“Native Sons” Honors Awardees By: James R. Harrigan

By anguillian June 1, 2012 10:38

“Native Sons” Honors Awardees By: James R. Harrigan


James R. Harrigan

On May 26th 2012 a brilliant Saturday morning sun warmed the air and kissed the lush, dazzling landscape at Cuisinart Resort, while Native Sons proceeded just after 8:00 am to conduct their second Annual Awards Ceremony at the exquisite La Bristro Santarene Restaurant.

The ball got rolling as Jerry “Dice”Richardsonextended a warm welcome to the awardees, their family members and all the friends and sponsors in attendance. As is customary, this year’s awards ceremony paid special tribute to the lives and work of senior native personalities who had made indelible marks of excellence in their contributions toAnguilla’s early development, characterized by grueling years of hardship and struggle long before the renowned historic ’67 revolution.

Both Jerry “Dice” and Leroy Richardson, aka “Brother Lee”, are directors and partners of the culturally oriented foundation “Native Sons”. Together, they pay special tribute to persons in our society who have strong cultural backgrounds and, in particular, such selected cultural icons are generally featured on the Saturday morning Kool FM radio program, “Culturally Yours”, with Bother Lee as host.  Thus, last Saturday’s awards ceremony was broadcast live as a special Kool FM airing.

The five upon whom honor was bestowed this year were: Clara “Necie” Gumbs of Long Ground; Mabel Gumbs of the Quarter; Fr. Richard Fahie of theForest; Haraldo Harrigan of Little Dix; and Pastor Davis Lloyd of Island Harbour. In his opening remarks, Jerry “Dice” expressed his gratitude for the benefits that this admirable quintet contributed to the roots of our society. He noted, “All five of you have every pride to celebrate your hard work and the contributions you have made to the life of our people.”

Moderator of the event, Calvert Carty, made his opening remarks by commending the honorees with a quote from Max Ehrman’s poem “Desiderata”. He recited: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars you have a right to be here; and whether or not it is dear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  He continued to express approval of the hard work of the five honorees saying, “You have been given a talent to use upon the earth; and you were part of God’s plan for Anguilla long before you were born.”

The Moderator highlighted the talents and achievements of the awardees with emphatic praise. Haraldo was recognized for, among other things, being one of Anguilla’s prime butchers who energetically traveled all acrossAnguilla, driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship, upon a bicycle with meat and vegetables behind him on a carrier. Necie was applauded for the hard work she endured in assisting her husband, Fred, in repairing even the biggest truck tyres of the day, and she was complimented for passing on her inspiration which motivated her sons to be proprietors of today’s thrivingHighwayTyreCenter.

Mabel received due accolades as the chef behindAnguilla’s delectable corn-soup. It was noted how her hard work and dedication enabled her to be the pioneer of this flourishing native cuisine, the taste of which is enjoyed and appreciated both by locals and visitors alike. She was also praised for her skilful talents at the creative work of embroidery and knitting. She acquired such admirable skills from old Teacher Iris who taught the pupils of her day the techniques of creating such fascinating arts and crafts. Many pieces of Mabel’s craft productions were displayed to the appreciative gathering at the ceremony.

Fr. Richard Fahie was celebrated for his work at the Sombero Lighthouse in the days when the only communication with the barren rock was, every six weeks, by a visiting boat that brought supplies of “ration” and mail from theAnguillamainland. Just as well, Pastor Davis Lloyd received noteworthy compliments for his struggles in the boating trade withSt. ThomasandPuerto Rico. From these islands he supplied Anguilla with items of clothes, groceries and the like through his variety store inIslandHarbour. Noteworthy, also, was his dedicated work in the ministry of the church and his love for spreading the gospel over the years.

Other speakers at the awards ceremony included the Hon. Walcott Richardson, Minister of Home Affairs, who noted the value of culture to a community. He declared, “Culture is a common bond that brings people together, and I commend Native Sons for their devoted efforts in striving to highlightAnguilla’s culture and transmit its preservation to our future generations.”

Chris Richardson, Cuisinart’s Food & Beverage Manager, in his address, recognized genuine “kindness” to our visitors as the hallmark ofAnguilla’s indigenous culture.   Also addressing the gathering was Trevor Woodley, representing prime sponsor Caribbean Commercial Bank. He prided himself in the fact that his first exposure to Wall Street came as a result of his admiration of persons like Mabel, Haraldo and Pastor Lloyd who toiled tirelessly in their humble business ventures.

Other sponsors of the Native Sons awards ceremony included: LIME; Social Security; Webster Dyrud & Mitchell; Jumeirah; Pastor Cecil Richardson; J.A.G. Gumbs & Co.; Dental & Facial Aesthetics; Highway Car Rental; Thomas & Nicole Kelly; Paulette Harrigan Chambers; BeaRich Services; and Alex Richardson and Associates.

We all join together in congratulating our five native sons and daughters who were selected and hailed as 2012 proud recipients of well-deserving awards. We thank you, the recipients, for exercising your spirit of determination and tenacity over those dreary years of strain and struggle. Thanks for your stellar contributions to our humble development. May God continue to bless you, and may He blessAnguilla.


By anguillian June 1, 2012 10:38


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