NYC: Dave Martins Heads GCA Awardees for 2019- By Francis Quamina Farrier

Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc- GCA Awardees for 2019

  • By Francis Quamina Farrier in New York

Musician, Composer and Columnist Dave Martins, AA, was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc. last Wednesday. The ceremony which was held at the Borough Hall in Brooklyn, New York City, was attended by a host of dignitaries, including Guyana’s Consul General in New York, Hon. Barbara Atherly, and other Guyanese associated with the performing and Visual Arts and Lovers of things Cultural.

Although not present in person to receive the physical award, Dave Martins was present in a larger than life image on a jumbo screen.   

His brief acceptance message to the GCA Awards Committee and the audience, which included many of his adoring fans, was about the founding of the Tradewinds Band and his fifty years in the entertainment industry. The applause at the end may have been heard way across the Caribbean Sea, to the Honeymooning Couple with glee.

Explaining “What We Do”, Chairman of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Dr. Vibert Cambridge stated, “Our Annual Awards represent our association’s sustained engagement with global Guyana. What we do is dependent on the community in which we live.” The GCA’s president also spoke of the Centenary Valerie Rodway Concert which was held in New York last Sunday, August 25, at the St. Gabriel’s Episcopal {Anglican) church. Valerie Rodway is one of Guyana’s celebrated composers of patriotic songs which includes “Oh, Beautiful Guyana”.

Many church choirs in New York performed at that concert last Sunday. Not from New York, the St. George’s Cathedral Choir travelled all the way from Guyana to New York for that special and historic concert to honor Guyanese composer, the late Valerie Rodway, on the occasion of her 100th. birth anniversary. The Concert was directed by Monty Blackmore, formally of the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, Guyana.

Also addressing the audience was the Chairperson of the  Awards Committee, Ronald Lammy, who explained the workings of the committee and how the Awardees are decided. “Visionary and characteristics are prominent across multiple generations”, and pointed out the inclusion of Youth Awards.

Among those also receiving Awards this year, were Former Chairman of the Department of Culture in Guyana, Mildred Lowe, Pianist, Composer and Music Educator, Hugh Sam, Dance Educator; Mohamed Amin, TV and Theatre Award Winner, Simone Dowding, Musician, Composer and actor Courtney Noel, and Learning Drumologist, Kenton Wyatt. Receiving the Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism were Mosa Telford, First Prize and Alex Arjoon Second Prize.  An Exemplary Award was presented to Stefan Bristol who has used his creativity in film production to showcase Guyanese talent.

Following that presentation much emotion overflowed between Bristol and his mother, to an equally emotional audience, Jonathan Locke, who together with Ronald Lammy, donated statuettes to the Awards for five years, Locke became emotional as he recalled his own mother working in Guyana in the visual arts for many years. Very unique this year, was the Father Ovril Solomon and his daughter Tunisia Solomon, who were both recipients of Awards for their contributions to Steelpan music. Tee Tee Solo as the daughter is also known, is a singer and composer.

There was also a moment of Silence at the Ceremony to the Memory of two former GCA Awardees who recently passed away; Folklorist, Cultural Educator and author, Peter Kempadoo and Entertainer Johnny Braff, who only this year was bestowed with a National Award.



Music and Culture Educator and retired Chairman of the Department of Culture, Mildred Lowe

Jumbo size screen with electronic image of singer/ songwriter Dave Martins, delivering his brief acceptance speech to an attentive and admiring audience.

An active member of the Theatre Guild and an Award Winning Radio actress Simone Dowding (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

International Dancer and Educator Mohamed A. Amin, AKA Zaman, is a pioneer in multi-ethnic craft. (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

Historic Father/Daughter Honorees Ovril Solomon and his Daughter Tunisia (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • kamtanblog  On 09/07/2019 at 9:41 pm

    Wow wow !
    On behalf of HRH QE2 of UK
    Please allow me to award Dave
    a well deserved “knighthood” for his
    contribution to WI culturally!
    Sir Dave Martins
    The Guyana high commission should make
    the recommendation to HRH QE2 ASAP.

    My this wonderful man live forever in the
    hearts and minds of all guyanese wherever
    they reside.

    Kamtan UK/spain

  • Kman  On 10/01/2019 at 7:38 pm

    Dave won’t accept knighthood, as he would be betraying his countrymen and women. Long story of slavery!

    • kamtanblog  On 10/01/2019 at 7:59 pm

      HRH QE2 cannot be held responsible
      for the enslaving of mankind.
      Did her grandmother not free slaves.?
      Today slavery continues in “slave labour “
      sweat shops all over the planet. Today
      We have zero hours contract of employment
      another form of slavery !
      Mans inhumanity to mankind soon to be
      replaced by robots. Go figure !
      We have a Nobel prize for peace yet
      Wars continue ! Explain ?
      The hypocrisy of it all !
      It is for DM to accept or refuse the honour of
      knighthood from the present/current monarch.

      • Ken Persaud  On 10/01/2019 at 10:12 pm

        Kamtan, you need to work on your knowledge. You want Dave Martins recommended for knighthood.
        Dave does not qualify for knighthood because Guyana is a republic. The queen is not the head of state of republics.

        Dave is an educated person and it is unlikely that he wood accept such honorific if it was granted, in my view.


      • kamtanblog  On 10/02/2019 at 1:45 am

        LFSB declared Guyana a republic after
        USA/.UK intervention/invasion of BG.
        Cheddi was democratically elected/removed
        /replaced by the UK/USA collaboration/conspiracy.
        LFSB then used Peter Daguiar to form
        coalition government prior to independence.
        Isn’t it an irony that today UK is fighting
        for independence from EU. Brexit !

        Today HRH QE2 remains head of state.
        Guyana el presidente is head of state.
        LFSB declared Guyana a republic post
        independence…but Guyana remains a
        member of the commonwealth of nations.

        After Brexit HRH QE2 will remain as head
        of state UK with no written constitution.
        Her role remains a formality…ceremonial.
        While most of the world executed their
        Royals UK has kept theirs.
        After Brexit hopefully UK next head of
        state will be elected not succeeded.
        Power return to the people.
        HRH QE2 knighthood is but a ceremonial
        award like that of El Presidente of Guyana.

        Am sure Dave understands the above.
        He has the choice to accept or reject
        any knighthood.
        History is usually written by the victors.
        History re-written by the victims

        Go figure


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: