Cultural stalwarts receive Golden Drum Awards

Leroy Charles with president Savarin at the ceremony
Leroy Charles with president Savarin at the ceremony

Dominica’s highest cultural award has been bestowed upon four individuals who have been instrumental in promoting and developing Dominica’s culture.

On Wednesday evening, president of Dominica, Charles A. Savarin, presented the Golden Drum Award to 2012 Cultural Elder of Warner Henry Alexander for the Preservation of Traditional Arts, radio announcer and DJ Leroy “Wadix” Charles for the Promotion of Creole Music and Language, Noreen Joseph for theatre and preservation of Culture, and former Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence, received a standing ovation, for Cultural Leadership and Development.

The awardees were encouraged to remain committed to making a difference in their communities and districts by acting Chief Cultural Officer, Jacinta David.

“Our culture must continue to play a major role in Dominica’s development thrust and to help build and strengthen our sense of national pride and national identity,” she stated. “Our culture must also continue to play a major role in uniting the Dominican family for development. It is our strength and our heritage.”

Henry Alexander about to receive his award
Henry Alexander about to receive his award

She added that the Golden Drum Awards forms part of the Emancipation Celebrations which celebrate freedom.

In the meantime, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Marcella Powel, explained that the Golden Drum symbolizes the drum in the fight for freedom and in the celebration of that freedom, gained 180 years ago.

“In issuing these awards we recognize and say thank you for your sterling contribution to culture,” she stated. “We know this is not the end of the road. You are still very much involved in developing and promoting our culture. This demonstrates your passion for the arts and culture.”

Powel added that the awardees’ passion has been their driving force throughout the years. She pointed out that this year’s Golden Drum ceremony coincides with the 180th anniversary of the abolition of slavery and the 200th anniversary of the death of Jacko, Dominica’s paramount maroon chief which are two important milestones in Dominica’s history.

She noted further that the Golden Drum ceremony is one of the ways that as a people Dominicans have been seeking to overcome one of the effects of slavery, “that is the oppression of our cultural identity.”

Additionally, five individuals were presented with Special Recognition Awards.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Marcella Powell presented these awards to Imelda Aaron for Cultural Leadership and Promotion of Steel Pan Music, Algernon “Ras Algie” Adams for Performance and Visual Arts, Lesslassa Armour-Shillignford for Excellence in Queen Pageantry, Peter Letang for Music, and Petros Meaza for Promotion and Development of Arts.

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  1. Nostalgia
    August 1, 2014

    Congrats to all. Way to go Mr Henry. Warner rule

  2. hulop
    August 1, 2014

    W adix… that suit. I don’t know.

  3. Shorty
    July 31, 2014

    Contracts and well deserved Wadico.
    I remembered guys like you ole and Darel Toulon at Saint Mary’s Academy in theatre and sports.
    I also remember bug walk parties you guys had during school days and recall WWadico singing calypso against Duncan Stowe .
    When i heard you were getting an award Wadix I was ecstatic and told my children this guy truly deserves this.
    Though i reside in the states, I make it a part of my
    weekend to listen to you every Friday and Saturday’s for my my good zouk and compas . Continue to persevere my school mate in make our alma Mata proud. I know guys like Ronald masala Paul and papa ballads are proud in heaven .Congrats Wadico .

  4. JJ
    July 31, 2014

    Well done Peter “Pigtail” Letang,

  5. PSV
    July 31, 2014

    congratulations to you Peter, never knew you had done so much.
    Well deserved, keep it up.

  6. leader
    July 31, 2014

    Anonymous stop behaving like a toyless child.
    What has the man done to you?
    You seem extremely jealous of his achievements .
    For your own selfish reasons you keep trying to bring down Wadix. Allow the man to enjoy his moment of glory in peace.
    Your level is showing comment after comment and stop hiding behind anonymous and be positive. You had nothing to say this time you comment on outfit.
    What about the outfit of the rest ?
    If you are not bias comment on the rest.
    I guess with all negative energy you would not dare have attended.
    Be positive for once Wadix deserved to be awarded and lets the moment be honoured like it was meant to be.
    I have your back prince Wadix deserved

  7. Tipapa
    July 31, 2014

    I support your comments Cultural Guru. Certainly, if she is the Ms Wob, she did not have a clue to what she was participating in. Its pathetic I must say. Not a good sign at all.
    To Wadix (Choice respected) but if you wanted to wear madras (Black & White) it would have been much better with a black pant and given the occasion a bright madras with a black pant would really take it.

  8. July 31, 2014

    Seeing Monsignor Thomas injected his 5 cent piece at Gifford’s funeral , I see no reason I cannot inject mine in the golden drum award.
    On Wednesday evening, president of Dominica, Charles A. Savarin, presented the Golden Drum Award. President Savarin should have auto awarded self for theatre and preservation of the DLP from falling victim to another 1977 type strike of the civil servant two weeks ago. by joining the Neo-DLP in 2000 and working his way to the highest office in the land. Charlo you good.
    don’t forget to nominate Charlo next yr if change doesn’t come. LMAO and SMH simultaneously.

    • July 31, 2014

      If anyone deserves it Ray does.

  9. grell
    July 31, 2014

    Wadix congrats,sensay season man,what a colorful suit.

  10. Cultural Guru
    July 31, 2014

    But wait a minute…..Isn’t this the Ms. Wob 2013 handing the awards to the President? Now this is the highest Cultural award right? operative word being “Culture” So how on Gods green earth is this so called Ms wob standing there in a contemperary gown? Isn’t she aware that the Wob dwiyet is a formal wear and is to be won on such occassions? If you participated because you figured its another pageant you had ample time to learn about the dress and the heritage of Dominica during your reign of Ms. Wob.
    I am pived by this.

    • stupzz
      July 31, 2014

      why don’t you just congratulate the people and shut up. The woman is not in the capacity as former Ms. Wob, this is the dress code of the Sisserou Singers who performed at the Ceremony. She was obviously just helping out to hold the award to hand it to Savarin… it’s just that the pic that was posted she was the one at the time handing over the award…there were other ladies doing the same thing….. SMDH

  11. Anonymous
    July 31, 2014

    OMG! what a fashion fail for Wadix. a Plaid/madrass suit. it’s too much

    • July 31, 2014

      That ought not to have been a surprise to you!
      Noni Must. Some have it others don’t so don’t even try.

    • Virgin Islands
      July 31, 2014

      stop this negativity.

    • leader
      July 31, 2014

      While you continue to be an A . The guy is excelling

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