Introduced in 1985 and last presented in 2016, the honour was a surprise addition to the Guernsey Press 2020 Pride of Guernsey awards presentation evening at the company’s Braye Road headquarters.
The Director of Public Health’s name will go on the award, which recognises those whose activities have enhanced the island’s reputation and of which previous winners include Heather Watson, Andy Priaulx, Dame Mary Perkins and Roger Allsopp.
Presenting the trophy, the Lt-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, said Dr Brink ‘had nailed it’ in terms of the Covid-19 crisis.
‘She has guided us with passion, crystal clear explanation, she has stuck to her strategy and trusted her judgment,’ he said.
Dr Brink told an audience of more than 160 invited guests, plus a further 350 who were watching it streamed live online, that the Bailiwick of Guernsey deserved the award and that Public Health people would be analysing test results as she was speaking.
Speaking afterwards she said: ‘I feel incredibly privileged and incredibly humbled.
‘I’m not usually lost for words but I am a little lost for words this evening because it was totally unexpected, I’m just so overwhelmed.’
The Guernsey Press Pride of Guernsey Awards were taking place for the fifth time.
Company chairman Terry Holder told guests that given the pandemic, it was remarkable that everyone was able to be sharing a meal that evening with those people who had made such an extraordinary contribution to life in Guernsey.
More than 18,000 votes had been cast across the 13 categories for which awards were on offer.
The evening began on a sombre note with Mr Holder paying tribute and offering condolences to the family and friends of Zef Eisenberg, who was killed at Elvington Airfield, York, on Thursday while attempting a land speed record in his high performance Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Mr Eisenberg founded the MADMAX Race Team, which had sponsored the first award of the evening – Emergency Hero of the Year – which went to Kristy Grant.
The 47-year-old had not expected to be able to attend the evening and it was decided not to show a video that he had recorded especially for the occasion.
In an emotional address, his friend, Jeff Fox, told guests that Mr Eisenberg would have been the most positive person in the room had he been able to be there.
‘The big fella will set the fastest time going to heaven,’ he said.
In 2019, Mr Eisenberg and his colleagues from The Friends of Saumarez Park Playground were awarded the Pride of Guernsey Parish Champion of the Year award.
He had also been previously nominated for The Guernsey Press Ambassador of the Year Award.
The Bailiff Richard McMahon and Deputy Bailiff Jessica Roland were also guests at Saturday’s event.
All the winners:
Emergency Hero of the Year, sponsored by the MadMax Race Team - Kristy Grant
Teacher of the Year, sponsored by HSBC - Savannah King
Angel of the Year, sponsored by Ravenscroft - Kate Corcoran
Conservation Hero of the Year, sponsored by Butterfield - Roland Gauvain
Parent(s) of the Year, sponsored by DWA - Enid Falla
Customer Service of the Year, sponsored by Cherry Godfrey - JL Innovation
Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by RBC in association with Liberate - James Ferbrache
Arts Contribution of the Year, sponsored by Moonpig - Keith Tostevin
Carer of the Year, sponsored by the Guernsey Press - Moira Boyd and the staff at GreenAcres retirement home and assisted living facility
Grandparents of the Year, sponsored by the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society - Peter and Helena McGovern
Young Achiever of the Year, sponsored by St Pierre Park Hotel - Zoe Collins
Neighbour of the Year, sponsored by GAS - Nikkie Kerr
Overcoming Adversity, sponsored by Close Finance - Kevin Parsons
The Guernsey Press Ambassador of the Year - Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink