Cabinet Minister’s aunt awarded Queen’s Honors
Cat Islanders are shocked and disheartened after Neca Cecelia Knowles, the aunt of Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson, made it on the 2021 Queen’s Honors list.
Knowles will receive the British Empire Medal for services to business, which residents find ironic as they claim Knowles’ business has operated illegally for years.
Knowles and her sister operate Bluebird Restaurant in New Bight, Cat Island so if one was honoured why not the other?
Further the Bluebird was operating without the relevant government licenses and certificates for many years. There is also great uncertainty over the restaurant’s right to occupy its current location as the family of the building’s late owner is seeking their removal.
Knowles worked at a casino on Paradise Island for years before moving to Cat Island to run the Bluebird.
Members of the community feel there are other Cat Island business owners who are far more deserving of Queen’s Honors after dedicating their lives to running successful businesses on the island while keeping up with their taxes and fees, including the owners of Orange Creek Food Store, Neighborhood Food Store, Gilberts Inn and Food Store, Gina's and Mt Alvernia Foods who continue to uplift residents of Cat Island.
While those businesses are also known for their charitable efforts, Cat Islanders say Knowles is not involved in any community outreach programs to warrant receiving the British Empire Medal.