BILL COTTON GETS A GONG!…. at the 2018 Guyana High Commission (UK) Awards


John Mair

At a glittering  2018 Guyana High Commission (UK) Awards ceremony at the Senate House in London recently, writer John Mair-better known in Guyana as ’Bill Cotton/Reform’– was rewarded for his ‘service to the community’. Mair pronounced himself ‘very chuffed’ to receive it. Many of his Guyanese family were there to support him.

In the last three years, Mair has put on fifteen events at the London High Commission on subjects ranging from Sir Wilson Harris to the Windrush Scandal and the art of Aubrey Williams.    

Speakers have included David Lammy MP, Pauline Melville, Clem Seecharan and Gina Miller-whom he ‘discovered’ for the Diaspora. ’The Brexit Lady’ Gina Miller, also received a GHC(UK) Award at the event. She is now the best known Guyanese person in Britain.

In the past, Mair has mounted forty events at the GHC and was instrumental in creating the ‘Guyanese Mafia’ moniker which has firmly stuck.

The awards themselves were invented in 2001 in the Black Bar of the Tower Hotel by David Dabydeen and Mair over a Banks or two to honour achievement in the small UK Disapora. They have sustained, In Guyana, Mair is best known for his satiric ‘Bill Cotton/Reform’ columns in the Stabroek News and for attempting (and failing) to bring some order and professionalism to the Wild West of Guyanese television. He was born and grew up in British Guiana of an ‘old Guianese’ family and is the holder of a Demerara Scholarship from 1961.

The next set of GHC(UK) awards will be in 2019.

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