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French Government honours two Vincentians with French awards

French Government honours two Vincentians with French awards

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Two outstanding Vincentians were recently honoured with awards from the government of France for their contributions to the expansion of French language and culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

On Wednesday, July 27, Lennox John and Flavia Haynes-Howard received their awards at a ceremony held at the Carnegie Building (Old Public Library).

His Excellency Michel Prom, ambassador of France for the OECS member states, made the presentations.

Prom spoke flatteringly of the awardees, praising them for their dedication and outstanding contributions.

Lennox John, past president and founder of the Alliance Française, received the award of ‘Officier’ for l’Ordre national du Mérite.

In brief remarks, he said: “I feel very humbled tonight… it’s the second time I have been honoured, but it feels just as nice as the first!”

He recalled how he first became immersed in French culture, and how he was inspired to start a branch of the Alliance Française locally.

He described his work within the organisation as a varied and memorable experience.

He thanked his family, especially his wife, for being patient and understanding over the years about his often hectic duties within the organisation.

Flavia Haynes-Howard, advisor/coordinator for Foreign Languages within the Ministry of Education, received the award of ‘Chevalier’ for l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Howard, who spent several years teaching French at the Girls’ High School, thanked all those who supported her work at the Alliance Française, and those who nominated her for the award.

She reminsced on her first encounter with French culture at the age of 15 years, on a trip to Guadeloupe. She also recounted the humble beginnings of the organisation and how it has grown over the decades.

“I still cherish all those moments,” she admitted.

The Ordre national du Mérite is an award given for distinguished civil (and military) achievements. It has five classes: Grand’croix, Grand Officier, Commandeur, Officier and Chevalier.

The Ordre des Palmes Acad̩miques is an award given to cultural and educational figures; and has three grades РCommandeur, Officier and Chevalier.(JV)

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