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 Reggae singer Marcia Griffiths with her insignia for the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander at King’s House in St Andrew, yesterday. (PHOTOS: GARFIELD ROBINSON AND JOSEPH WELLINGTON)—

THE local entertainment fraternity was well represented among the list of recipients at the National Honours and Awards investiture at King’s House in St Andrew, yesterday.

The brilliant October morning sunshine paled against the array of some of Jamaica’s leading proponents of the arts who ascended the dais mounted on the lawns of the official residence of the Governor General to receive their insignia.

The charge was lead by reggae veteran Marcia Griffiths who was regal in shades of purple as she received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander.

Also receiving awards in this category were theatre veteran Douglas Bennett; visual artist Laura Facey; poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (who was absent from the ceremony); and dancer Patsy Ricketts.

Bassist Phil Chen was more than pleased with the honor bestowed on him.

“This is a wonderful honor and award. I am humbled by it.”

He recalled his early days working with the group The Vagabonds and travelling to London in 1964 to promote ska.

“That tour, through my work with people like Count Prince Miller lead to a number of other gigs including being bass player for Rod Stewart for five year and other greats including The Who, Queen, The Bee Gees, The Doors, Ray Charles and Bb King.

“It is brilliant that Jamaica is choosing to recognising its artists in this way… just wonderful,” said Chen.

Dwight Pinkney

Dwight Pinkney

Other OD recipients were musician Robert ‘Bobby’ Ellis; guitarist Dwight Pinkney, sound system operator Winton ‘Wee Pow’ Powell and violinist Steven Woodham.

Pinkney, who is known for his low-profile demeanour, welcomed the award.

“I am so pleased and honored to receive this award… it is really appreciated,” he stated.

In the meantime, Woodham was also gracious in accepting his award.

“It is such a pleasure to receive this award, I have worked really hard over the years and to see that it has been recognised is really appreciated.”

— Richard Johnson

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