Recipients of the Druk Thugsey Award and the Coronation medal
People who had contributed in a variety of ways to the socio-economic, religious and political development and growth of Bhutan were decorated with medals.
Recently on December 17, 2008 His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck honoured six Bhutanese for their service to the Nation.
Other recipients of the Druk Thugsey Award and the coronation medal till now:
1.Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba (Druk Thugsey Medal and Coronation)
2. Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay (Druk Wangyal & Coronation )
3. Lyonpo Thinley Jamtsho (Coronation)
4. Former Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji (Coronation)
5. Former Lyonpo Jigmi Yozer Thinley (Druk Wangyal, Druk Thugsey and Coronation)
6. Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk (Coronation)
7. Lyonpo Sangay Nidup (Druk Thugsey Medal and the Coronation)
8. Late Lyonpo Dorji Tshering (Druk Thugsey)
9. Late Dasho K.J. Nishoka (Druk Thugsey)
10. Late Father Willim J. Mackey (Druk Thugsey)
11. Dasho Wangchuk (Druk Thugsey)
12. Dasho Dorji Tenzin (Druk Thugsey)
13. Dasho Dorji Gyeltshen (Coronation)
14. Late Lopen Omtong (Druk Thugsey)
15. Singye Namgyal (Druk Thugsey)
16. Dungtsho Pema Dorji (Druk Thugsey)
17. Lopen Tashi Phuntsho (Druk Thugsey)
18. Lam Pema Tshewang (Druk Thugsey)
19. Ap Dopoe (Druk Thugsey)
20. Mr. G.N. Rao (Druk Thugsey)
21. Nurse Passang Om (Druk Thugsey)
22. Lhadip Ugen Lhendup (Druk Thugsey)
23. Tempa (Druk Thugsey)
24. Dasho Kunzang Wangdi (Druk Thugsey)
25. Aum Neten Zangmo (Druk Thugsey)
26. Dasho Pema Wangchuk (Druk Thugsey)
27. Dasho Pema Wangchen (Druk Thugsey)
1. Ap Dopoe (Druk Thugsey)
Ap Dopoe, the oldest living traditional musician and singer in Bhutan, was born at Talo in Punakha. He was enrolled into the monastic body by his parents at Talo monastery. At the age of 18, he began playing the flute out of personal interest. He was recruited for a music group which was assembled in Dechenphodrang and was often called to play music for the Royal Bhutan Army band. Ap Dopoe, at the age of 23, left his red robes and took to playing music. He learned how to play the dranyen (a Bhutanese musical instrument) and sing zhungdra songs (Bhutanese folk song) from his teacher and friend Sam Pem Dorji. His life took a turn when, at 25, his Kikhor teacher asked to help him renovate the Tashichhodzong in the 1960s. He was appointed as a master painter and continued painting for about 25 years before he finally retired.
Ap Dopoe entertained guests like Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi during their friendship visits to Bhutan. In 1950, Ap Dopoe went to play his flute outside the country for the first time; he went to Kalimpong to entertain guests and nobilities as part of a Bhutanese music group.
He was decorated with the Druk Thugsey Award on June 2, 1999, by His Majesty the Fourth King.
2. Late Dasho Karma Gayleg (1942-2008)
Late Dasho Karma Gayleg was born in 1942 at Tangsibi in Bumthang.
He started his early education at seven with the princes and princesses of the Second King. After studying in various schools in the country, he went to pursue his further studies at the Nainital Birla Public School in India and completed his matriculation in 1960.
He was in different professions posts ranging from a teacher to commissioned officer in the armed forces.
He taught in Jakar when he was chosen to head the Department of Education by late Lyonpo Dawa Tshering. He was the first IPS officer in the country. He married Azhi Kezang, the heiress to the estate of Lame Goemba. He was the founding vice president of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1980. He also served as a Royal Advisory Councilor.
Indigenous herbal medicine and Bhutanese handicrafts were among his lifelong passions. He had great faith in the Buddhist religion.
He is the first person to receive the Druk Thugsey Award from His Majesty the Fifth King Jigme Khasar Namgyel Wangchuk. He passed away on January 16, 2008, at the age of 64.
