Most Illustrious Order of Merit, Grand Cross Breast Star
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The Most Illustrious Order of Merit was established on December 31, 1998, by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda via Royal Assent from the Governor General. Preceded by the Order of Distinction and the Order of Honour under the National Awards Act 1987, the Order of Merit was constituted under the National Honours Act 1998. It is awarded for meritorious service to Antigua and Barbuda via the honours system.
The Order consists of five classes (in order of precedence): Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Member. Membership is open to both citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, and the international community. On the advice of the Prime Minister, appointments are made by the Grand Master, an officer of the Chancery of the Order. While posthumous appointments can be made, a deceased recipient does not appear on the current list of members.
Recipients of the Grand Cross are presented with a riband badge and breast star and entitled to place the post-nominal letters GCM after their names.
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