Dominica’s Meritorious Service Awards 2015


On Independence Day, November 3, a number of Dominicans and one musical band were awarded for their services to the country and its people.

The highest award, the Dominica Award of Honour, went to Dr. Carissa Etienne Director Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The second highest award, the Sisserou Award of Honour, went to Senior Counsel Anthony Waddy Astaphan.

Nine Meritorious Service Awards were presented as well as three Services Medal of Honor awards.

The awards were presented by President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin

The list of awardees and biographies are below.

– Dominica Award of Honour: Dr. Carissa Etienne for Public Health and International Affairs



Dr. Etienne is a globally recognized public health champion and advocate, providing visionary leadership on strategic 21st century health issues and striving to improve access to health care for all peoples, including poor, vulnerable and marginalized populations. Dr Etienne’s vision for health is founded on the principles and core values of primary health care – equity, solidarity, human rights, universal access, multi-sectoral action and community participation.  Building consensus and convening decision-makers from across the full spectrum of public health stakeholders and beyond are cornerstones of Dr Etienne’s approach to progressive change.

Dr. Etienne currently serves as the Director of the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas, following her election by PAHO Member States in 2012.  In this capacity Dr. Etienne’s leads PAHO’s work to improve the health of all peoples in the western hemisphere, from conceptualization through, planning, implementation and monitoring.  Her priorities as Director of PAHO include the achievement of universal health coverage in all countries of the Americas, health care access for all, and tangible action on the social and environmental determinants of health. Dr Etienne is also improving PAHO’s managerial and administrative practices, notably by fostering staff excellence, strengthening accountability and compliance, and through development and implementation of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system which will for the first time manage all of PAHO’s administrative functions in one integrated system.

Prior to her election as Director of PAHO, Dr Etienne served from 2008 to 2013 as the Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services (ADG-HSS) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.  From 2003 to 2008 she served as the Assistant Director of PAHO, managing all of PAHO’s technical programs to improve public health in the Americas.  Dr Etienne’s extensive experience and expertise have been a catalyst for reorienting health services both in the Caribbean and in Dominica, where she has held various high-level positions in the area of public health, leading the transformation of the national health system to achieve universal access to health care.

-Sisserou Award of Honour: Anthony Waddy Astaphan for Public and Constitutional Law



Anthony Astaphan is married to Portia Desiree Bird Astaphan and the proud father of Kistoff Anthony Astaphan. Mr. Astaphan is one of the leading Senior Counsels in the region. He is inarguably the leading public law and constitutional law practitioner in the Eastern Caribbean. He represents or has represented several of the Prime Ministers and Governments in the OECS. Indeed, a list of the leading lawyers in the Commonwealth Caribbean would not be complete without his name.

His passion and dedication for the law lead to an insatiable, relentless and unsurpassed capacity for research.

In the field of constitutional and public law he has an incredibly clear perspective and understanding which allows him to easily grasp and expound the most complex and perplexing issues of fact and law. Additionally his astonishing ability to seamlessly deal with numerous difficult cases, in different legal disciplines and in different jurisdictions, at the same time, shows the depth and dexterity of his intellect.  His work in the field of public law has given rise to several seminal decisions in the Caribbean and indeed in the Commonwealth at the highest levels of the Judiciary. In almost every area of public and constitutional law in the Commonwealth Caribbean there is a decision which was based on or influenced by decisions in which he appeared or his arguments. It is no exaggeration to say that no individual has contributed more to the development of Commonwealth Caribbean public and constitutional law jurisprudence than he.

But although his specialty – indeed his pleasure – is public and constitutional law, his erudition has spilt over into other branches of the law including insurance law, contract law and even criminal Law. Even in these areas his record is nothing less than excellent. Mr. Astaphan is a fearless and fearsome opponent, totally undaunted by any challenge. Many cases which other advocates thought were sure losers have been snatched from the jaws of defeat by his skills and knowledge.

Astaphan is no less passionate about the plight of the poor and underprivileged, sports (especially cricket), his beloved country and cooking for family and friends!


-Francis Emanuel for private sector development





   2003 – 2009    General Manager – Harris Paints Dominica Limited

  • Overall responsibility of the day-to-day operations of the company.
  • 2001-2003       Branch Manager – National Petroleum – Dominica
  • Responsible for all planning, organization, delegation, control and reporting functions required for the smooth running of this EC$6.9 million petroleum products company.
  • Improved profitability by streamlining/strengthening distribution, reducing waste and improving overall operating efficiency.

1997 – 2001     Contract Manager – Edghill & Associates – Dominica

  • Responsible for receipt and disbursement of over EC$50 million in respect of a variety of construction projects for and on behalf of the Government of Dominica.
  • Held overall management responsibility for sourcing, accounting, personnel and office administration functions.

