- The third time was a charm for aspiring photographer, Yone Gordon, who copped the photography segment of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 2019 Heritage Competition after two previous attempts.
- Gordon, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technology at The Mico University College in St. Andrew, walked away with the winning trophy at the awards ceremony held on Monday (November 25) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, St. Andrew.
- He also received a $15,000 cash prize; a course at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; a day pass to Jewel Runaway Bay resort; a tablet; and a book from the Centre for Reparation Research at UWI.
The third time was a charm for aspiring photographer, Yone Gordon, who copped the photography segment of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 2019 Heritage Competition after two previous attempts.
Gordon, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technology at The Mico University College in St. Andrew, walked away with the winning trophy at the awards ceremony held on Monday (November 25) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, St. Andrew.
He also received a $15,000 cash prize; a course at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; a day pass to Jewel Runaway Bay resort; a tablet; and a book from the Centre for Reparation Research at UWI.
Gordon was among 17 participants who were awarded prizes for their entries in the competition in the categories of Photography, Poster and Essay, under the theme ‘Reparation’.
An elated Gordon told JIS News that he first entered the competitions three years ago, where he placed third, and was determined to win after his second-place finish last year.
“I am so happy. It’s a very thrilling feeling,” he said.
The Waltham Park Road resident said he is very passionate about the subject of Reparation and was happy that it was selected as this year’s Heritage Competition theme.
He said it is his hope that when Jamaicans look at his photograph they will feel a sense of pride about themselves.
“Most people view us black people as being lesser than other races, so through my photograph I want to send a message that we are powerful and can be powerful just as any other race,” he said.
Gordon told JIS News that he wants to become a photographer and saw the competition as a way to develop his craft and gain feedback. “It was all about growth for me,” he noted.
The Photography competition targeted students attending an accredited tertiary institution.
They were required to submit a high-resolution-quality photograph depicting ‘Reparation’ and were judged based on originality, composition, technicality and impact.
UWI student Alec Jackson; and teacher at Ardenne Preparatory and Extension and student at UWI Open Campus, Kevon Waite, placed second and third, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the poster category, repeat entrant Curtis Clennon took the top prize.
The 16-year-old student of Cornwall College in Montego Bay, St. James, had placed second in the competition last year.
“It’s a very exhilarating feeling and I am feeling very proud of myself,” Clennon told JIS News.
“I came second last year and now I am in the book of record as the winner,” he said proudly.
He told JIS News that he did a great deal of research on the subject of Reparation in designing his winning poster.
The youngster, who was accompanied by his father, Ian Clennon, won a trophy, $15,000, a graphic course at the Media Technology Institute in Kingston, a day pass for two at a Riu Hotel, and a book from the Centre for Reparation Research.
Second place went to student of Ardenne Preparatory and Extension High School in St. Andrew, Mahalia Ulett; and third place was Davia Henningham of Westwood High School in Trelawny.
The Poster contest was open to students from grades seven to 13 at a registered secondary school.
Participants were required to design an 11×17-inch poster digitally or by illustration depicting ‘Reparation’ and were judged on interpretation of the topic, originality, neatness, and presentation.
For the Essay competition, which was open to children at the primary level, aged nine to 12, Steven Bernard of Somerton All-Age and Infant School in St. James emerged the victor.
The 11-year-old told JIS News that he wanted to make his family and friends proud. “It feels very awesome,” he said.
Young Bernard won a trophy, $15,000, a book from the Centre for Reparation Research, a tablet, and a weekend for four at FDR Resorts.
Student of Pratville Primary and Infant School in Manchester, Tanesha Bailey; and student of Foundation Preparatory School in Clarendon, Neville-Anné Morgan, were second and third, respectively, in the Essay competition.
The students were required to write 400 to 500-word essays on the Reparation theme, which were judged on the relevance to the topic, originality, accuracy, and analysis of research data, writing style, and language skills.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, who was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony, congratulated the participants in the JIS Heritage Competition and encouraged them to position themselves to continue the fight for compensation for chattel slavery.
This is a system whereby the enslaved person is owned as property and their children and children’s children are automatically enslaved.
Chattel slaves are treated as complete property, to be bought and sold by owners as commodities.
This type of enslavement was practised in the European colonies, including Jamaica, from the 16th century onwards.
Minister Henry said that Jamaica will not back down from its push for reparation for the descendants of enslaved Africans.
“There will be no moving on as though nothing happened. We are not listening to that kind of talk. The world knows what happened to our people during slavery because it is well documented,” Minister Henry said.
He noted that while the smatterings of compensation from a few organisations is a good place to start, and the country is encouraged by the show of support, a piecemeal approach is not the best way for Jamaica to attain full and satisfactory payment for chattel slavery and its effects.
Chief Executive Officer of JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, in her remarks, congratulated the participants in the competition for tackling such a “bold” theme.
Mrs. Rowe said she had wondered whether the primary-level students would have been able to adequately understand and articulate the issue, but noted that they rose to the occasion and produced quality essays.
“What we saw was not just mere regurgitation of ideas spouted by the learned and leading scholars on the subject. We saw strong and valid points being raised, and possible counterarguments being anticipated and settled as good debaters are to do,” she said.
She further commended the parents and teachers for their interest and support.
Sponsors of the JIS Heritage Competition are: Boone Hall Oasis, Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC)/ Media Technology Institute, Frame Art Jamaica, Franklyn D. Resort, Guardian Life Limited, iCreate, Innovative Corporate Solutions, JPS Foundation, NCB Foundation, Palace Amusement Company Limited, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Royale Computers & Accessories, Universal Service Fund, WB Trophies Limited, and Wisynco Group Limited .