by MacAndrew Clarke
On Saturday, October 15, at Tudor Hall, the Jamaican Ottawa Community Association (JOCA) hosted its annual National Heroes Awards Gala, to pay tribute to Jamaica’s past national heroes, and present day people who are working to improve life in the Ottawa community.
The Heroes Gala coincided with Jamaica’s National Heritage Week where the country honours and recognizes people for their work and dedication to improving life for Jamaicans. With Adrian Harewood as the MC, and Hull-Aylmer MP Greg Fergus as the keynote speaker, JOCA recognized select members from their organization based on their work for JOCA as well as their involvement in Ottawa community. The winners for this year were Andrew Clarke, Renford Jr., Myra Flash, Verna Brown, and Daphne Spencer, owner of a Touch of Class Fashion Gallery. Furthermore, an award was granted posthumously to honour the dedication and benevolence of JOCA member, Dianne Brown.
When asked about the objective of the event, Judith Healy, JOCA President stated: “We like our guests to reflect on the seven heroes of Jamaica as well as the heroes here in the community,” said Judith. In addition to the local Ottawa heroes, the seven national heroes of Jamaica that were honoured are: Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Washington Manley, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Sam Sharp, and Nanny of The Maroons. These heroes played a significant role in combatting slavery and colonialism in order to build and maintain an independent and free Jamaica.
Music was provided by David Supersound and Wally B. Photos were made available by the event’s official photographer, Katrice Bent, of Justice Productions Ottawa.
Photo credit: Katrice Bent
About the writer
MacAndrew Clarke holds a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science from Carleton University. Fluently bilingual in English and French, he has several years diverse communications and marketing experience from within the public, private, and non-profit sectors. MacAndrew Clarke has been a member of The Academy since December of 2015. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.