in the annual ceremony, at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston amidst the usual pomp and pageantry associated with it.

Addressing the ceremony, JTA President, Howard Isaacs reminded the recipients that the work they have done over their 35 years and more to education, is something that they might have not recognized the impact made.

According to him, “the recipients have changed lives, moved the country in a manner that if you were not there, we would not be here this morning to celebrate with you” he remarked. 

Mr. Isaacs reminded the teachers not to see the ceremony as another function, but rather one where their union, the JTA recognizes that the long serving teachers ought to be honoured and celebrated.

Using a poem to wrap up his greetings the JTA President said: “One voice can speak with wisdom, one heart can know what’s true, one life can make a difference and that person is you”.

The message of Education, Youth and Information Minister, Ruel Reid’s was delivered by Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace Mclean.

In the message the Minster said: “We salute all our honourees for your excellent service and hail your fine examples  as being worthy of emulation”

“Over the years, I know you encountered many challenges but you continued to serve with tenacity and courage. You have given outstanding service, toiled long and hard in the field of education, you are innovators and creators who could have made your mark elsewhere, but you chose education” the message said.

The minister in commending the teachers, pointed out that he is very much aware that the JTA in collaboration with its stakeholders, The JTA Cooperative Credit Union, Tip Friendly Society and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will continue the fine tradition of recognizing the stalwarts in education.

Meanwhile, Opposition spokesman on Education and Training, Rev. Ronald Thwaites bemoaned the weakness of the Jamaican family and the brokenness of community organizations  which has caused undue pressure to be turned on schools to become the institutions for positive socialization in the country.

He said “ the challenge for each of us, despite our continued careers is to create a community of care around each education institution as these must become the first locust of ministry beyond the tabernacle”.

General Manager of the JTA Cooperative Credit Union, Barbara Gascoigne and her counterpart from Tip Friendly Society, Wilton South also brought greetings.

The Golden Torch award for service to Education was instituted by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association in 1991. The award gives recognition to teachers who have given long and meritorious service to education in Jamaica. The first set of awards was presented in 1993. Since then, thousands other teachers have been recipients of the award.



Forms are sent to schools at the beginning of the second term of the academic year for principals to indicate the names of the teachers on staff who satisfy the criteria. The award is presented at a special function during the first week in July each year.

The JTA and the sponsors salute the 2017 recipients and thank you for your contribution to nation building.



A section of the audience to include awardees who were present at the Golden Torch Awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus on July 6, 2017

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