The Jamaican Consulate in Toronto, Canada, presented 14 individuals and one organisation, with the Jamaica Community Service Awards, for outstanding contribution in several of fields and to the community, as part of activities commemorating Jamaica’s Emancipation Day celebrations.
The awards were presented by Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Robert Montague; Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Evadne Coye; and Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner, during a brief ceremony at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, on Emancipation Day, August 1.
Recipients of awards were: President of Jamaica Visionaries Association, Delgado Cunningham-Chambers for Philanthropy; Master Mechanic, Aston Donaldson for Trades; Actor and Playwright, Devon Haughton for Arts/Entertainment; Chief of Medicine at Toronto Western Hospital, Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong for Health; Youth Activist, Orlando Lopez for Youth Development; Head of Ontario’s Security Threat Group Criminal Intelligence Unit, David Mitchell for Justice; Vice-President of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations, Olive Parkins-Smith for Social Work; retired teacher, Neville Prowde for Education; Editor and Publisher of Spectrum newspaper, Ewart Walters for Media; and Psychiatric Nurse, Nessalee Wheatle for Work with Special Populations. The late Dillon Stennett received a posthumous award for outstanding community service, which was presented to his family.
The United Achievers’ Club received an award for services to the community; while three non-Jamaicans – Harvey and Linda Gellman, and Don Panos – were presented with awards for services to the Jamaican community.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye (right) presents the Jamaica Community Service Award for Justice, to Mr. David Mitchell, head of Ontario’s Security Threat Group Criminal Intelligence Unit, for outstanding contribution to the administration of Justice, at the presentation ceremony in Toronto, Canada on Emancipation Day, August 1.
Addressing the function, Mr. Montague congratulated the awardees, noting that they were being honoured for their outstanding service and contributions to their peers and fellow Jamaicans.
“Please continue to replicate your creativity, ingenuity, and hard work wherever you go. And in so doing, broaden the sphere of the impact of your outstanding and distinguished community service,” he urged.
The Minister said that the awardees were being ushered into the hall of fame of individuals who have served their people well, such as T.P. Lecky, Mary Seacole, Herb McKenley, Barrington Irving, Perry Henzel, Donald Quarrie, Louise Bennett-Coverley, and Jamaica’s National Heroes.
Consul General, Anne-Marie Bonner said it was significant that the awards were being presented as part of the Independence celebrations and on Emancipation Day, noting that paying tribute to persons who serve is an important part of building national identity and individual empowerment. Describing the awardees as “unsung heroes”, the Consul General noted that they have done many important deeds to help make the lives of others better, “giving of themselves with love and humility.”
Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s Emancipation Day message was read by Ms. Coye.