1993 – 1998    Managing Director – Variety Foods Limited

  • Conceptualized and developed snack food manufacturing business to leverage Dominica’s abundant agricultural assets for meaningful wealth creation by way of earning foreign exchange and providing new job opportunities.

1983 – 1998    Director of Operations – Eric’s Bakery Limited – Dominica

  • Qualitatively and quantitatively improved the product profile and enhanced the service repertoire to further consolidate a strong national market leadership position.
  • Reengineered all production processes to achieve greater operating effectiveness and profitable growth.

1979 – 1982    Branch Manager – Trinidad & Tobago – NSG Exports Ltd England

  • Opened branch office and built 4 million pound sterling business from sale of reinforcing steel, structural steel, aluminum coil equipment and spare parts.

1977 – 1979    Sales Executive – NSG Exports Ltd – England

  • Sourced products in UK and Europe to service Caribbean market demand. Visited Caribbean for 4-week periods twice yearly to assess market demand and analyze trends.


1983 – 1998    Private Sector Directorships Dominica

            Board Member

  • 1983 – 1997 Mussons Travel Service (Travel Agency)
  • 1993 – 1996 Bottlers (Dominica) Limited
  • Dominica Employers Federation:-
    • Management Committee Member 1982 – 1997
    • Vice President 1988 – 1989
    • President 1989 – 1993
    • Treasurer 1993 – 1995
  • Caribbean Employers’ Confederation:
    • 2nd Vice President 1993 – 1994
    • 1st Vice President 1994 – 1995
    • President 1995 – 1997
  • Dominica Bureau of Standards
    • Board Member 2008 – 2010
  • Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce
  • Vice President                         2006 –  2007
  • President 2007 –  2009
  • Immediate Vice President 2009 – Present


            1994 – 2002    Public Sector Directorships  Dominica Board Member

  • Dominica Social Security 1994 – 2000
    • Vice Chairman 1996 – 1999
    • Chairman 1999 –  2000
  • Public Service Commission:
    • Deputy Chairman 1996 – 1999
    • Chairman 1999 – 2002
  • OECS Judicial & Legal Services Commission 2001 – 2002
  • Agricultural Industrial & Development Bank 1997 – 1999
  • National Investment Corporation 1997 – 2000
  • Dominica Unit Trust Corporation 1999 – 2000

2000 – 2010    served the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce as first a Governor, then 1st Vice President, then President

2012- 2016      Invest Dominica Authority

Director                                                                       2012-2014

Deputy Chairman                                                        2014- 2016

Chairman Fiscal Incentives Review Committee         November 19, 2012


2012 to present          Marpin Telecommunication and Broadcasting

Chairman of Board

23rd June 2015 to present 

At the 55th AGM of the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation in Barbados, was unanimously voted a Director on the regional Board of Directors


1999 – Present Government of Trinidad and Tobago

Honorary Consul in the Commonwealth of Dominica

            15th February 2008 to present

            Appointed Justice of Peace

-Andreas ‘Andy’ Burkhard for physical education and sports




 Project Sport Aid Dominica:

SAD is a sports development project, initiated in 1993 and mainly financed by various sponsor runs and FIDA (until 1997) in Switzerland. From the beginning, Sports Aid Dominica was generously assisted by various institutions (including the Swiss Federal Office of Sports- Former ESSM Magglingen, the department of gymnastics and physical education at ETH Zurich, the sports department of the City of Zurich and the High School of Zurich Oberland), by companies (including Adidas, Puma, Alder & Eisenhut, Fussball Corner Oechslin, Gueest Banana Transport) and by friends and family.

Andy Burkard (born in 1959) and Chistine Roserens (born in 1963) former Physical Education & Sports Teachers of the High School Zurich Oberland (KZO), have been living in the north of Dominica since 1993.

In addition to coordinating SAD, between 1995 and 2003, Andy Burkard had worked for the Sports Division in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on a yearly renewed contract. In 2003 Mr. Burkard was appointed as Senior Sports Officer with the main responsibility of coordinating PE & Sports in the primary schools. Between 1997 and 2009, he was furthermore very active as executive member in the Dominica Amateur Athletics Association (vice and president and General Secretary). In 2003 Christine Reserens and Andy Burkard became proud citizens of Dominica. In 2004 he was selected as coach of the Olympic Team, representing Dominica at Olympic Games in Athens.

-Akel Hannah Raffoul for business and  tourism



Akel Hanna Raffoul who resides in Dominica was actually born in the small village of Bazoun, North Lebanon.  In 1962 his mother along with her 6 boys including Akel migrated to Dominica. His father, being a business man and a tailor started his own business in which Akel started developing his tailoring skills at the tender age of 14 years.  In 1969 he got married and established his own tailoring business on Old Street.

A few years later, in 1978, he established a furniture factory downstairs his home in St Aroment.

