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Mr. Mike Mansoor’s Speech at the 2011 Laureate’s Announcement

Mr Michael Mansoor’s Remarks at the 2011 Announcement.

Good morning everyone, it is a pleasure to be with you here this morning to announce the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence 2011 Laureates. This is an occasion for celebration in more ways than one. First of all, for our new Laureates, of course, to whom you will be introduced shortly. But secondly, and significantly, this is the first year of our transition to a yearly cycle from a biennial cycle.

The Awards, as some of you might know, began in 2006. Their purpose was to seek out, reward, and bring to the light of public knowledge the exceptional work being done by our own Caribbean people, right here in the Caribbean in the arts, sciences, and public works.

Our first set of Laureates were Trinidadian filmmaker, Yao Ramesar, Trinidadian/Jamaican missionary Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, and Jamaican medical scientist, Prof Terrence Forrester.

Two years later, in 2008 we made four awards: to Prof David Dabydeen of Guyana in Arts & Letters, Claudette Richardson Pious of Jamaica and Annette Arjoon of Guyana shared the Public and Civic Contributions prize, and Mr James Husbands of Barbados took the Science and Technology Prize

And last year, we awarded Mr Adrian Augier of St Lucia the Arts & Letters prize, Mr Sydney Allicock, of Guyana the Public & Civic Contributions prize, and Prof Kathleen Coard, a Grenadian, the Science & Technology prize.

Before I name the laureates for 2011, let me just give you a little idea of how these awards work: The Caribbean Awards for Excellence is the first awards programme which canvases the whole English-speaking Caribbean for persons in the fields of arts, sciences, and public works. It is an initiative of the ANSA McAL Foundation, and is fully funded by them.

Potential nominees are selected and screened by nominating committees in five territories: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS, and Trinidad & Tobago. The country committees are comprised of professionals, academics, and persons highly regarded in their communities. Each committee selects one nominee in each of the categories, and presents their credentials to a regional panel of eminent persons. The chairs of the country committees are

  • Dr Basil Springer, Barbados
  • Dr David Singh, Guyana
  • The Hon Barbara Gloudon, Jamaica
  • HE Charles Maynard, The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
  • Mr Brian Lewis, Trinidad & Tobago
  • The Eminent Persons Panel, which was first chaired by the late Sir Ellis Clarke, then makes the final selections. The panel is presently chaired by me, and includes:
  • Justice Christopher Blackman (Barbados),
  • Sir Shridath Ramphal (Guyana),
  • Prof Compton Bourne (Guyana)
  • Mr Christopher Bovell (Jamaica),
  • Mrs Judy Chang (Trinidad & Tobago),
  • Sr Paul D’Ornellas (Trinidad & Tobago),
  • Gen Joe Singh (Guyana),
  • Sir K Dwight Venner (OECS), and
  • Rev Dr Henry Charles (Trinidad & Tobago).

All stages of the nomination and selection processes are independent of the ANSA McAL Foundation.

We have now named enough Laureates for our criteria to speak for themselves: the nominees must have an exceptional track record, their work must be original, it must add value to the Caribbean peoples’ lives, it must be accessible to and useable by the Caribbean and beyond, and it must be recognized as such by authorities in the field.

Having said all that, let me get to the highlight of the morning and introduce our 2011 Laureates.

Our first Laureate in Arts & Letters is Dr Kim Johnson of Trinidad & Tobago. Dr Johnson is a researcher, filmmaker, and academic who has produced research works of history, sociology, and on social issues. His main project is a decade-long project on the Steelband movement in Trinidad, which he has written about, published, and continues to produce works on. Dr Johnson is a Research Fellow at the University of Trinidad & Tobago.

Our second Laureate in Public and Civic Contributions is Dr Lennox Honychurch of Dominica. Dr Honychurch is best known for his textbooks, The Caribbean People which have
been used by a generation of secondary school children. Additionally Dr Honychurch is a conservationist who works on creating sustainable heritage tourism, a museologist who works to preserve our historical heritage in museums throughout the region, and an academic historian and archaeologist. His work reaches across the entire region, as does his reputation.

Our third Laureate in Science and Technology is Prof Surujpal Teelucksingh of Trinidad & Tobago. Prof Teelucksingh is a teacher at the UWI, St Augustine Medical School, a medical researcher, and a highly respected clinician. He has done ground-breaking work on the management of Chronic Non Communicable Disease throughout the region, and his work on Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome is used as a guide to the treatment of these diseases throughout the region and he has helped UWI to redesign its assessment procedures to train better doctors.

I thank you for your attention.

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