3. Dungtsho Pema Dorji (Druk Thugsey)
Dungtsho Pema Dorji was born in 1936 at Tashi Dingkha, Trongsa. Dungtsho Chimi Gyeltshen, grandfather of Dungtsho Pema Dorji and personal physician of Azhi Om, was instructed by Azhi Om to pass on the practice to his offspring. In 1946, he accompanied his grandfather on a month-long journey to Lhasa Chakpori to study medicine. He studied traditional medicine at Lhasa Chakpori in Tibet for seven years under the tutelage of his grandfather. He came back to Bhutan in 1953 at the age of 22. He served for nine years under his Uncle, Neten Tshewang Gyeltshen, in Trongsa dzong. In 1992, he received a royal command to start the Semtokha School with 101 students. After two years, he was transferred as a clerk where he served for four years. In 1968, Dungtsho Pema Dorji and Dungtsho Sherab Jorden (Dungtsho Sherab was a physician of the late Namkhai Nyingpo) laid foundations for the first Traditional Dispensary in Dechencholing. He developed curriculum to give quality training to the trainees. He holds a Masters Degree in sowa rigpa (wisdom of health) from the Medical Institute at Chakpori.
He was invited to teach at the Kagyuling Lhakhang in France. He taught the disciples of the late Kalu Rinpoche and lectured on sowa rigpa on different occasions. He was the key person behind the establishment of indigenous hospitals in all 20 dzongkhags.
He stays with his family at Changangkha in Thimphu. He is the Professor Emirates of traditional medicine.
He was decorated with the Druk Thugsey Award on June 2, 1999, by His Majesty the Fourth King for bringing remarkable changes to the development of traditional medicine in the country.
4. Dasho Wangchuk (Druk Thugsey)
Dasho Wangchuk was born at Tachhu Goenpa, Haa, in 1946.
At the age of seven, he began his early education as a monk in Tachu Goenpa, Haa. He held several responsibilities and posts in his 17 years of monastic life; he was tsheni umze for three years after which he was appointed as the thri disciplinarian. At the age of 18, he was appointed as the dzongpon of Phajoding Monastery by his spiritual teacher late Je Yeshey Singye. He was serving as a royal civil servant in his monk robe until he turned 33. After a year, in 1971, he was appointed as Ramjam. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1987. In the 27 years of his service, he has brought back the lost faces and values of more than 70 monasteries and dzongs (fortresses) and contributed 13 thongdrels (Buddhist murals) to various monasteries and dzongs. On the command of His Majesty the Fourth King, he took upon the restoration works of Punakha and Talo dzongs, Taktshang monastery, Dob Ragoe lhakhang in Paro, Haa Dali Dratshang, Goen Tshephu in Punakha, Tshalina Nye in Jemina, Wang Daglo lhakhang in Thimphu, Haa Tachu Goenpa, Changangkha and Dechenphodrang lhakhangs. He worked as a coordinator during the construction of the Dochula Chortens. The thongdrels of Guru Tshengye in Wangdiphodrang and Haa Dzongs are a few among his many contributions. He presently lives at Dochula, Thimphu, with his family, coordinating the construction of the Dochula lhakhang. On June 2, 1999, he was bestowed with the prestigious Druk Thugsey Award by His Majesty the Fourth King for preserving and promoting the otherwise disappearing Buddhist schools and the seats of great Buddhist teachers.
5. Late Dasho Dorji Tenzin (Druk Thugsey)(1942-2002)
Late Dasho Dorji Tenzing, a former secretary of the Ministry of Communications, was born at Gasey Tshogom, Wangdiphodrang, in 1942. He studied veterinary science and animal husbandry in India. He joined the government service in 1964 as a veterinary compounder. He became the assistant director of the Department of Animal Husbandry in 1972, joint director in 1979, and director in 1984. In 1985, he was transferred to the Department of Forestry as director. After a year, he was appointed as the secretary of the Department of Forestry and Immigration. He became the secretary of the Public Works Department in 1999 and the secretary of the Ministry of Communications in 2000. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1984. On June 2, 1999, he was bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award by the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in recognition of his untiring and dedicated service to the country. He passed away in 2002 after suffering from stomach cancer.
