Friday, 24 October 2014

PRIDE OF A NATION: Cultural giants get their due at National Honours and Awards

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN: Marcia Griffiths, flanked by Vance and Sherman Carter, moments after receiving the National Order of Distinction.

In front of a hundreds-strong throng, and with the rest of the nation enjoying live coverage from the comfort of their homes, scores of distinguished men and women solidified their place in the pantheon of extraordinary Jamaicans on Monday (Heroes Day) as King's House, in partnership with the government, acknowledged their contributions with national honours and awards.

Among the lot an impressive number of luminaries from the arts community, who stood shoulder to shoulder with newly installed members of the Order of Jamaica, namely Reverend Charles DuFour, Senator K.D. Knight, Professor Joseph Frederick, Dr. Karl Wellington, Florizelle O'Connor and Glen Mills.

TALLAWAH was particularly pleased that the spotlight was being shone on the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company's Doug Bennett, acclaimed artist Laura Facey Cooper, dance icon Patsy Ricketts, eminent academic Prof. Rupert Lewis and reggae's enduring supersongstress Marcia Griffiths (resplendent in lavender) all of whom were conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander.

Among the Officer Class honorees, loud cheers and applause greeted musician Dwight Pinkney, ace sound system selector Winston 'Wee Pow' Powell, gender and development specialist Dr. Glenda Simms and historian Dr. Laura Tanna (a vision in blue). Meanwhile, adding moments of tuneful splendour to the proceedings were tenor Commander John McFarlane and soprano Ana Strachan, who offered a note-perfect take on "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of Music.

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