A proud moment

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A proud moment

Musgrave medallists bask in award

Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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It was all smiles as seven individuals proudly accepted their awards at this year's Musgrave Medals presentation ceremony, held at Institute of Jamaica's lecture hall in downtown Kingston last Wednesday.

The event, which is the oldest of its kind in the Western hemisphere, was established in 1889 as a memorial to former governor of Jamaica, Sir Anthony Musgrave.

This year 10 persons were awarded medals of gold, silver and bronze, as well as the Musgrave Youth Award. However three of the recipients — scientist Professor Geoff palmer, musician Professor Douglas Ewart and composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga — were unable to attend the event.

Those present were musician Winston Ewart and The University of the West Indies lecturer Dr Michael Bucknor, who received gold medals; publisher Shirley Carby and scientist Professor Tara Dasgupta who were silver medal recipients; and environmentalist Dr Susan Otuokon and writer A-dZiko Simba Gegele who received the bronze medal. Educator Santana Morris received the youth award.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer following the event Ewart, who is a renowned organist and director of the National Chorale of Jamaica, noted how special it was to be singled out for the prestigious award.

“First of all this award was unexpected, but at the same time it is a pleasurable delight. Sitting there and hearing the citation being read I kept thinking what could I have done differently, but I am really pleased with this award. Right now I'm just going with the flow. As it relates to the 'National Chorale', right now we are preparing for our November concert season, doing works by Brahms, a different sort of musical frontier — not religious, it is secular and exciting music, and music that I think Jamaicans generally need to be exposed to,” he shared with the Jamaica observer.

Responding on behalf of his fellow awardees Bucknor referred to the moment as an extraordinary privilege.

“We all want to thank the institute for singling us out, taking the time to peek at our work and then to say 'well done'. We are aware that we are part of a large group of people who work at their craft with dedication. From what I see, we are people of passion; we love what we do. This honour is in the bright light of recognition, but the real reward is in the work itself...its joys and challenges and it's results; the ways in which we held to make this world a better place through scientific discovery, historical preservation, musical expression, creative outpouring and the value we place on books,” he noted.

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