6. Late Dasho K.J. Nishoka (Druk Thugsey)(1933-1992)
Late Dasho Keiji Nishioka, popularly known as “Japan Sahib” to Bhutan was born on February 14, 1933.
He received his early education at Sakuragaoka Primary School in Seoul, Korea. He went to Yao Junior High School in Osaka. He had his postgraduate in agriculture from Osaka Prefecture University. In 1962, he left for Nepal as a member of the East North Nepal Expedition Team. He came to Bhutan in 1964 as a Colombo Plan expert when he was 31. He helped Bhutan by studying and serving the needs of Bhutanese farmers. His service spanning over 28 years in the Kingdom taught the Bhutanese people much about Japan and strengthened the relations between the two countries.
He established the Bondey Farm in Paro farm and helped the government develop valleys, especially Paro valley, into a prosperous dzongkhag. He also founded the Agriculture Machinery Centre and the National Seed and Plant Protection Programme; both the ventures have brought tangible changes in the farming practices in the country. Dasho Nishioka succeeded in growing new varieties of cereals, vegetables and fruits. He improved farm machineries. The No. 11 rice and new cultivation methods are also among his greatest contributions to Bhutan. He managed and improved the Zhemgang Integrated Area Development Project; he helped develop 300 acres of paddy land and gave new life to more than 200 families living on shifting cultivation. He also built a long suspension bridge which was named after him by HRH Prince Namgyel Wangchuk. He indistinguishably dressed in a gho, communicated in Dzongkha and ate and lived like any Bhutanese. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. After working for 28 years on the Bhutanese soil; he passed away on March 21, 1992, at the age of 59. He was cremated in Paro and survived by his wife, daughter and a son. On June 2, 1999, his family was bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award for his meritorious contributions to the development of agriculture productions in the country.
7. Late Father Willim J. Mackey (Druk Thugsey)
Father Mackey joined the Jesuits in 1932, and was ordained in 1945. In 1946, he left Canada for the Jesuit mission in Darjeeling district of India. There he was invited by the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck to become an educator in Bhutan, as part of the country’s ongoing modernization efforts. He first helped establish Trashigang School in 1963 and later in 1968 moved to head and build up Sherubtse Public School, now Sherubtse College as a premier learning institute. Later he served in various senior positions of the Education Ministry including as special education advisor.
Father Mackey’s contribution to the education system in Bhutan is exceptional as his personality. A Bhutanese by heart and mannerism, he personally helped groom many young men and women for the development of this country. His graduates bear the indelible mark of the man himself, of honesty, modesty, diligence and sacrifice; all his graduates have been assets to the country and continue to serve the country in various capacities. He also helped modernize the education system, and some Bhutanese sometimes refer fondly to him as the Father of Modern Education system.
In 1973, Father Mackey was awarded the Druk Thugsey medal for his services to education in Bhutan. In 1985, he was granted honorary Bhutanese citizenship.
He died in 1995 in Bhutan and is buried in the Jusuits Cemetery in Darjeeling.
8. Late Lopen Omtong (Druk Thugsey)(1945-2003)
Late Lopen Omtong, Bhutan’s great sculptor was born in 1945 in Bidung Goenpa, Tashigang. He started his life as a gomchen (lay monk) before he joined the government service in 1965.
In 36 years of his remarkable service, he had sculptured thousands of statues of highest quality. The works of late Lopen Omtong are still alive in more than 35 historical monuments like dzongs, lhakhangs and monasteries in various parts of the country.
Some of the remarkable works include the magnificent images of the Kagong Phursum at the Kuje Lhakhang in Bumthang and the National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu, the Phurpai Yabyum at Bartsham Chhador Lhakhang, the Khenlop Choesum at the Rangjung Woeselchholing monastery in Tashigang, the Droley Tong (the thousand statues of Droley) at Yongla Goemba, statue of Zhabdrung Jigme Dorji at Talo, Dorji Droley at Talo Pang Karpo, Drupthob Thangthog Gyalpo at Zilukha Lhakhang, Guru Thogtse at Phajoding, Chugchizhey at Thapa Goemba in Trongsa, Guru Tshengye at the Phuentsholing Zangtopelri and the Drolmaku at Singye Dzong in Kurtoe. At the time of his death, he was in the middle of building images in the Punakha Dzong along with his 40 pupils. The Late Lopen had even been to Lhasa Samye in Tibet to repair the image of Guru Rinpoche on the advice of His Holiness Dilgo Khentse Rimpoche. He served the country, people and his religion through memorable contributions and giving training to many young sculptors. His works can also be witnessed in Nepal and Riwalsar (Punjab), India. On June 2, 1999, the late Lopen Omtong was bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award. He passed away in 2003 and is survived by his wife and four children (two sons and two daughters).
9. Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk (Coronation)
Former Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk was born in Dop Shari, Paro, in 1950.
He is married to Dasho Yanki T. Wangchuk. He completed high school in North Point, Darjeeling, and graduated with a BA degree from St Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India. He joined the civil service in 1974 as a trainee officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was transferred to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and became the assistant secretary in 1974 and deputy director in 1976. In 1978, he was appointed as the deputy director of the Industrial Development Cooperation. He became the director for trade and commerce in 1980 and was transferred to the Food Corporation of Bhutan in 1984. He was appointed the director of the Department of Agriculture in 1986, director general in 1987, and secretary in 1989. In 1991, he was transferred to the Royal Civil Service Commission as secretary. He was again transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture as deputy minister in 1996. In 1998, he was elected as the minister for trade and industry by the National Assembly. He was the Prime Minister from 2001 to 2002, and, in 2003, he was elected as the minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was once again the Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007. He was a member in various government organisations and decision making bodies like the Planning Commission, RCSC, Royal Insurance Corporation, National Assembly, and National Commission for Culture and the Lhengye Zhungtshog. He was the President of the Bhutan Football Federation, Royal Thimphu Golf Club and the Board of Control for Cricket. He was the Chairman of the National Environment Commission, Chukha Hydropower Corporation, Kurichhu Hydropower Project, Tala Hydro-power Project Authority, Pelden Cement Authority, Dugsum Cement Authority, Bhutan Ferro Alloys Limited, National Employment Board, Bhutan National Bank, Bhutan Power Corporation, National Pension & Provident Fund and the National Environment Commission. As the director for trade and commerce, he promoted the growth of trade with India and Bangladesh. He promoted cash crop development and introduced a variety of new crops, fruit trees and vegetables. He established the Natural Resources Training Institute at Lobesa. As the secretary of RCSC, he established the current examination system and a training institute for graduates in law. When he was in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, he set up the Pasakha Industrial Estate, joint ventures in the tourism sector (Aman and Uma resorts). He facilitated the FDI Policy and established the Bhutan Power Corporation. Under the wise guidance of His Majesty the Fourth King, he strengthened relations India and many donor countries and international organisations, negotiated the resettlement of people in the camps, undertaken resource mobilization for the 9th plan, obtained membership to the Asian Cooperation Dialogue and participated actively in SAARC, NAM and BIMSTEC Summits. He received the Red Scarf in 1987 and the Orange Scarf in 1994. On June 2, 1999, he was conferred the Coronation medal for his dedicated service to the country.
10. Former Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji (Coronation)
Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji was born at Chali, Mongar, in 1951. He received his early education in Mongar and Tashigang. He went to study in Kalimpong, India. After he had graduated with a Bachelor degree in veterinary science and animal husbandry, he began his government service as a veterinary doctor in January, 1976. He became an assistant director in 1977, deputy director of animal husbandry in 1979 and joint director in 1983. He also became the director of animal husbandry in 1986. He became the zonal administrator for Sarpang, Zhemgang and Bumthang. In 1991, he was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture as director general, became the joint secretary in 1993 and, in April, 1994, became the secretary of agriculture. He was elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan in 1997. He was promoted to the rank of the minister of agriculture in 1998. On June 2, 1999, he was decorated with the Coronation medal for his long unfailing service to the country.
