His Majesty The King awarded Druk Thuksey (Heart Son of Bhutan) medals to three renowned individuals, 18 National Order of Merit Gold medals, and meritorious awards to 47 health officials, and 34 forestry officials during the National Day celebrations at the Lhakhang Karpo in Haa yesterday.
Surgeon Dr Lotay Tshering, Royal Monetary Authority’s (RMA) Governor Dasho Penjore, and the Privy Council Chairperson Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji received the Druk Thuksey for selfless and dedicated service to the Tsawa-Sum.
Dr Lotay Tshering is recognised for his contribution in the medical field and for tirelessly serving the people in need of medical treatment.
The 48-year-old surgeon is currently leading His Majesty’s Kidu Mobile Medical Unit. He has worked as Consultant Surgeon at the JDWNRH and Mongar hospital.
He also served as the technical coordinator and Chief Surgeon of Bhutanese earthquake relief team to Nepal in 2015.
Dr Lotay Tshering said he was overjoyed to receive the award. “I’ve done nothing great to receive this prestigious award from the throne. This award also goes to my team who put their hard work and dedication in delivering services to the people,” he said. “The award will further inspire me to work harder in the service of the society.”
Dasho Penjore’s contribution to financial services as the Governor of RMA was recognised with the Druk Thuksey medal. The RMA also received a Druk Thuksey for its contribution to making capital accessible to the people.
As the Governor, he introduced the minimum lending rate, which resulted in lowering interest rates. Dasho Penjore, 56, also initiated the priority sector lending guidelines as a result of the vision and inspiration of His Majesty to increase access to finance for youth and farmers in entrepreneurship and commercial farming.
Dasho Penjore also served as the first Gyalpoi Zimpon to His Majesty The King from 2006 to 2013. He was conferred the Red Scarf in 2008.
Dasho penjore said that he was deeply humbled and overwhelmed. “In my opinion it may be a reflection of my work towards serving the country to the best of my ability and in the interest of the nation. It reminds me to serve the country with even higher dedication and sincerity.”
He said that he was more than happy because RMA also received the institutional award of recognition. He expressed his gratitude to all who contributed to this recognition.
For his dedicated services to the country over 56 years, spanning the reign of three Kings, the chairperson of the Royal Privy Council, Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji, 77, was awarded the Druk Thuksey.
Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji joined the civil service in 1961. He was the first graduate forester in Bhutan. He was conferred red scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1975, and the orange scarf in 1991. He served as the First Bhutanese Secretary General of SAARC.
“I am highly honoured and humbled at the same time to receive such a precious award from His Majesty The King,” he said. “My 56 years of service has been most fulfilling, rewarding and enriching, and I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive the award from His Majesty The King.”
National Order of Merit Gold
His Majesty The King awarded the National Order of Merit (NOM) Gold to five individuals during the National Day celebrations.
Einar Kippenes was awarded the National Order of Merit Gold. Einar Kippenes, 76, Norwegian born, was the first Principal of the Muenselling School in Khaling. The school was opened in 1973 under the Royal Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck. Kippenes worked in Bhutan from 1972 to 1981.
He travelled to different parts of Bhutan in search of visually impaired children for admission into the institute. He started integrated educational programme for the blind in 1979, including skills development. Vocational subjects, typewriting, weaving, gardening, basket making, and cooking were gradually included in the activities.
“It’s a great surprise and I’m very honoured,” he said. “I don’t know if it makes any significant difference, but I’ll tell my colleagues that Muenselling Institute in Khaling is secured.”
E. Werner Kuelling received the National Order of Merit Gold in appreciation of Helvetas’ assistance extended to Bhutan under his leadership and for his personal love and affection for Bhutan.
Kuelling, 74, was the former Secretary General of Helvetas and served as the Helvetas Resident Coordinator in Bhutan from 2006 to 2008. Helvetas has made valuable contributions to Bhutan’s overall socio-economic development. Some of the major contributions are establishment of Natural Resources Training Institute at Lobesa, construction of Teacher Training College at Paro, Bumthang Hospital, Punatsangchhu bridge construction in Wangdue, National Potato Programme, several suspension bridges, participatory forest management project in Bumthang, and the archaeological project Drapham Dzong in Bumthang. “This award means that Bhutan is grateful for what we’ve done and it’s good to know that,” E Werner Kuelling said.
Francoise Pommaret, known to her friends as Tashi Wangmo, was awarded the National Order of Merit, Gold for her contribution in the field of education research.
Pommaret, 63, works pro bono as an associate Professor at the College for Language and Cultural Studies in Taktse, Trongsa. Originally from France, His Majesty The King granted Bhutanese Citizenship to her.
Speaking in Dzongkha, Pommaret said that she is thankful to His Majesty The King and the people of Bhutan. “This was unexpected, but it’s a great honour,” she said.
Michael Ruthland, 79, is Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom to Bhutan. He served as the Science and Mathematics tutor to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo when His Majesty was the Crown Prince. His Majesty The King granted him Bhutanese citizenship in 2006.
Michael Ruthland said he was honoured to work for 46 years on behalf of Bhutan. “It was very kind indeed of The King to recognise that through the award of this Merit,” he said. “It signifies the long connection with the Kingdom.”
The Country Representative of WWF Bhutan Programme, Dechen Dorji was awarded the National Order of Merit Gold for his contribution to Bhutan’s sustainable environment development.
Dechen Dorji managed to accumulate a large fund (Nu 2.8 billion) through the project “Bhutan for Life.” This fund will go a long way in preserving Bhutan’s environment.
Before joining WWF, he served as the programme director of Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Conservation and Environment, and professional Changarp to His Majesty The King from 2007 to 2013.
Dechen Dorji said it was an inspiring moment to receive the prestigious award, which will further inspire him to serve the nation.
“In a small country like ours, team work matters a lot. I’ll continue to work hard and serve the nation,” he said.
(National Order of Merit – NOM)
His Majesty The King awarded the National Order of Merit to the health workforce for their excellent service to the nation.
This year, the National Order of Merit was awarded in categories of excellence in Medical Services to six doctors (specialists), 16 nurses, and three medical technicians.
The National Order of Merit for Excellence in Public Health was awarded to 18 Health Assistants and a Kidu hospital assistant. The National Order of Merit for Excellence in Emergency Medical Services was awarded to three ambulance drivers.
National Order of Merit for Excellence in Public Health Services indicates the recipients provided quality health services to the community and brought notable progress in community health.
National Order of Merit for Excellence in Emergency Medical Services indicates the recipients rendered their services during disasters and emergencies in taking the patients to designated health facilities.
This award is to encourage health workers to make an extra effort on improving quality of health services and provide quality care to the communities. This is also to motivate future health workers to perform better.
His Majesty The King awarded NOM Gold to Dr Kunzang Gyaltshen, eye specialist, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Dr Ugyen Tshomo, Gynecologist of JDWNRH, Dr Duptho Wangmo, Gynecologist at Royal Bhutan Army hospital and Pema Dorji, senior staff nurse, and Jigme Tenzin, senior lab technician, are both from JDWNRH.
NOM Silver was awarded to 20, and NOM Bronze to 22 health employees.
Dr Kunzang Gyaltshen said it is a humbling experience. “What we’ve been doing was our duty to Tsawa-Sum but the award will bring more vigour in our efforts hereafter,” he said.
His Majesty The King awarded the National Order of Merit to the forestry personnel for their service of excellence to the nation.
The National Order of Merit was awarded in categories for excellence in Forest and Park Services to five Chief Forest Officers, 11 Forest Officers, 15 Rangers and three foresters or general.
National Order of Merit for Excellence in Forest and Park Services means that the recipients provided services to the nation with highest dedication and selfless effort in sustainable management of forest resources for the well-being of the people and country.
This award is to encourage and motivate forestry personnel to shoulder greater responsibilities in nation building through scientific management of natural resources and improved service delivery. This is to motivate professionals to perform better in future.
Eight received Gold, 10 received silver, and 16 received bronze.
Forest ranger Lhab Gyeltshen, who has served 44 years, said that the forest department is thankful for the recognition. He attributed the recognition to good leadership in the ministry.
Tshering Palden | Haa