In 1985 the business was moved to the former Red store building in Roseau where he did the upholstery upstairs and the wood work section was moved to the Canefield Industrial Estate where he rented the building now occupied by N.A.P.A

Ten years later in 1988 the business was moved to the new premises at Rockaway Industrial site. During the booming of this industry, many Dominicans were gainfully employed and developed their skills in professional upholstery craftsmanship.  During the period of the late 1980’s to 1990’s Mr. Raffoul was considered to be the most efficient upholstered furniture supplier and manufacturer.

As a humble man, he took time out for the young men who were employed with him.

Through his mentorship and training some of these men ventured to have their own businesses among them being Mr. Reginald Francis who has established his own workshop in Jimmit.

Mr Raffoul is still passionate about sharing his skills with others which is evident today as he continues to teach many on upholstery skills, woodwork and other craft techniques.

Over the years he had never stopped developing himself professionally. He did several training courses in woodwork in Barbados.

As an entrepreneur he did not only confined himself to the woodwork industry, he also explored other areas of investment.  He established other businesses in the tourism industry as a taxi operator and also partnered in the automotive industry. He prides himself with impeccable work of high quality that he is renowned for.

Throughout the years, Mr Raffoul has given back to the country. He has contributed to various events and activities among which is the sponsoring of carnival queen contestants. An outstanding personality sponsored, was past carnival queen Miss Diane Francis who captured many regional crowns during her reign; he was also a sponsor of one of the national football team.

Mr Raffoul’s concern for families and upholsterers is evident even in the plan he devised to sell his product. The fact that he does not only sell whole sheets of foam but cuts to different sizes makes it more economical and profitable for upholsterers.  Today he continues to supply upholsters and the public with foam, cover materials and other very important supplies at Raffoul Foam and Upholstery.  He also repairs upholstered chairs at 11 King George the V Street Roseau.

-Cliffton Parillon for education (award picked up by brother)



Mr. Parillon served as an educator for thirty-six (36) years, sixteen (16) of which he served as School Principal.

He hails from the town of Portsmouth and from as far back as 1977 he has been active in community groups and organizations. He has served at the helm of numerous institutions including the Centre where Adolescents Learn to Love and serve (CALLS) where he currently holds the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

At the regional level he served as Government’s Representative on the Board of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication Authority (ECTEL).

 Teaching Career

            St. Johns Primary School 1967-1986

Calibishie Primary School 1986-1996 (Principal)

Roosevelt Douglas Primary 1996-2002 (Principal)

Community Groups and Organizations:

  • Centre where Adolescents Learn to Love and serve (CALLS)- Active/Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Portsmouth Town Council- Active/Council Member
  • Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT)- Active/Board Member and First Vice President
  • Board Member St. Johns Academy- Active
  • Catholic Church Fund Raising Committee/Member
  • Portsmouth Credit Union- 1984-2003/(served as Board member and during that period)
  • Portsmouth Carnival Organizing Committee – 1977-2005/Member

Regional Organizations:

Former Board Member of ECTEL/Representative of Government of Dominica/2004-2011

Other – Comfort zone Apartments/Manager Owner – Ross Student Housing

 – Zetma Augustine Toussaint for health management



Mrs Toussaint has served and continues to serve the Commonwealth of Dominica with distinction, diligence and dedication in several capacities.  Trained initially as a Registered Nurse from 1964 she was employed at the Princess Margaret Hospital as well as at the PMH School of Nursing. She moved up the ranks through Staff Nurse and Midwife status.  Between 1971 and 1981, Mrs Toussaint served as Tutor and Principal Tutor at the PMH School of Nursing, being the first local person to serve in that top position.

After a brief period in the US where she studied and worked in various nursing fields further equipping herself for service at home Mrs Toussaint, from 1987 served in the position of Hospital Services Coordinator for no less than four years.

Alongside her stellar contribution to nursing over a period of almost fifty years, Mrs Toussaint developed a special love for the elderly finding herself on many occasions reaching out and advising and assisting them in a number of ways.  This outgoing concern prompted her to accept the position of Executive Director of the Dominica Council on Ageing for six years, from 2003 to2009. She also served on the Board of Directors as First Vice President between 2009 and 2013.  Mrs. Zetma Toussaint was elected President of the Dominica Council on Ageing in May 2013 and was reflected today in that position for a second term.

Mrs. Toussaint continues to render service, ensuring that whatever skills she acquires are available to the DCOA, to government and to her community.  In 2009 she studied under a UNDP grant for in intensive five month course in “Community Care of the Elderly in the Caribbean.”  She graduated at UWI Mona, Jamaica with a Certificate of Distinction.  Immediately afterwards Mrs. Toussaint organised and conducted many training programmes for persons engaged in giving care to the elderly. She also coordinated and taught a six-week training sponsored by the Youth Division in “Caring for the Elderly.”

