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Governor’s Awards presented for vital service in Covid vaccination

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

Professor Ian Cumming and Solomon Massias, two individuals who have played a very different but vital role in the Covid-19 vaccination programme have been recognised for their efforts by the Governor. The Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel awarded Professor Ian Cumming and Solomon Massias and family for services and support provided to the GHA vaccination programme. The new Governor’s Award for Merit was presented to two recipients in a small event at the Convent.
Prof Cumming was instrumental in organising Gibraltar’s vaccination programme and said this was a great honour and humbling in many ways.
“I was a small cog in the machine that delivered the vaccination programme in Gibraltar, without Solomon and his family’s help we would have nowhere to give the vaccines, without colleagues in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, colleagues in the Department of Health, the RAF, the tremendous team of nurses and other health care professionals here, the support that we’ve had from the Government of Gibraltar this wouldn’t have happened.”
“So it’s very much a team effort of everyone pulling together to achieve the remarkable results we have seen.”
Mr Massias and his family allowed the Government to house the Covid vaccination clinic in the ICC free of charge.
“I am feeling fantastically, honoured and privileged to have been in a position in where we could help Gibraltar in this way,” Mr Massias said.
“We never even gave it a second thought. We just wanted to help what has been our home for 300 years and it was our privilege to be able to do that.”
“I never expected this at all, not in a million years.”
The award presentation was attended by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and the Minister for Health Samantha Sacramento.
“It’s just a small token that shows Gibraltar wants to extend its thanks to you,” the Governor said.
“Ian the way you’ve managed the vaccination programme and you’ve done it in a way that’s made it enjoyable for the teams.”
“I’ve seen it many times when I’ve been with the Minister down the ICC and elsewhere, and actually the teams have loved doing it as well.”
“What really got through to me if I may say so was all the young nurses who are still in university who are there doing a job they would have never imagined doing.”
“So you’ve got the very young nurse vaccinating the over 80 gentleman or lady.”
Sir David Steel recognised Mr Massias and his family for handing over the ICC so the vaccination programme could be housed there.
“I hope your family which is held in the highest regard in Gibraltar will find some satisfaction in just this small token of appreciation particularly by how you helped Gibraltar through an incredibly difficult period without even wanting anything for it, you just said go for it.”

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