As the Barbados Tourism Awards 2009 draws closer, individuals are being encouraged to vote for their person of choice ??? the person, who, because of bravery or honesty has earned the right to contend for the coveted ???People???s Choice Award???.

The nominees for this award are Ian Blackman, a Security Officer from Bougainvillea Beach Resort; Micheal Gilkes, Lifeguard at the National Conservation Commission, Ruel Stanford, Tour Guide and Driver with Island Safari and Shirley Ann Walker, Senior Security Officer from Fairmont Royal Pavilion.

Ian Blackman found a wad of notes on a corridor in the hotel, late one night and immediately turned the money into the Night Manager, who returned it to the guest. The guest was impressed by Ian???s honesty and grateful to have the money returned.?? Mr. Blackman was not looking for a reward but instead went right back to his patrol duties.

Valour was the attribute of lifeguard Michael Gilkes, who battled 10-15 foot waves to try to rescue an elderly man who did not heed the warning signs and entered the sea.?? Michael placed the gentleman on the rescue board and fought violent waves on ten occasions. Although the resuscitation efforts proved unsuccessful, his efforts at not giving up, to ensure the preservation of life were outstanding.

On a regular Island Safari tour with visitors, a group of assailants with firearms blocked the road, preventing the tour jeep from passing and attempted to rob the occupants in an isolated area in St. Lucy.?? Ruel Stanford???s quick thinking and expert driving allowed for a fast getaway in the face of danger. At the same time, he contacted his boss and the Royal Barbados Police Force. By putting his life in harm???s way, he prevented an unpleasant episode from becoming even more serious.

Shirley Ann Walker, the first respondent on the scene of an accident involving two minibuses in Porters, St. James, is another perfect example of a hero.?? She assisted by immediately performing first aid on the injured, evaluating their injuries and reassuring them help was on the way. She was the officer-in-charge of transforming the Fairmont Royal Pavilion???s female staff area into a treatment room, and she worked directly with the doctor in treating the injured.?? Without her quick and efficient thinking, the outcome of this accident could have been much worse.

Barbadians and visitors alike are encouraged to summit their vote for the ???People???s Choice Award??? online at or persons can submit entries to the Ministry of Tourism, Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael; the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, 4th Avenue, Belleville, St. Michael; the Barbados Tourism?? Authority, Harbour Road, St. Michael and the Barbados Workers??? Union, Harmony Hall, St. Michael.

The winner will receive a dazzling outfit, compliments Henrietta???s closet and tickets for two to the Barbados Tourism Awards Gala on June 6, 2009 at Illaro Court.

To be eligible to win, voters must answer a skills-testing question. The first correct answer drawn will be the winner.


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