Mrs Toussaint continues to give guest lectures to Student Nurses and assists in the continuing formation of Staff nurses. She also served as mentor for a recently organized Ministry of Health programme geared to assist nurses at the PMH.

In 2002 in the spirit of true volunteerism Mrs Toussaint with other volunteers founded a Day Care Centre for the Elderly in St. Joseph where she lives. She also helped found in 2003 the Senior Citizens Association of St. Joseph, a group where she served as Secretary and now Treasurer.

Not only has Toussaint served within her community and nationally but she also held office regionally as Treasurer to the Caribbean Nurses Association.

A lay Associate in Pastoral Care, Lector, Communion Minister and member of the Senior Choir at the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Zetma Toussaint is a true example of one who gives and continues to serve.

-Josette Maria Jno Baptiste for early childhood eductation



Mrs. Josette Jno. Baptiste is an Early Childhood Educator in the village of Mahaut in the Commonwealth of Dominica. She began her teaching career in January 1979.  Throughout her thirty year of distinguished and exemplary service, she horned her craft by attending innumerable trainings and workshops.  This assisted her in the classroom to help mold salient members of society; scholars, professors, doctors, lawyers, our leaders today.

Mrs. Jno. Baptiste received a certificate in ‘Administration and Management of Daycare and Preschool Teachers’ after completing a four-month course in St. Vincent in January, 1990.  In December 1999, she also received a Certificate of Merit for completing a one-year ‘Christian Children’s Fund Pre-School Teacher Training Course’.  She also completed the three phases of the Academic and Personal Development Course conducted by Social Centre and funded by UNICEF/CAO in July 2000.

In 2003, Mrs. Jno. Baptiste attended a one-week’s course in Trinidad, for the formation of an Association for Early Childhood Education.  As a principal, she embraced the opportunity to complete a course in ‘Supervision’ offered by National Children’s Home in conjunction with the University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies in 2004.Later that same year, she was instrumental in preparing the ‘Early Childhood Checklist’ which is still being used today to attest the children’s readiness for Primary Education.

In November 2008, the Social Centre recognized Mrs. Jno. Baptiste for her long and dedicated service in the field of Early Childhood Education in Dominica.

Since the introduction of High Scope learning in 2007, the Mahaut Pre-School was selected as one of the five schools on island where the High Scope Curriculum was piloted.  For this, in 2009, she was afforded the opportunity to travel to St. Kitts to observe how the curriculum was implemented.

With the advent of new information and new ways of teaching, Mrs. Jno. Baptiste decided to do a certification course in ‘Early Childhood Education’ at the Dominica State College from 2007-2009, where she graduated at the top of her class with 1st Class Honors.  Her learning did not stop there.  From 2009-2011, she went on to read for an Associate Degree in the same field and again graduated at the top of her class with 2nd Class Honors.

In 2010, Mrs. Jno. Baptiste received recognition for her dedication and commitment to Early Childhood Education by the Mahaut Festivals Committee and in 2012 she was also awarded by the Mahaut Reunion Committee for her contribution in ‘Education’.

From 2006 to present she has been housing Peace Corps Volunteers from the United States.  She served on the Early Childhood Council from 2000-2013.  Presently, she is the President of the teachers on the West Coast.

-Benoit Bardouille for air and sea port development



Mr. Benoit Bardouille has given thirty-eight (38) years of continuous service to the Commonwealth of Dominica, through the then Dominica Port Authority now, the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority and commenced his employment in 1977  to present.

Upon his commencement of duties, he was a Junior Officer operating at the time when the main port was located in Roseau.

Benoit Bardouille perform his duties with the utmost dedication and respect for Authority and was soon looked upon by Management and other staff members as an asset to the then Dominica Port Authority.

In 1986, he completed a Diploma Programme in Comparative Political and Economic Systems from the George Meany Centre for Labour Studies in Washington D.C.  He then went on to Canada to study Applied Computer Technology and successfully completed his exams and was awarded the professional designation of Associate Computer Professional (ACP) from the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals. He also received a Diploma in Applied Computer Technology from the Atlantic Computer Institute – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  In 1995, he went to Malta to undergo training in Port Management. In 1999, Mr. Bardouille completed an Executive Diploma in General Management from the University of the West Indies.

Benoit Bardouille undertook several programmes of training and was promoted regularly within the Authority. In January 1994, he became the Accountant of the Dominica Port Authority and stayed in that position until 2002.  However, during the period April – October, 1995 he acted General Manager of the Dominica Port Authority.

Mr. Bardouille showed tremendous leadership skills over the years and given his decisive management abilities in March 2002, he again acted General Manager of the Dominica Port Authority and was appointed General Manager in January 2003 to December 2006.

