During the Mayorship of Judge John E Alcantara CBE (1996-2004) the initial steps were taken towards the formation of the Mayor’s Awards. The Mayor’s Awards Scheme was initially created due to the Essential Services making submissions to the Royal Humane Society of the UK on numerous occasions due to services performed by serving officers, with all submissions being rejected.
The Royal Humane Society acknowledged that the events carried out were worthy of merit, unfortunately the Royal Humane Society were unable to consider such submissions due to the officers being paid members of the rescue services.
In consultation with the local Royal Humane Society representative the idea of the Mayors Awards was presented to Judge Alcantara who was enthusiastic of this idea, nevertheless, he suggested that the views of the Chief Minister be sought.
A proposal was prepared and forwarded to the then Chief Minister, the proposal was approved and the scheme opened to the public. The award criteria proposed originally is still in use today, these can be found in the guidelines.
The Mayor’s Awards scheme was widened in 2012, when the then Mayor, Cdr Lima announced that the Awards Scheme would be opened up to those members of the public, either individuals or groups who had served Gibraltar in exceptional or voluntary service over a prolonged period of time.
The Awards Scheme continues to this day and His Worship the Mayor, John Gonçalves MBE GMD, is keen to encourage public participation in the Awards Scheme and urges the public to nominate those unknown heroes within our community.
Once all nominations are received the Board shall convene in order to come to an agreement on awards to be granted.
There are two types of nominations for the Mayor’s awards:
- Life Saving
- Community Award
A: Gold Award
This award would be granted to any individual or individuals who have responded to a person or persons in distress without concern for his/her personal safety. A phrase commonly used is endangering his or her life to save the life of others.
B: Silver Award
This award would be granted to any individual or individuals who have saved a life/lives by responding a situation without exposing themselves to a degree of personal danger. A phrase commonly use is to save a life/lives without endangering one’s own.
C: Velum Award
This award would be granted to any individual or individuals who have responded to a situation and assisted others in carrying out a rescue and without whose help the rescuer would have had difficulty in successfully saving a life/lives. A phrase commonly used is assisting others in the execution of the rescue operation.
Candidates may be nominated for a Community Award as either an individual or a group, there are no categories within the Community Award. Nominees should have served Gibraltar in a distinguished manner over a prolonged period and/or for a specific event or achievement.
Her Worship would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of the awards, as it is an opportunity for the community to bring to light the work of these groups or individuals.