I thoroughly enjoyed the awards ceremony for Guyanese in England
Stabroek News
October 19, 2001

Dear Editor,

On Saturday 13th October 01, I had the good fortune to be present in London at the first Guyana High Commiss-ion (UK) Awards. The event was held to honour the achievements made by Guyanese in the UK. I was pleased that at last some recognition was given to those Guyanese who have excelled in their profession, despite the hardships they must have faced when they came here. I was grateful to the High Commissioner, Mr Laleshwar Singh for organising the event.

The awards were presented by the First Lady, Mrs Uma Jagdeo, whose equanimity did not betray the nervousness she later confessed to feeling. Guyanese both at home and abroad can feel proud that we have such a strong reservoir of talent, which must in many ways be attributed to the spirit of determination and the will to succeed fostered by our beloved Guyana. The ceremony reflected a cherished oneness and connectivity with our homeland for Guyanese in the Diaspora. But what I found particularly promising was that there were Guyanese of every extraction and affiliation assembled to celebrate individual and thus our collective achievements. The emphasis was not denominational, but focused on excellence, creativity, diversity of achievements and a peacock feathering of talent.

The awardees were as follows:

Dr Edward Adams, Pandit Hardeo Tiwari, Abdool Alli, Balmati Pooran-Singh, David Rudolph Grant, John Agard, Narendra Bhairo, Air Commodore David Case (very pleasant, smiley man!), Howard Eastman, Dr Wilson Harris (Nobel Prize for literature would be much deserved and long overdue!), Ramjohn Holder, Joyce Ferdinand- Lalljie (a distinguished pianist), Herman Nurse (a small presence with large pursuits weightlifting; he received big cheers from everyone), Avinash Persaud, Daphne Steele (the first Black matron in the UK), Keith Waithe, Professor David Dabydeen, Dr Mahendra Deonarine, Dr Rajendra Persaud and Lord Herman Ouseley.

I have deliberately included all the awardees because it should be noted that whilst some of them are well known, the lesser known ones have worked just as hard to claim their success. I hope this will inspire other Guyanese, as it does me, to reach beyond the limits of their potential to achieve the very best. I eagerly await the next such occasion.

Yours faithfully,

Michelle Stoby