During his tenure as Manager of the Port Authority, Mr. Bardouille brought about significant changes in the operations of the Port and today Dominica is one of the First ports within the region to have adopted the FREE Alongside Model within the region.

He was also very instrumental in the merger of tremendous importance to Dominica during 2006 to 2007 in providing leadership, when the Dominica Port Authority and the Airport Services Division of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica was merged to form the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority. The merger ensued and the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority (D.A.S.P.A.) is currently operating successfully under the direction and leadership of the first Chief Executive Officer, Benoit Bardouille, who continues to lead the way for the full transformation in every aspect of air and sea ports development geared at ensuring compatibility internationally, especially that of night landing operations at the Douglas-Charles Airport.

Benoit Bardouille’s thirty-eight-year history at the Authority is one which has greatly benefitted the Authority and the Commonwealth of Dominica by extension.

His unfailing dedication to his duties, exceptional work ethics, the ability to take on tasks despite the many challenges which may be faced, some unpopular as they may seem, yet in the best interest of country, and his constant unwavering commitment to the Commonwealth of Dominica via the Authority makes him an excellent candidate for such an award.

Mr. Bardouille apart from being the Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority is currently actively involved in the management and sustenance of the Tourism Industry in Dominica as the Chairperson of the Discover Dominica Authority Board and has been a Director from the former National Development Corporation from 2002.


  • 2015 Chairman
  • Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA)
  • 2014 – Present President
  • Dominica Employers Federation
  • 2007 – 2010 Board Member
  • Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA)
  • 2007 – Present Chairman
  • Air Transport Licensing Board
  • 2005 – 2010 Board Member
  • Dominica Unit Trust Corporation
  • 2003 – Present Board Member
  • Dominica Employers Federation
  • 2002 – Present Board Member
  • National Development Corporation (now Discover Dominica Authority)
  • 2002 – Present Board Member
  • Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation
  • 1995 – 1997 Board Member
  • Roseau Co-Operative Credit Union
  • 1991 – 1992 Chairman
  • OECS Port Computer Users
  • 1991 – 1989 President
  • Customs & Excise Sports Club
  • 1985 – 1989 Treasurer
  • Dominica Civil Service Association (now Dominica Public Service Union)
  • 1984 – 1994 Member – Supervisory Committee
  • Roseau Co-Operative Credit Union

Mr. Bardouille coming from a humble beginning was faced daily with struggles for survival and has bestowed upon himself the determination which has allowed him to aspire to achieve to the heights of his profession.

Mr. Bardouille has dedicated his working career to the Dominica Port Authority, now the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority, and the Commonwealth of Dominica by extension and still continues to provide valuable service and expertise for both the Air and Sea Ports Authority and the private and public sector on the island of Dominica.

-Mc Carthy Marie for the music industry



Mr. Marie is an entrepreneur in the Music Industry from 1979; became a member of SACEM – the French performing rights organization; established Mark Off Studio – a recording facility which provides recording services to local recording artists; and served as Director of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO).

He is a recognized expert on Intellectual Property and Copyright Administration; have been an advocate for the education of the public and the proper administration of Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws; and established the payment of copyright fees by major users including radio stations and cable TV service providers, hotels and commercial establishments.

He served as President of the Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies; holds a degree in Economics and a former lecturer of Economics at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados.

-Wilson Bruman for agriculture



Mr. Brumant has been involved in Agriculture for 65 years and began his journey in  Agriculture at the tender age of thirteen (13) when he planted two (2) bananas plants in his backyard; and later became the main supplier of planting material of ginger  to the Ministry of Agriculture for the crop diversification programme.

In his quest to promote excellence in agriculture, he has played a leading role in fruit quality management and was one of the early adopters of agricultural technology for improving banana productivity.

He was involved in the production of seventeen (17) acres of a wide range of crops which included bananas; yams; dasheen; tannia; tree crops;  and coconuts; and through your vast knowledge and sterling contribution to the Agricultural sector, and has been regarded as an outstanding role model to many young Dominican farmers.


-John Allan for community service



Mr. Allan John has actively helped improved life for everyone on the island for many years and continues to do so. He builds benches for public use in Colihaut, Dublanc and Bioche. He served selflessly as Chairman of the Colihaut Village Council. He currently services as Custodian of The Waitukubuli National Trail and maintains Segment 10. He is also a major promoter of the trail and of Dominica.

Mr. John is dedicated to community development, promotion and protection of the natural environment. He provides pro-bons services to the Waitukubuli National Trail and is one that is relied upon for the protection of the Waitukubuli National Trail and Trail Users.

Mr. John continues to do voluntary work on beautification projects; feeder roads; vegetative management in and around Colihaut; and general management work at the Colihaut Primary School.

