Former Guyana consul general in Toronto Danny Doobay has been recognized with the Golden Arrow of Achievement.
The honour, which falls under the Order of Service category which is Guyana’s third highest recognition behind the Order of Excellence and the Order of Roarima, was bestowed on Doobay as part of the national appointments to mark the country’s 45th independence anniversary.
Guyana severed its ties from Britain on May 26, 1966.
Doobay served as Guyana’s top diplomat in Toronto with responsibility for Western Ontario and Western Canada for 12 years before demitting office last October.
“I am truly honoured,” said Doobay who lives in the Greater Toronto Area. “When you get into public service, you don’t do so looking out for these accolades. You do it because you are passionate about your country.
“On the other hand, to be selected and placed in the company of so many outstanding Guyanese who have all done yeomen service in our country and our communities abroad is quite an achievement and something I am truly humbled about…Serving our community as the honorary consul general was the distinction of my life and receiving a national award in recognition of the contributions I made is the icing on the cake.
“I owe much gratitude to the leaders, activists and volunteers of this great community whose determination, support and love of country have encouraged and energized me for more than a decade. It is only fitting I accept this award in the name of our Guyanese Canadian community.”
Doobay was also honoured with a leadership award at the annual Guyana Independence anniversary function last Saturday night.
He launched the annual Guyana Day Independence two-day celebration in Scarborough and the awards program and initiated the cutting edge “SchoolNet” initiative to computerize every Guyanese secondary school in the next three years.
In his acceptance speech Saturday night, he said he will chair the Guyana Awards program started in 2000 that recognizes the contributions that Guyanese Canadians are making in Canada. He promised that awards will be presented next year.
Former West Indies cricket captain Ramnaresh Sarwan heads a list of sports personalities recognized with Medals of Service.
The list includes Toronto-born squash player Nicolette Fernandes who won a gold medal five years ago at the Central American & Caribbean Games in Colombia; International Soccer Federation (FIFA) referee Diane Ferreira-James who was the first female from the Caribbean to officiate in a major international championship; Caribbean Karate College chief instructor Frank Woon-A-Tai; Michael Parris who won a bronze medal in boxing at the 1980 Olympics; former World Boxing Association welterweight champion Andrew “Six Head” Lewis and athletes Aliann Pompey, James Wren-Gilkes and June Griffith.
Pompey won a bronze medal in the 400 metres event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games while 200-metre specialist Wren-Gilkes captured a gold medal in the 1975 Pan American Games and silver in both the 1978 Commonwealth Games and the Pan Am Games the next year.
Griffith, who attended Central High School, captured a gold medal at the 1982 Central American & Caribbean Games and silver in the 1979 Pan Am Games in the 400-metres event.
She and her husband Dennis Collison – a former Guyana sprinter – live in California and their son, Darren, is a point guard with the Indiana Pacers in the National Basketball Association (NBA).