Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Living Legends of Jamaica

Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column by Jean Lowrie-Chin | 27 April 2015 .. and revised
Recipients of the 2015 CCRP (Caribbean Community for Retired Persons) Jamaica Living Legacy Awards celebrate with board representatives at the Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 23 at The Devonshire in Kingston. From left are: Mrs. Jean Lowrie-Chin, Founder/CEO, CCRP, Mrs. Merel Hanson, Dr. Badih Shoucair, Mrs. Beverly Hall-Taylor, Ambassador K.G. Anthony Hill, Mr. Ken Jones and Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer, Chairman, CCRP.
It was especially significant to me that the NHT and NSWMA Board appointments took place in the very same week that the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) recognized five of our finest as Living Legacies.  As we researched their achievements, we reflected that these patriots had given much to build this beloved country and that we must not allow their efforts to go to naught by turning a blind eye to corruption and poor governance.  

The awards ceremony was held at The Devonshire at Devon House, and we believe its original owner, George Stiebel, Jamaica's first Black millionaire, must have been smiling down to see our seniors enjoying his beautiful property. 
The five stalwarts included 
* 92-year-old Dr Badih Shoucair, who has served a wide cross section of Jamaicans, providing free service to the less fortunate, and compassionate guidance to many.  He declared that if he had his life to live over again, he would do it the very same way. 
* Ken Jones, the distinguished author and columnist for this very newspaper, reminded us of a simple truth: the present is the most important moment in which you can make a contribution, so do not waste your time regretting what is past or pining after the future. As a 68-year veteran of media, Ken Jones remains as relevant as ever in his commentaries, and his publications on Marcus Mosiah Garvey have distilled the important messages of Jamaica’s first National Hero.
* Ambassador K.G. Anthony Hill, legendary St. George’s footballer and career diplomat, serving Jamaica in posts around the world, has not rested on his laurels since retirement. He has been collaborating with yet another CCRP Living Legacy recipient, Nobel Laureate Professor Anthony Chen, to promote public awareness on climate change.  CCRP board member, economist Dennis Jones noted, “[Ambassador Hill] argued that the two issues of aging population and climate change pose Jamaica’s biggest challenge. He wondered if it was time to consider a National Retirement Service, so that those whose age meant that formal work may have to stop, would still have ample opportunities to give of their experience and energies.”
* Beverly Hall-Taylor, who retired as Executive Director of the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) in 2013, has been spearheading volunteer activities to assist the elderly and children in her Old Harbour Community.  Her advice to the audience: “Never let a day pass, without doing something for someone.”
* To honour founding director the late Syringa Marshall Burnett, CCRP named an annual award in her honour, the first of which was presented to Merel Hanson, past president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, and the only Jamaican nurse to have served on the Executive of the International Nursing Council.  Merel Hanson is now the acting chairman of the NCSC, and paid tribute to the memory of our unforgettable Syringa. 

At the end of the formalities, yet another CCRP ‘Living Legacy’, Ernie Smith, had the recipients and the audience on their feet.  Dennis Jones has Instagram posts of the action, so please check Dr Shoucair dancing up a storm with his beautiful daughter Odette!  

The event was held on the Fifth Anniversary of CCRP, which now has a membership of close to 1,400. Our Board of Directors are:
Most Hon. Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer - Chairman
Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall - Honorary Director
Mrs Jean Lowrie-Chin - Founder and CEO
Mrs Hermine Metcalfe
Mr Lester Spaulding
Mr Michael Fraser
Mrs Carmen Chen
Dr Owen James
Mr Dennis Jones
Mr Peter Mais.

Kudos to our Legacy Awards Committee members Mrs Vilma McDonald (who also served as MC), Mrs Annette Lewis, Mrs Dorett Linton and Mrs Angela Foote, as well as the staff of PROComm, the major sponsors and facilitators of this fast-growing organisation.

A big Thank You to sponsors of the Event -- PROComm, Ernie Smith, The Terra Nova Hotel, Novelty Party, The Grog Shoppe, Massy Distr. Limited, May Wines, Sports Video - Jose Walton, Ena Wong Sam & Company, and The Gleaner Company.
 Here is a link to a bit of Ernie Smith's performance.


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