-Cylma Agnes Cuffy for early childhood education



Mrs. Cylma Agnes Cuffy has lived in the Commonwealth of Dominica all her life.  She is the mother of five (5) proud children who have graduated to become professionals in their own areas of interest, Electrician, Manager, Accountant, Lawyer and Contractor.  Her husband Mr. Heskeith Anthony Cuffy (deceased in October, 2001) held her hand in providing a great level of support to bring up the children and educate herself in the field of Education.

Mrs. Cylma A. Cuffy, a patriotic Dominican served Dominica as a Pre-school teacher for fifty four (54) years.  Her life in this profession started out in her tender teenage years.  Throughout those years she taught at the St. Alphonsus Pre-school which at that time was located in a very small unpainted building on the court yard at the front of the St. Alphonsus church underneath a mango tree.  There were no washroom facilities at that time and with a registration of only 9 children one can imagine that Mrs. Cuffy only stayed for the love of educating young minds, the pre-schoolers.

Pre-school education at that time was more liberal with no books, pencils just slates and slate pencils.  There was no set curriculum but the children were taught their ABC’s, rhymes and sports, a major activity on the curriculum.  The diet of the pre-schoolers was local foods and skimmed milk during snack time, which allowed for added nutrients and vitamins.

Mrs. Cuffy saw the school triumph through good times by engaging the school in many cultural activities hosted by the country, Pre-school month, carnival band every two (2) years and also through hard times, with the passage of Hurricane David, Lenny, Hugo and many others.

 Mrs. Cylma Agnes Cuffy received the following Awards

  • Certificate of recognition award for dedicated support and contribution to Pre-school education – 4th Dominica St. Alphonsus Scouts troop, 2006;
  • Long and dedicated service award – Early Childhood Education project, 2005;
  • Award for outstanding contribution in the development of the Pottersville community in the field of Teaching – Pottersville Development committee, 2009;
  • Award for contribution to the development of Early Childhood within the community – Goodwill Reunion, 2010;
  • Award for significant, countless and dedicated service – Alphonsus Parish, 2012;
  • Award for dedicated and outstanding service in Early Childhood development in Dominica – Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, 2012.

She held the position as Principal of the St. Alphonsus Pre-school for more than twenty-five (25) years.

Her interest in social development and contributions can be seen as a member of the following groups

  • Vibrant citizens group – 6 years;
  • Cancer Society – 2 years;
  • Diabetic Association – 2 years

She continues to inspire others and to show off her unwavering support to culture and education when she took part in the Madam Wob Dwiyet show in October, 2014 when she coped the title of 2nd runner up.

-First Serenade Band for music (represented by Carlton Winston)



The band began in the 80’s with a group of talented Dominican youth. Being positive examples to their peers, they converged their energy into community and nation building, providing an avenue to develop the talents that were bestowed unto them. Throughout the years, they have produced and continue to produce different genres of music, satisfying listeners of various age groups, culture, educational background and nationality. The First Serenade has also represented and promoted Dominica well, especially in Europe, the US, and the French West Indies, and brought Dominic’s very own Bouyon, to the world.

The musical team continues to perform throughout the island to the pleasing satisfaction of its many fans. The restructured band, with renewed energy from its young musicians continues to raise Dominica’s entertainment level and brings international recognition to our nature isle through the music Industry. The band’s versatility and class was recently further proven when it won the NCCU 2014 Cadence Lypso competition.


In the music industry, The First Serenade Band has given almost thirty (30) years of continuous service to the Commonwealth of Dominica.

 The name of the band resulted from a brain storming activity when bass guitarist Adrien Mitchel suggested the name “Serenade”. However band manager, Carlton Winston, thought Serenade seemed rather lonely, and added the word First to compliment it.

A legend in its own right, the band officially began in 1984 in the village of Point Michel, where most of its members were from. The First Serenade Band began by providing entertainment at the village calypso shows and other public and private activities. Then came a different style of music.

This was a consequence of a proposal made by then village priest, Fr. Reginald La fleur. Carlton Winston recalls that Fr. La fleur told them to play in the church on a Saturday evening for the youth mass, and he would give them instruments, and play they did! The first instrument the band received was a bass guitar, followed by a drum set. To this date, the band members still play at mass in various churches around the island.

The versatility and originality of First Serenade’s music has satisfied many fans in Dominica and the world by extension, as a result of its different genres of music. These include Bouyon, Zouk, Compa, Soukous, Cadence, Soca, Calypso, Reggae, and Country & Western music, which can be heard on the First Serenade’s various albums.

The group has been in existence for thirty-one (31) years. The band has been renowned as one of Dominica’s top and most versatile band, and is also known for its master live performances. The band’s first album was launched in 1988, for Reunion 88, with the song Zoukė Zouké. Band members proudly states, “The song was a gigantic hit and as well received by the Dominican Public”

Throughout its career the band has released thirteen (13) albums, and is currently preparing to release its fourteenth (14) for the independence season. This album will feature complete music, not duplication of any other or foreign materials…with originality as has been shown in the past.

