AS honorees mingled with dignitaries and well-wishers after Monday’s Ceremony of Investure and Presentation of National Honours and Awards at King’s House, Lord Creator sat quietly in a wheelchair, preparing to make his exit from the tent that housed the ceremony.
The Trinidadian singer-songwriter received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class), Jamaica’s sixth-highest honour, for his contribution to Jamaican music. It got here 60 years after he wrote and recorded Independent Jamaica, a song celebrating the country’s independence from Britain.
“It is a blessed feeling; I used to be not expecting this. I’m so proud. Jamaica means a lot to me… I’m married to a Jamaican woman, I even have Jamaican children. Every little thing about me is Jamaican — I just adore it here,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Lord Creator was amongst a handful of entertainment figures honoured by the Jamaican Government. Others were Entertainment Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, pianist Monty Alexander, and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph who were awarded the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fifth-highest honour.
Alexander, who’s on tour, didn’t attend but Grange and Ralph wore splendid outfits to simply accept their awards. The Emmy-winning Ralph, who was born in america to an American father and Jamaican mother, wore a figure-hugging yellow costume.
Grange, who was wearing an Afrocentric brown gown, said receiving an OJ is “an ideal feeling”.
She added that, “The indisputable fact that I’m receiving this award within the sixtieth anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence signifies that my contribution through the years has been recognised.”
Anthony “Chips” Richards, former marketing man at Trojan Records in the UK, was one other OD (Officer Class) recipient. Highlights of his profession include helping Ken Boothe’s Every little thing I Own reach primary in that country in 1974, and introducing reggae to West Africa and Japan within the late Nineteen Seventies.
“When these items are bestowed upon you, not only is it an honour, it is a privilege. To assume that in your life’s journey you never expected anything like this, words cannot express,” said Richards, who was born in central Kingston.
Dancehall deejay Jeffrey “Agent Sasco” Campbell also received an OD (Officer Class) for portraying a positive image and producing songs with uplifting messages. He told the Observer that this was at all times his objective.
“I made a deliberate effort to focus on what I can do to make an impact on my country in alternative ways. This sort of award is an encouragement to [do] much more,” said Agent Sasco.
Other recipients of the 2022 OD are poet Kwame Dawes (Commander Class), singer Myrna Hague-Bradshaw, playwright Basil Dawkins, poet-folklorist Amina Blackwood-Meeks, and film and technical production veteran John Swaby (all within the Officer Class).
Delroy Williams received a Badge of Honour for long and faithful service to non secular music.
Roughly 143 individuals received national awards on Monday.