11. Lyonpo Sangay Nidup (Druk Thugsey Medal and the Coronation)
Sangay Ngedup, was born at Nobgang, Punakha, in 1953. He is the eldest son of Dasho Ugyen Dorji and Yum Thuji. He graduated from Dr Graham’s Homes in Kalimpong, India. He completed his tertiary education at the St Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India, and joined the Bhutanese Foreign Service in 1976. He completed an international relations and diplomatic practice course in Australia in 1976. In 1997, he completed the Indian Foreign Service probationer’s training at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. In 1977, he was transferred to the permanent mission of Bhutan in New York and later served as second secretary in the Royal Bhutan Embassy in New Delhi. He was also appointed as the first ambassador to Kuwait in 1989, and, in the same year he was appointed as the director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He was appointed as the joint secretary of the Planning Commission in April 1991. He became the director of the Ministry of Health in 1992 and became the secretary in 1994. In 1995, he became the secretary of the Ministry of Health and Education. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on August 24, 1987, and on January 1, 1998, he was awarded the Orange Scarf and elected as the deputy minister of the Ministry of Health and Education. In 2003, he was elected as the minister for agriculture. He was conferred the Druk Thugsey Award and the Coronation medal in recognition of his achievements in the fields of agriculture, health and education June 2, 1999.
12. Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay (Coronation)
Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay was born in 1949. He went to high school in Dr. Graham’s Homes in Kalimpong. He began his career as the Zimponam (Chamberlain) to His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth King in 1974, and he was appointed as the Solpon (Lord of Offerings). Known for his strong background in legislature, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay was appointed as a justice of the High Court in 1980. He studied law, human rights and criminal systems in Australia and completed a course for government legal advisors in the United Kingdom. He was the secretary of the RCSC and auditor general from 1986 to 1991.
He established a system of rules and regulations to strengthen the His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s policy to have more transparency and accountability. In 1991, he returned to the High Court as the chief justice of Bhutan. He has been engaged in the process of strengthening legislation as the chief justice and chairperson of the Constitution drafting committee of the Kingdom. In recognition of his dedicated and loyal service, he was awarded the Coronation medal by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on June 2, 1999.
13. Lyonpo Thinley Jamtsho (Coronation)
Lyonpo Thinley Jamtsho was born into a farming family at Tshangkhar, Trashigang, on 1st March, 1952.
He is married to Kezang Dema and has two sons and a daughter. He began his early education at Trashigang School. After completing his primary education in 1964, he went to Don Bosco High School in Guwahati, India, for matriculation.
In 1969, he went to St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling, for his pre-university education.
He graduated with a Degree in Commerce and Administration from the University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1976. He started his service as a trainee officer and deputy secretary in the Ministry of Trade & Industry from 1977-1985. He was the director of the Department of Education from 1985 to 1986, director of the Department of Budget in the Ministry of Finance in 1887. From 1988 to 1995, he worked as the director, director general and secretary in the Department of Education. He also worked as the secretary and deputy minister of the Royal Civil Service Commission from 1996 to 1998. During the ministers’ elections in 1998, he was elected as the home minister. In 2003, he was elected by the National Assembly as the minister of the Ministry of Education.
He was conferred the Coronation medal by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on June 2, 1999, for his long untiring service to the nation.
14. Late Mr. G.N. Rao (Druk Thugsey)(1926-2002)
Late Mr. Rao was born on October 6, 1926. He came to Bhutan in 1977 and joined the Chukha Project as the superintending engineer of the Dam Division and the Surge Shaft Division. He took over as the chief engineer in 1979, in charge of the Nu 2.46 Billion Project, the largest project in the kingdom at that time. He became the general manager of the project in 1983. Though he reached superannuation age in 1984, he was retained by the royal government as the head of the CHPC Project, which was described as an “exemplary monument” of Indo-Bhutan cooperation. In 1991 he was appointed as the managing director of the CHPC. He retired from the post in 1999. He was also the power advisor of the project in 1998. Mr. Rao started his career as a sub divisional officer in Ahmadnagar in 1954. He is closely associated with several prestigious projects in the fields of water resources and power development. He also worked with the Trisulli Hydro Project in Nepal and the Faraka Barrage in India. In 1992, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the president of India. His monumental contributions were finally recognized and bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award on June 2, 1999. He passed away on July 24, 2002, in Bangalore, India.
