(L-R) Brian Heap, Dr Hazel Bennett and Douglas Bennett—

COME next Monday three Jamaicans — librarian and author Dr Hazell Bennett, advertising executive and writer Anthony Gambrill, and theatre producer Douglas Bennett — will receive the Philip Sherlock Centre Award.

The award, which was instituted last year, recognises persons whose work is similar in spirit to that of Sir Philip — wide-ranging in their areas of interests and have made a contribution to national development and culture.

According to Brian Heap of the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of the West Indies, it is hoped that by honoring people who are at the end of their careers it will serve to inspire young Jamaicans.

“What this award says is that, despite your circumstances, work with what you have and you can still produce great results. When you look at this year’s honourees they are a living testament to a diversity of interests, just like Sir Philip. When you see how important culture was to Sir Philip, we felt that students needed to know more about him and by honoring people who work in a similar manner, we bring his contribution into focus,” he said.

Speaking to each of this year’s recipients, Heap noted that they are all more than deserving.

“Douglas Bennett, who received a national award this year, is a stalwart of the Jamaican theatre, particularly the Jamaica Junior Musical Theatre Company and his work is truly worthy of the honour. What is interesting is his how he has inspired a younger generation within the organisation. That company is now looking to its new production, a collaboration with Tuff Gong, and it proved that they are not just copying other people but can create new stuff,” he noted.

Regarding Anthony ‘Tony’ Grambrill, Heap drew attention to his work as a writer and actor in addition to his pioneering work as an advertising executive.

“When one examines the work Gambrill did with his wife Linda in producing Skywritings (Air Jamaica’s in-flight magazine). The publication was a great promoter of Jamaican culture and, even though it is no longer published, it is in libraries and archives and stands as a piece of history and a legacy for future generations.

Turning to Dr Bennett, Heap said her work as both a librarian and author makes her worthy of the award this year.

Last year’s recipients were musician, composer and choir director Noel Dexter, theatre practitioner Jean Small, and ethnomusicologist Marjorie Whylie.

– By Richard Johnson


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