THE arts and entertainment fraternities were well represented at this year’s national honours and awards ceremony and investiture at King’s House in St Andrew yesterday.
Among the recipients of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander were Chris Chin of VP Records, who was awarded for his outstanding work in the music industry both locally and internationally.
Dub poet Mutabaruka was also honoured for his work in the fields of literature, dub poetry and journalism. Dr Lilieth Nelson was recognised for her contribution to education, literature and Jamaican folk culture, while sculptor Basil Watson received the CD for his contribution to Jamaican art.
Proponents of the arts also received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer (OD).
It was a tearful Bouvier Clark, widow of Third World front man William “Bunny Rugs” Clark, who accepted the posthumous award for her husband’s contribution to the Jamaican music industry locally and internationally.
“I know if Mr Clark was here he would be tremendously honoured… it is a well-deserved award. He has done great work for reggae music and for Jamaica, and has represented his country with excellence. So, I know he would be pleased with this recognition for his work over the years,” said Clark in-between sobs.
Another widow rose to accept the award for the work of her husband. June Isaacs proudly received the OD on behalf of the “Cool Ruler” Gregory Isaacs for his outstanding contribution to the Jamaican music industry both locally and internationally.
“ Wow! I am so very proud to accept this honour… very proud,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “If he were here to accept, he would be over the moon.”
Renowned organist Dwight McBean rounded out the list of awardees from the arts. He was also invested with the OD for his contribution to music education and organ music in Jamaica.
Two other recipients — Dr David Boxer, who received the Order of Jamaica for his contribution to Jamaican art, and painter and vocalist Cecil Cooper, who received the CD — were presented with their insignia prior to yesterday’s ceremony due to ill health. Cooper subsequently died last month.