15. Nurse Passang Om (Druk Thugsey)
She began her nursing career at the age of 12 at the Thimphu hospital (then situated at Langjophakha). The young girl did not have choice. There ware no formal classes as such then, whatever the trainees learnt was from following the doctors around the ward and observing them working.
She had to pass through drudgeries of washing laundry to cleaning clinical bowls to pasting death certificates on the chest of cadavers and carting them to the morgue. Even in the horror of ugliest times of taking dead bodies to the morgue. The nurse’s day began at 7.30 am. Her daily routine often involved sweeping the wards, cleaning the toilet bowls, lugging large pails of food from the hospital kitchen to the wards, serving patients who could help themselves and feeding those who cold not. She was decorated with the Druk Thugsey Award on June 2, 1999.
16. Singye Namgyal (Druk Thugsey)
Singye Namgyel was born on April 14, 1961, at Regi in Khar, Pemagatshel. He is married to Thermo and has one daughter. He started his early education in Yurung Primary School in Pemagatshel from 1960s. He went on to continue his secondary education in Trashigang Central School and Sarpang High School. He did his 2-Year teacher training in Paro and also completed an advanced Diploma in Special Education from Boston, USA. He graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Education from the Samtse College of Education with English and History as teaching subjects. He completed his Masters in Education (Honours) from the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, Australia in 2001. He is currently doing his PhD in philosophy.
He was a teacher in the School for the Blind in Khaling, Trashigang, from 1980 to 1987. He became headmaster of Kalikhola Junior High School in 1990, principal of Paro High School in the same year. He was the principal of the Institute for Language and Culture Studies, Semtokha, from 1993 to 1999. He was the district education officer of Trashigang from 2001 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005, he was the joint director of the Non-Formal and Continuing Education Division, Ministry of Education. He was appointed the dean for academic affairs at the Paro College of Education in 2005. After 2 years at the Paro College of Education, in September 2007, he was appointed the director of the Sherubtse College, Trashigang. He developed curriculum for the Institute of Language and Cultural Studies. He translated and developed several educational papers and documents for the Ministry of Education. As a member of several boards and committees both in the Ministry of Education and other sectors, he contributed in initiating policies and plans. He has also been a member of the DDC’s Dzongkha Expert Committee, CAPSD Board, RUB’s Academic Board, Chair of College Academic Committee, PCE’s Research Committee, Local publications reviewer of CAPSD. He wrote several educational articles and authored the study book, ‘The Language Web of Bhutan.’ He devised Dzongkha Braille writing system (1984-1986) for visually impaired children of Bhutan for which he was awarded the Druk Thuksey Award on june 2, 1999.
17. Tempa (Druk Thugsey)
Tempa was born in 1973 at Mebisa village, Chukha. He was an active boy, fond of sports like football, volleyball and archery. When he was 12 years old, he was handicapped after an accident to which lost his left leg. He had to discontinue his studies and stay at home looking after the farm animals and do odd jobs. It was then that the young boy learned how to play archery. His good friends and relatives were abusive with him; they called names at him and he felt to stay away from them. At the age of 16, he left home and came to Thimphu to see if there could be anything to get his leg back. After three months of consultations with doctors at the Thimphu Hospital, he was sent to Calcutta from where he came back, after two months, walking on an artificial limb. He was employed as a watchman for the Thimphu City Cooperation store and was to keep away stray cattle from entering the town. He was soon obsessed with playing archery and became irregular at his work. Though he had lost his old job, he was recognized as the second best Olympic archer in the country. The Bhutan Olympic Committee took Tempa under its wing. In 1989, he was selected in the Bhutanese team in the International Archery Arena. He took part in the Far East South Pacific Disabled Games in Japan in 1989. He stood fifth at the FECPIC Games in Beijing. He won a silver medal in the third Federation Cup in Calcutta in 1993. He bagged gold in the Festival for the Handicapped in China and the Asia Pacific and Asian Championships in Bangkok. Since then there has been no looking back. He also participated in the 2000 Olympics at Sydney. He was decorated with Druk Thugsey medal on June 2, 1999.
