Twelve Caribbean nationals were yesterday (October 14) awarded Musgrave Medals by the Institute of Jamaica, in recognition of notable contributions in the literary, scientific and artistic fields.
At the awards ceremony held at the Institute’s lecture hall theatre in downtown Kingston, the Gold Medal was presented to Professor Maureen Warner Lewis for her contribution in the field of literature.
A citation read by veteran journalist Barbara Gloudon, described the Trinidad and Tobago native as an educator extraordinaire, who taught at the secondary and tertiary levels in her native country and in Nigeria, and at the University of the West Indies, where she spend most of her professional life.
Professor Lewis authored numerous publications on Afro Caribbean cultural forms and religion, such as ‘Guinea’s other suns – the African dynamic in Trinidad culture’; ‘Ethnic and religious plurality among Yoruba immigrants in Trinidad in the 19th Century’; ‘Cultural configurations in the African Caribbean’, co-authored with Rudolph Eastman; and ‘Characteristics of maroon music of Jamaica and Suriname’, co-authored with Marjorie Whylie.
The other Gold Medalist was the late Wycliffe Bennett CD, for his distinguished contribution to the development of the arts in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The award was presented to Mr. Bennett on August 28, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, before he passed away.
Meanwhile, the 2009 Silver Musgrave medalists were Paulette Bellamy, for her work in music; Professor Gossett Oliver for contribution in the field of engineering; and Professor Helen Jacobs for her contribution to organic chemistry.
Other silver medalists include Kei Miller for literature, and Jean Smith for her contribution to arts administration.
Silver Musgrave Medal awardee in the field of music, Ms. Paulette Bellamy (left), accepts her silver seal certificate from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, during the awards ceremony, held held at the Institute of Jamaica, in downtown Kingston, on October 14. This year, 12 Caribbean nationals were presented with Musgrave Medals, by the Institute of Jamaica, in recognition of notable contributions in the literary, scientific and
The 2009 bronze medalists were Wendy Lee for her contribution in environmental conservation; Diana McCaulay, for her contribution in environmental conservation; Marguerite Vernon for her work in the field of music; and Rhonda Welsh for needlecraft.
The Musgrave youth medal went to Courtney Foster for her contribution in community service.
Responding on behalf of the recipients, Professor Lewis said she accepted the award “with thankfulness and humility.”
“I am pleased to having been able to make a useful contribution to my adopted home, Jamaica, by way of expositions on its social and religious history,” she said.
She also commended the awardees for their self sacrifice and the selfless pursuit of excellence in the course of realising their God-given talents and community concerns.
“Giving to others is integral to the accomplishment of several of the awardees, who are engaged in passing on their gifts and their knowledge to others, even seeking the self realization not only of other human beings but also of the fish and birds of our environment,” she stated.
During the ceremony the audience, which included Their Excellencies, Governor-General, the Most Hon. Patrick Allen, and Lady Allen; former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga; Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby; and Chairman of the Institute, Professor Barry Chevannes; was treated to spectacular performances in dance by Nikita Johnson, drumming by Phillip Supersad, and singing by the Jamaica Youth Chorale.
The Musgrave award is one of the oldest awards of its kind in the western hemisphere. The medals are awarded every year to West Indian nationals, who have given distinguished service in the fields of art, science and literature and is in keeping with the Institute’s mandate to encourage excellence in these areas.
The awards are named for Sir Anthony Musgrave, who founded the Institute in 1879. The Musgrave Medals were first awarded in 1897.