Arts, entertainment fraternity members honoured at King's HouseTuesday, October 17, 2017
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
The local entertainment industry stood tall at yesterday's National Honours and Awards ceremony at King's House in St Andrew.
The music fraternity dominated the list of awardees from the creative industries with the highest award of the morning, the Order of Merit, going to Neville O'Reilly “Bunny Wailer” Livingston — an original member of The Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
Bunny Wailer, dressed in earth tones accented by traditional Rastafari colours of red, green and gold, was gracious after accepting the award from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.
“I am grateful to have been recognised by my country,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“It is truly a great feeling and I am honoured and will keep on playing this thing called reggae music,” he continued.
Bunny Wailer was the lone recipient of the Order of Merit — Jamaica's third-highest national award, after the Order of National Hero and the Order of the Nation. Both Marley and Tosh were posthumously awarded the Order of Merit.
The feeling of gratitude was a common theme in the responses from the recipients.
Actor Carl Bradshaw, who has performed in the majority of the films shot in Jamaica, received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer. He noted that the work was never done with an award in mind.
“I am just so honoured to be recognised in this way by my country. It is humbling to note that my work on screen is being recognised in this way,” said Bradshaw.
That sentiment was echoed by music industry insider Copeland Forbes.
“I never thought when I entered this music industry that I would be here receiving an award like this... it is so gratifying. To be recognised by my people for doing my part to spread the word about our music, is just wonderful and I am pleased.
Musician Rosina Moder was also filled with joy at being recognised.
“I am overwhelmed at being awarded. I have never done any of my work for this kind of recognition; I am just passionate about the music and it pleases me that others have seen it to recognise me with an award,” she noted.
Maxine Walters, whose vocation spans all areas of the creative industry including film, literature and music, was ecstatic.
“I am thrilled beyond words. I really can express how proud and amazed I am to be recognised for something that I do just for the love of it,” she declared.
“It is a great experience. It is always good to be honoured by your country for the work that you do and this all just puts the icing on the cake,” declared Clyde McKenzie, who was recognised for his service to the creative industry, media, and broadcasting.
Lloyd Stanbury was also humbled by the award, noting that he is pleased to have taken the path less trodden when he decided to take on the entertainment industry as an attorney.
Also receiving awards were Robert Russell, chairman of Reggae Sumfest, playwright Patrick Brown, local music pioneer Ferdinand “Bobby Little Bra” Gaynair, and popular stage actor Michael Nicholson.
Two recipients, musician Carlos Malcolm and dancehall artiste Joseph “Josey Wales” Sterling were absent from yesterday's event.