18. Former Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba (Druk Thugsey Medal and Coronation)
Yeshey Zimba, the former trade minister was born in 1952. He is from Omladama village in Punakha. He completed his high school education from St Joseph’s School in Darjeeling, India, in 1969. He graduated from St Joseph’s College with a Bachelor’s degree in economics in 1993 and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, USA, in 1976. He joined government service in the Ministry of development in 1976. He was transferred as a planning officer in the Planning Commission in 1977. He became the deputy secretary of the Ministry of Finance in 1979. He served as managing director of the Royal Monetary Authority when it was established in 1982. He was transferred as the director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and then became the joint secretary in the Planning Commission. In 1991, he was appointed as the joint secretary in the finance ministry. He became the finance secretary in July, 1994. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on January 3, 1991. He was elected the finance minister by the National Assembly members in 1998. In 2003, he was elected as the minister for trade and industry. He was decorated with Druk Thugsey medal on June 2, 1999.
19. Former Lyonpo Jigmi Yozer Thinley (Druk Thugsey and Coronation)
Jigmi Y. Thinley was born in 1952 in Bumthang.
He began his education in Dr Graham’s Homes in Kalimpong, India. He graduated from St Stephen’s College in India. He completed his Masters in public administration from Penn State University, USA. He joined the civil service in 1974 and served in various capacities for 34 years. He was head of the Royal Civil Service Commission, director of the Education Department, and the permanent representative of Bhutan to the UN in New York and zonal administrator for eastern Bhutan. In March 1987, he was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth King. He was appointed as the permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva in 1994. He was elected as the minister for foreign affairs by the National Assembly members in 1998. He was conferred the Druk Thugsey and Coronation medals on June 2, 1999.
20. Lam Pema Tshewang (Druk Thugsey)
Pema Tshewang known as Lam Pemala was born in 1926. He is from Zungai village in Chumey. He received his monastic education at a very young age; at the age of 8, he went to study in Trongsa Dzong, where his uncle, Sangay Penjor, was the lama of funerary rituals. He studied Uma (the study of the Middle Path) in Nimalung under Doring Trulku. When Lam Pemala was 15, Doring Trulku left for Tibet. He also learnt calligraphy, script and elementary iconography and painting from other scholars. Lam Pema, when he turned 17, felt particularly moved by Patrul Rinpoche’s Tshungdon Mengag Dorji Thoel Lu. He was inspired by the Rimpoche to go to Tibet to continue his studies. In 1944, when he was 18, he left for Tibet in quest of his studies and Doring Trulku. He traced the Trulku at Dragthok Monastery in Tibet and received lessons on Kunzang Lamai Shelung from him. He recited one hundred thousand times each of yigja, Mendel, lami ngeljor, semtek and so forth. He traveled to many sacred places with Doring Trulku. He was appointed as the lecturer in the Rigney School by the Central Government in 1961. He protested that he was incapable of teaching. However, he was to teach in the Simtokha Institute till 1967. He was transferred to the textbook division of Education Department in Paro. He wrote Sumtak Donsel Nyingpo and the first book on the Grammar, phonology and spelling of Dzongkha to enable people to adopt Dzongkha as a written language. He retired from the Education Department in 1971. Two years after his retirement, he was appointed the director of the National Library of Bhutan. He wrote a definitive history of Bhutan while he was in the National Library. He retired from the post in 1993. Lam Pemala also wrote many other books which are distinguished as monumental works displaying mastery over classical chokay and profound knowledge. Later in his retirement years, he was appointed as the chief abbot of Nimalung Dratshang. His invaluable contributions to the development of the national language were felt by the nation on June 2, 1999, when he was bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award (Heart-son of Bhutan).