The following are the names of the albums:

  1. Zouké Zouké (1988-1989)
  2. Rough up the Session (1994)
  3. Try Ah Ting Nuh (1995)
  4. Watch Yah Back (1996)
  5. Chant Dem (1997)
  6. More Jam (1998)
  7. Red Heat (1999)
  8. We Nah Done yet (2000)
  9. More Fyah (2001)
  10. Just Like Dat (2002)
  11. De Water Coming (2005)
  12. Body Works (2007)

Body Works 2007

17 Hot Riddim tracks “BODY WORKS” 2007 SEWO music ranging from Bouyon to Zouk to Soca and back to Bougon. Seven tracks written by Clement “Bambi” Jno Baptiste including a bonus track written with Stanley Winston. Three bonus tracks were written by Stanley Winston.

De Water Coming 2005

Hot Riddim track “FIRST SERENADE 2005” SEWO Tracks ranging from Calypso to Zouk to Soca to R&B to Bouyon.

Just Like Dat 2002

Hot Riddim track “Just Like Dat” ranging from Calypso to Zouk to Soca to R&B to Bouyon.

More Fyah 2001

Eleven hot tracks ranging from Calypso to Zouk to Soca to R&B to Bouyon.

 We Nah Done yet 2000

Consist of ten tracks rated by critics as one of the best collection of music to be produced by the band.

Red Heat 1999

Considered the most complete album of the band. The album contains a mix of Soca, Bouyon, Compa, Zouk, Calypso and Country and Western tunes.

More Jam 1998

The thirteen songs ranges from disco to Salsa, jam pack Soca and conscious Reggae. A potpourri of red-hot rhythms for an occasion.

Chant Dem 1997

There was no stopping the band as they proved yet again they are a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Watch Yah Back 1996

Mirroring the success of the album, two videos were released- Donkey Tricks, Whinery.

 Try Ah Ting Nuh 1995

The fourth albums, “Try a Ting” contained generally party music.

Rough up the Session 1994

Released for the 1994 Carnival celebrations, it sky rocketed the Band to a high level of recognition and prominence on the entertainment scene.

 Debouyée 1992-1993

A mixture of music displaying the uniqueness and versatility of the Band.

Zouké Zouké 1988-1989

A phenomenal hit for Dominica’s 10th Independence anniversary (Reunion ’88)

To date The First Serenade Band has produced 126 songs to its compilation.

Within the last two years the remix of Dancing Partner, additions such as Ready, Ready, and Nobody Gon-na Break Us Down were released.

In 1998 the band received an award from the National Cultural Council for outstanding contribution to cultural development in the field of contemporary music. The First Serenade Band presently holds the title of NCCU2014 Cadence Lypso Champions thus once again demonstrating the versatility of the band in mastering another genre of music-Cadence.


Carlton Winston – Manager, Trumpeter, Back up Vocalist, Composer

Adrien Mitchel- Band Leader, Technical Support, Composer

Christopher Dangleben – Public Relations Officer, Trombonist, Back up vocalist

Semon Etienne – Lead Keyboardist, Musical Programmer, Arranger

Ellise Harris – Back up Keyboardist, Musical Programmer

Dean Alexander – Bassist

Michael Dubuisson – Lead Guitarist

Ursan Tavernier – Drummer

Lloyd Jno. Baptiste – Lead Vocalist

Alisha Ducreay –Lead Vocalist

Service Details

  • 31 years of providing musical entertainment in Dominica, the region and on the international scene.
  • Contributing to Youth Development, teaching of young person’s to play various musical instruments
  • Providing musical accomplishment at various church activities

Contributing towards Community development: examples, hosting of Mother’s Day activities, participation in various village feast, carnival activities and tourism promotion activities across the island.





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  1. lil' miss
    November 16, 2015

    :oops: Congratulations Awardees! BUT, I cant help but notice the fact that no one in their pictures is smiling until they’re face-to-face with the President. :lol: Still, Congrats :D

  2. November 5, 2015

    why does everything have to be political in my country?just look at the awardees.
    can anybody tell or show me which one of them is not a labourite

    • Barbara Saunders
      November 5, 2015

      Well Charles Joseph

      Except for Tony who is publicly vocal, I’m not sure what yardstick you used to determine the allegiance of all the other awardees. Their contribution to the State as listed seems quite impressive and I quite like the distribution in terms of fields of service, it was quite varied. Congrats to all!

      I always smile when we speak as if Dominica is a brand new country or one established 10/15 years ago. Perhaps you can take a step back beyond those 10/15 years and just look at the sisserou awardees and others. I didn’t hear many complaints then. Perhaps at that time Domincans were not as viciously and acrimoniously political as they are now being nurtured to be? Just perhaps?

