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Sir Viv Richards Receives ‘Order of the Caribbean Community’ Award

by Karen Rollins Jul 7, 2022

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Sir Viv Richards
Photo credit: CARICOM

Antigua and West Indian cricket legend Sir Viv Richards has been given the highest honour in the region, the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC) award.

Sir Viv received the OCC at the opening ceremony for the 43rd meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Paramaribo, Suriname on 3 July 2023.

The prestigious regional award was also bestowed on former CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Trinidadian calypsonian David Rudder, and Barbados’ former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Dame Billie Miller.

Speaking after receiving the award, Sir Viv said he was “honoured and humbled”. He added: “As a young boy growing up in my small community in Antigua and Barbuda, I never imagined that I would travel the world, playing a sport that I loved, and in my twilight years that I would be blessed with such a high honour. 

“To the leaders of the Caribbean community, who have bestowed this high honour on me, I challenge you to do your best to uplift our people. We need to demonstrate to the world, in the best way possible, that we are capable of great achievements.”

According to the CARICOM website, the OCC is given to “Caribbean nationals whose legacy in the economic, political, social and cultural metamorphoses of Caribbean society is phenomenal.”

At the ceremony, the awardees received an 18-carat gold medallion with a specially designed ribbon to be worn around the neck. They were also given a smaller version of the insignia in the form of a lapel pin, and a scroll detailing their outstanding achievements.

The OCC was first conferred in 1992. The first awardees were former CARICOM Secretary-General Dr William Demas, former Commonwealth Secretary-General Sir Shridath Ramphal, and St Lucia’s internationally acclaimed poet and playwright Derek Walcott.

The privileges and entitlements of an OCC are as follows:

  • The award confers the styling ‘The Honourable’ upon the recipient and Post-nominals O.C.C.
  • Members of the Order are accorded the privilege of free movement among Member States of the Community and are issued with a travel document which is assigned similar status to a diplomatic passport.
  • The right to reside in and be gainfully employed in any Member State, as well as the right to acquire and dispose of property, as would citizens of Member States, are entitlements granted to Members of the Order.
Source: Caricom.org