21. Late Lyonpo Dorji Tshering (Druk Thugsey)(1931-2008)
Late Lyonpo Dorji Tshering was born at Dumchang, Haa, in 1931. He received his Senior Cambridge certificate from Dr Grahams Homes in Kalimpong, India. He started his career as a teacher in the Junior High School in Thimphu in 1953. In 1955, he was appointed as the principal of the school, where he served for three years. In 1959, he was made the cipher officer and royal tutor at the Dechencholing Palace. He was appointed as the thrimpon ramjam of Thimphu in 1961. After a year as the thrimpon ramjam, he was appointed as the Quarter General Master of the Royal Bhutan Army. In 1964, he was transferred to the Ministry of Finance were he served as the secretary for finance for 15 years. He was the defence accounts officer in the Finance Ministry from 1965 to 1967. He was sent to Delhi to train in deciphering codes since Bhutan was keen on establishing modern communication links. He was awarded the Red Scarf by His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1967. He was awarded the Orange Scarf and was promoted to the rank of deputy minister in the Ministry of Finance in 1983. He was also the chairman of the Bhutan Board of Directors and Bank of Bhutan and the Unit Trust of Bhutan. He was a member of the Cabinet, National Assembly, National Commission for the Development of Trade and Industries, the Royal Civil Service Commission and the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan. He was also the Governor for Bhutan in the international Fund. In 1988, he was appointed the finance minister. He served for ten years and retired in 1998. On June 2, 1999, he was awarded the Druk Thugsey by His Majesty the Fourth King for his untiring service to the country. He passed away in January, 2008.
22. Lhadip Ugen Lhendup (Druk Thugsey)
Lhadrip Ugyen Lhendup was born at Kenkhar in Mongar, in 1933. At the age of 18, he acquired the skills of painting from his cousin, who was an established painter. He mastered the eight principles of painting and chose the Tormashong lhakhang for his maiden task. After he completed the mural work at the lhakhang, he took up painting as a full-time profession. That was his first accomplishment which gave him immense courage to confidently embark on his future tasks. The other driving force that kept him going, besides painting, has been religion. He took teachings from great Buddhist teachers like Lam Karpo, Dungse Rinpoche and the late Dudjom Rinpoche. He underwent a six-month meditation. Tormented by the Indo-China war in 1966, he moved to Kalimpong where he studied under the late Dudjom Rinpoche. His 56 years in the service of the country have seen the wonderful contributions and the most notable traditional painter in the country. He is recognized as the best painting teacher of the country and his works too have been recognized as finest masterpieces among other Bhutanese works of art. Some of his monumental pieces are Zhabdrung Phunsum Tshogpa Thongdrel in Punakha, and the thongdrels in Wangdiphodrang, Talo, Zhemgang, Haa and Japan. His hands and brushes have caressed endless walls and idols in Trashigang, Mongar, Lhuntse, Bumthang, Phuntsholing, and in the dzongs of Lhuntse, Punakha and Thimphu. The Pelden Lhamo mural in the Tashichhodzong Goenkha and a Pema Kathang (11 thankas encompassing the life of Guru Rinpoche) sincerely bear testimony to his skill and spirit. His understanding for the colours and soul of his work is seen in his masterpieces. He along with a group of 28 painters restored 300-400 year old murals in Punakha Dzong and a lakhang in Haa. He still works so hard and furthers the art of religious painting with all he can do. He was bestowed with the Druk Thugsey Award by His Majesty the Fourth King on June 2, 1999, for the outstanding services in religion/culture.
24. Dasho Kunzang Wangdi (Druk Thugsey)
Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, Chief Election Commissioner, received the Druk Thuksey for his “personal integrity and hard work and for the combined effort of the officials of the Election Commission of Bhutan, various government agencies, local government and the armed forces in preparing for and conducting successful general elections at the start of democracy.”
25. Aum Neten Zangmo (Druk Thugsey)
Neten Zangmo, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission was granted the Druk Thuksey for “carrying out her duties as head of the Anti-Corruption Commission without fear or favour.” His Majesty said that, at this phase in the growth of democracy, the ACC must work to prevent the spread of one of the biggest threats to Bhutan’s success. His Majesty pledged his own wholehearted support to the ACC. Neten Zangmo will receive the Red Scarf from His Majesty.
26. Dasho Pema Wangchuk (Druk Thugsey)
Dasho Pema Wangchuk, International Boundaries Secretary, was awarded the Druk Thuksey for his “long, consistent and fruitful service during the reign of two kings with sincerity, dedication and humility.”
27. Dasho Pema Wangchen (Druk Thugsey)
Dasho Pema Wangchen, Secretary to the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, received the Druk Thuksey for his “commitment and dedication with which he had served a special King as he led the nation over 34 years.”