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  • Ten Jamaicans have been awarded Musgrave Medals by the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) for outstanding contribution to the fields of literature, science or art.
  • The annual awards ceremony was held on Wednesday (Oct. 16) at the Institute’s East Street address in downtown Kingston.
  • Leading the list of awardees are Professor Emeritus, Sir Godfrey “Geoff” Oliver Palmer, Winston Alexander George Ewart, and Dr. Michael A. Bucknor, who received gold medals for distinguished eminence in their respective fields.

Ten Jamaicans have been awarded Musgrave Medals by the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) for outstanding contribution to the fields of literature, science or art.

The annual awards ceremony was held on Wednesday (Oct. 16) at the Institute’s East Street address in downtown Kingston.

Leading the list of awardees are Professor Emeritus, Sir Godfrey “Geoff” Oliver Palmer, Winston Alexander George Ewart, and Dr. Michael A. Bucknor, who received gold medals for distinguished eminence in their respective fields.

Professor Palmer has made outstanding contribution in science through research into the transformation of germinated barley into malt. He invented a technique called the abrasion process that speeds up the production of malt from grain. This technique has changed the malting process and increased profits for the industry.

Dr. Bucknor is recognised as one of the pre-eminent scholars in the field of literature. He is best known for his study and promotion of Caribbean literature and has published numerous articles and publications on the subject of masculinity in the Caribbean.

Among the numerous accolades he has received for his musical contributions, Mr. Ewart is a founding member of the National Choral of Jamaica and has conducted the Choral at a number of State funerals and national events.

Meanwhile, Silver Musgrave Medals for outstanding merit were presented to Shirley Yvonne Carby, Professor Emeritus Tara Prasad Dasgupta and Professor Emeritus Douglas R. Ewart.

Mrs. Carby is best known for her pioneering work in building an indigenous publishing industry in Jamaica. One of her most notable achievements is the establishment of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) in 1989.

Professor Dasgupta’s scientific contributions have seen findings from his research being published in 130 international peer review journals and he has presented more than 100 papers at international conferences. In 2013, he received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander in recognition for his contribution to science, education and research.

Jamaican-born musician, educator and cultural ambassador, Professor Ewart is recognised for his work as a lecturer and workshop director in the United States where he emigrated to in 1963.

He utilises a multidisciplinary approach to emphasise Jamaica’s contribution to the shaping of world views.

Additionally, Musgrave Bronze Medals for merit were awarded to Eleanor Alberga, A-dZiko Simba Gegele and Dr. Susan Otuokon.

Eleanor Alberga is a Jamaican born and raised and English-trained pianist and composer. Her most notable compositions include ‘Jamaica Medley’ (1983) for solo piano composed in honour of Jamaica’s 21st anniversary of Independence and her first opera, ‘Letters of Love Betrayed’ (2009), which premiered at the Royal Opera House, United Kingdom.

Ms. Gegele is one of Jamaica’s most compelling writers of children’s fiction. Her poetry and prose have been featured in several collections including: ‘The Virago Book of Wicked Verse’, ‘So Much Things to Say: 100 Calabash Poets’ and ‘Jubilation!: Poems Celebrating 50 years of Jamaican Independence’.

Dr. Otuokon has over 28 years of work experience in natural resources management and has been Executive Director of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) since 2013.

Her most notable achievement to date is her active role in successfully leading the preparation of the dossier for the nomination of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee.

In the youth category, Jamaica Youth Ambassador to the United Nations, Santana Morris, was recognised for excellence in the fields of education, community development and leadership.

An educator, education development specialist, and motivational speaker, she has worked to promote literacy and education, especially among children across Jamaica since 2016.

Responding on behalf of the awardees, Dr. Bucknor expressed gratitude to the council of the IOJ for the honour and recognition.

“We all want to thank the Institute for singling us out…We are aware that we are part of a large group of people who work at their craft with dedication…The real reward is the work itself and its results the way in which we help to make this world a better place through scientific discovery, historical preservation, musical expression (and) creative outpouring,” he said.

The Musgrave Medal is one of the oldest awards of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Presented for the first time in 1897, it was introduced as a memorial to Sir Anthony Musgrave, who founded the IOJ in 1879, during his tenure as Governor of Jamaica.