Ronald H. Lammy,

Chairman, GCA Awards Committee

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Celebrating our heritage has been a joyous affair at all GuyFolk New York Festivals. On each anniversary, the festivities fall under a theme relevant to Guyanese culture: we sing; we dance; we talk; we laugh; we look; we see; we eat; we drink and then we leave feeling good from the affirmation of our native traditions. 2013 will have these features but our activities will be somewhat tempered for two reasons. One of our stalwart members passed just weeks before the FolkFest program began. Maurice Braithwaite served in many substantive roles and Award Committee membership was just one. He lived a life that personified all aspects of sacrifice, hope, and togetherness.

These very noble characteristics in an individual permit us to celebrate the person’s contribution as a compatriot.  In the context of Guyana’s national experience, however, and specifically for the five thematic events being marked this year, we are spotlighting those inherently painful episodes as reminders of fortitude and valor. Our manner, then, is a less celebratory one.

The 2013 GCA Awards acknowledges this year’s national commemoration of anti-slavery uprisings and rebellions, and the arrivals of indentured laborers. It is fitting to salute, most humbly, our forbearers who survived the absurd barbarity of slavery and the brutality of indentureship. Today’s Guyana is a society of the descendants of those experiences who joined the first natives – Amerindians – to forge a common identity. Collectively they all proudly stand as Guyanese. It is with this contemporary backdrop that we say thank you to our Awardees in their respective fields.

Recipients of the 2013 Guyana Cultural Association Awards are Elfrieda Bissember, Wayne Martin Daniels, Orissa Denny, Merlene Ellis, Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Ph.D, Peter Halder, Melanie A. Headley & Mellessa O. Headley, Marlon A. Jardine, Oonya Kempadoo, Michael Khan, Clive Lloyd, Honorable Marty Markowitz, Metroplus Health Plan, Tony Ricardo, and Collin “Bumble” Wharton.

The Awardees demonstrated accomplishments as performing and visual artistes, educators and scholars, cultural enablers, public service administrators, writers and novelists, music composers, community service volunteers, and in sports. In some individuals impressive achievements were completed in more than one area of specialization.

In special recognition of their sterling contributions in their respective professions and avocations three honorees were selected for two designations. Clive Lloyd and Peter Halder are recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Collin “Bumble” Wharton, the Exemplary Award.

2013 Guyana Cultural Association Lifetime Achievement Award – Clive Lloyd

Clive Lloyd has enjoyed a distinguished career in international cricket. His record breaking successes were earned through a combination of personal and team efforts across communities in Guyana, the Caribbean, and worldwide. Mr. Lloyd exhibited a blend of commendable leadership styles – inspirational, pacesetting, and coaching – that resulted in a remarkable legacy. In addition to leading his teams of talented players he performed on par with many of his contemporaries in their respective positions as batsmen and fielders.  It all aggregates to a hallmark of excellence that will serve as model for a long time. Guyanese in all walks of life are proud of his accomplishments.

2013 Guyana Cultural Association Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Halder

Peter Halder is the pen name of Burnett Alexander Halder who has enjoyed a multi-faceted career.  In Guyana and overseas, he moved in a path of upward professional mobility that is outstanding. Starting in his early teens, he has lived and worked with people of dissimilar racial, ethnic, cultural and national characteristics. The vocational corridors he tread took him across various physical and intellectual geographies: from journalist to civil service administrator to ambassador to international relations consultant. In his formal retirement, Mr. Halder resumed writing and is now a published novelist. Personal resilience and leadership skills focused on harmony are characteristics of his life. Guyanese on learning of Peter Halder’s quiet and effective diplomatic practice join the international community to hold him in high esteem.

2013 Guyana Cultural Association Exemplary Award – Collin “Bumble” Wharton

Collin “Bumble” Wharton has demonstrated “creativity, initiative, and dedication” in a musical career that spans decades. His “family influence and traditions” and early performances with giants of popular music in Guyana, and the Caribbean, helped to confirm his distinctive style. In a period when that genre was transitioning from the woodwind orchestras of the prior generations, Mr. Wharton carved an individual niche. He created an innovative guitar sound using the contemporary technology.  At a time of several emerging electric bands, Collin Wharton solidified his place in Guyana’s music history with his own compositions. He performed with popular ensembles as the lead guitarist and formed his own band Bumble and the Saints. It was one of the most admired pop groups of the era.

2013 AWARDEES                                     DESIGNATION

Elfrieda Bissember                                   Cultural Enabler

Wayne Martin Daniels                             Artiste, Education

Orissa Denny                                             Youth

Merlene Ellis                                              Artiste

Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Ph.D                    Education

Peter Halder                                              Lifetime Achievement

Melanie A. Headley

& Mellessa O. Headley                            Education, Community

Marlon A. Jardine                                    Artiste

Oonya Kempadoo                                     Artiste

Michael Khan                                            Artiste

Clive Lloyd                                                Lifetime Achievement

Hon. Marty Markowitz                          Cultural Enabler

Metroplus Health Plan                          Cultural Enabler

Tony Ricardo                                           Artiste

Collin “Bumble” Wharton                          Exemplary


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