Reggae Artist, philanthropist and CEO of They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) has been conferred with the Les Pitons Medal (Gold) under the Order of Saint Lucia by the Governor General of Saint Lucia, H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy. The Order of Saint Lucia is an order of chivalry instituted by Elizabeth II, head of the British Commonwealth, within which Saint Lucia is a member. The Governor-General bestows the Order on behalf of the Sovereign, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, during the official state program to celebrate Saint Lucia’s Independence anniversary. The Les Pitons Medal is one of seven classes, and issued in gold, silver and bronze categories. The Les Pitons Medal (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) is awarded to persons who have performed long and meritorious services to Saint Lucia, tending to promote loyal public service, national welfare, or to inculcate and strengthen community spirit. Weekes’s contributions were deemed worthy of the gold.
Accompanied by his wife Angela, Taj Weekes was on hand to receive the honour, taking his place among a distinguished list of national heroes, exemplars of excellence and community stalwarts. A most notable recipient was Nobel Prize Winner for Literature (1992) Derek Walcott who was conferred with the Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Lucia (KCSL). Weekes citation lauded him for the consistency with which TOCO continues to implement programs that honor TOCO’s aim to elevate the human condition for youth, especially those at risk. The citation noted that “Mr. Weekes has shown tremendous commitment to service with his hands-on approach to implementing TOCO’s programs”. Taj Weekes’ active participation in TOCO’s programs is at the core of the Foundation’s success, a factor which has earned him recognition in various spheres. These include the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals who conferred on him the distinction of Goodwill Ambassador (2007), the Brooklyn-based Saint Lucia House Foundation who awarded him with their humanitarian award (2012) and, UNICEF which officially appointed Weekes a Champion for Children in Eastern Caribbean (2013).
About Taj Weekes
Weekes’ humanitarian work has been a staple of his celebrity, using every opportunity to serve and speak on behalf of the children of the Caribbean. He personally travels and distributes donated items to the islands, lectures to high school and college students on topics ranging from volunteerism to acceptance and tolerance, and donates his own money to ensure that TOCO can fulfill its missions. His efforts are at the core of TOCO’s success and in recognition for his work; Weekes was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals in 2007 and by a division of the United Nations. In 2012, he received a humanitarian award from the St. Lucian government for his work through TOCO.