The Commonwealth has inherited a healthy system of honorifics and styles from its days as a collection of British colonies. Many political offices in the Commonwealth come with an honorific, which is typically used solely in formal writing. These styles come in tandem with a full set of orders and decorations awarded on the sole prerogative of the President of the Commonwealth for extraordinary deeds and service.
Styles typically come from holding political office and serve as a purely ceremonial adornment. These styles are typically used only in the most formal of correspondence and are only held while the individual holds the office that entitles them to the style.
This style is reserved for heads of state (the President, Governors and Administrators) and heads of government (the Prime Minister, Premiers and First Ministers) The style is cumulative and can be held in conjunction with the other styles. For example, the current Prime Minister is properly styled "His Excellency the Right Honourable William Lee Hennessey MP Cllr".
The Most Honourable (Most Hon)
This style is nominally the highest style recognised in the Commonwealth and is held only by the President and Companions of the Order of the Exalted Bird and the Order of the Commonwealth.
The Right Honourable (Rt Hon)
This style is a step below Most Honourable and is held by Counsellors of State and recipients of the Reading Cross, the Tichoghi Star and the Cross of Tagatori. Former Presidents and Prime Minister de facto hold this style for life due to their lifetime membership in the Council of State.
The Honourable (Hon)
This style is the lowest style recognised by the Commonwealth and is held by Senators, Ministers of the Commonwealth, provincial Executive Counsellors and Justices of the Supreme Court. Members of Parliament are referred to as "the honourable Member for (electorate name)" during parliamentary proceedings. However, this is a parliamentary courtesy only and implies no entitlement to the style itself.
Orders and Decorations
For the most recent sets of awards, see the proclamation of the Remembrance Day Honours 2013.
The President of the Commonwealth holds the right to offer decorations to Saint James Islanders and organisations to recognise meritorious acts or diligent service and to foreign nations, heads of state, heads of government, ambassadors or other officials or organisations as a sign of honour, solidarity and respect. Decorations are typically awarded on the Jubilee (21 March), Battle of San Ignacio Day (2 July) and Remembrance Day (11 November). To award these medals and decorations remains one of the few powers of the President and one of only two that she may excercise without advice or consent from anyone else, though recommendations are typically offered by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Commonwealth Parliament.
Any foreign nations that wish to offer the Saint James Islands or one of its citizens a decoration or award should contact the Chancellery of Foreign Affairs.
The current awards issued by Her Excellency the Most Honourable President of the Commonwealth, in order of precedence from low to high, are:
The Cross of Tagatori is awarded by the President to individuals, organisations and nations who have committed acts of great service to peace, brotherhood and solidarity. The medal consists of a silver cross of bearings bound by two rectangular axes and superimposed over a centre ring. On each of the bearings rests a diamond resembling that found in the Birds Beak Banner, the Commonwealth's national flag. The four outermost bearings have blue diamonds, while the five innermost have green ones, which reflect the national colours of the Saint James Islands. On the back of the medal is an inscription dedicated to the Conference of Tagatori, where the 1st National Assembly was formed:
'Twas in this capital of the most blessèd Jalisca that those disparate colonies joined forces against their common foe.
'Twas in this capital of the most blessèd Jalisca that they dedicated themselves to freedom, brotherhood and equality.
'Twas in this capital of the most blessèd Jalisca that the Saint James Islands was born.
The Tichoghi Star is awarded to individuals, organisations and nations who have committed acts of great service to liberty and the dignity of people. The medal consists of a red star superimposed on a larger gold star, which is bounded by two bars bearing the inscription XXV DECEMBER MDCCCXXXI, the date of the Tichoghi Massacre. The back bears a longer inscription comemorating the Massacre:
On Christmas Day 1831, seven members of the National Assembly lost their lives in a cruel massacre by the ruling British colonial powers. Their service and dedication to freedom for all in the face of tyranny shall never be forgotten and shall never perish from this Earth.
Christiano di Angelo of Martecabras, New Somerset
Richard Carrey of Peimau, New Somerset
James Hatfield of Brightsea, New Devon
Thomas Jenkins of St David, New Somerset
Martin McDonnel of Nelson, New Devon
George Smith of Coleraine, New Somerset
David Wall of Bilbado, New Somerset
The Reading Cross is awarded to individuals, organisations and nations that have committed acts of great dedication, valour or self-sacrifice in the face of mortal danger. Named in honour of Stephan Reading, the Prime Minister assassinated at San Ignacio in 1939, the medal consists of a bronze cross potent superimposed on a bronze circle symbolising the sun, the symbol of San Ignacio. On top of the bronze is a plain blue Greek cross, the symbol of the Reading family. On the back of the medal is an engraving of the Federation Shield, part of the Commonwealth's coat of arms, and an inscription of Reading's final words:
Dear friends and dear foes, let us not be divided by our past. Rather, let us forge together a new path, such that all of us may live in peace and prosperity. We are, and always have been, of one nation. Let us never forget that.
Order of the Commonwealth (OC)
The Order of the Commonwealth is awarded to honour individuals for acts of exceptional service to the Saint James Islands. The symbol of the Order is a plain green cord for Members of the Order or a plain blue cord for Companions of the Order.
Order of the Exalted Bird (OEB)
The Order of the Exalted Bird is awarded to honour individuals for exceptional service and intense commitment to "the principles of peace, brotherhood, liberty and the dignity of people, those principles that our very nation seeks to uphold daily."