  3. Joan
    November 4, 2015

    I left D.A. in 1963 and returned to D.A in 2004 to retire spent only 8 yrs. I had to leave cause I would have had a miserable time. This was not the Dominica I knew and the people I knew . No Principals . I heard Senior Counsel Calling my fellow Dominicans outrages names The attitude o f those in Office was horrible Those who has mo ney they were belittling of the poor . I got to vex. Until we all see Christ jn each other Dominica will always be an Island of Inequality injustices and p ,overty .

    • Barbara Saunders
      November 5, 2015

      Hi Joan

      I agree with you on one thing. The Dominica you knew is not the Dominica you met upon return in 2004. I disagree with you that Senior Counsel took the prize on calling Dominicans outrages names.

      Perhaps you were closing the other ear too often, with the result that you didn’t hear all of the blasting and denigration that ordinary, hardworking Dominicans and institutions of the State received from sources other than Senior Counsel and perhaps for all you know, to which he may have been responding. (My comments, by the way, are not in defence of anyone saying damaging and unkind things about others because that is indefensible. I’m just trying to assist you with some semblance of balance.)

      Sorry that you chose not to stay, perhaps you could have made a difference with a positive attitude and influence in the corner where you were, to counter what was going on. That’s my approach and I’m still here!

      • Barbara Saunders
        November 5, 2015

        “outrageous” sorry!

  4. cacadore
    November 4, 2015

    congrats to all except tony

  5. UserName
    November 4, 2015

    Even with the limited amount of pics as provided by DNO the old saying holds… a picture tells a …. The expression on the President’s face is rather striking from awardee to awardee, and there are definite moments when a smile is a squeeze.

  6. %
    November 4, 2015

    I am still asking what service has Tony Astaphan given to Dominica. Way Papa!!!

    November 4, 2015

    more marjee award system… bardouille, tony gimme a break

  8. ginger
    November 4, 2015

    I just don’t understand how is it that you can never see an Astaphan wearing anything creole. Last year I noticed the same thing when Jenny Astaphan received the award on behalf of J. Astaphan & Co. Every other person who received an award had something creole. As for the ladies, very obvious. This year, same thing, not even a tie. I take this seriously. What does this say about them

    • Heru
      November 4, 2015

      By the way who sells the most Madras in Dominica??????
      We are a bunch of slaves.We need to take a harsh look at ourselves our practices and our behaviors..
      I am starting with me.

  9. Patriot
    November 4, 2015

    Congrats a few of the well deserving hard working, honest patriotic Dominicans ! But to the leing political affliates shame on you! Disgrace to nationhood you are! You know yourselves!

  10. two-jou-sou
    November 3, 2015

    all labourite its pure political

  11. too late
    November 3, 2015

    labour fellas alone that get award man?

  12. Yuyu
    November 3, 2015

    Congratulations to all the awardees especially Teacher Josette Jno Baptiste. My three children attended your Pre School. The early childhood stimulation program at your Pre School assisted them greatly. They are not doctors or lawyers but they all have degrees in the field they chose. Many thanks

  13. jim
    November 3, 2015

    no mention of Tony’s services rendered to Dominica or contribution all was stated was his personal achievements

  14. November 3, 2015

    Domnick Sa KA, Fete`. Sorry! To, legal minds as MR. Armour, Eustus Francis, MS Dupiney, Artorney Francis, Barbs Dyer, and MS Dyer, and the most distinguished legal minds past and present Dominica has ever seen. Win, looose or Draw, Not hating! came up trump, literally, in my opinion. My friend is not who you know, is who know you, congratulations nonethless. Jesus choose Twleve Men to spread the good news to his people. But one betrayed him. Analize that???

  15. grell
    November 3, 2015

    Congtrats to all EXcept Tony and please for the plight of poor people,What the hell has Tony dony for these people more than,spit on them,Dominica is dooed,Tony deserves nothing from us.

  16. mine
    November 3, 2015

    CONGRATULATION to all the nominees.

  17. Not a herd follower
    November 3, 2015

    Look at the arrogant look on Tony’s face

    • UserName
      November 4, 2015

      With absolutely not one piece of twal depicting creole in his dress attire the “Mr. Mystic” in his face is further expressed by the folded arms. This is happening even as your President looks down on you as your citation is being read. A very subversive as compared to a submissive stance by all accounts. Where is the display of humility and modesty in posture as you humbly await “your moment”. A true sign of something … could only be patriotic!!!! But with a bit of joke, the awardee is not alone with regards to the poor choice in dress code (scrutinize pics).. because the others (or is it “thee” other) who know themselves KNEW very well the expectation… Especially when receiving such prestigious award during Independence celebrations, or was it to much to ask of.

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