Thursday, July 30, 2020

NAME OF FEATURE | THE GLEANER | THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020 5 THE BEST OF ‘EMANCIPENDENCE’ – CULTURE, CUISINE, PEOPL PROFESSOR DALE WEBBER PROFESSOR DALEWebber, respectedmarine sci- entist, administrator and educator, is the holder of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for outstanding contribution to environmental conservation. Barrington Lewis, chief executive officer of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, told The Gleaner , “He has served the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, The UWI and all the other entities he has worked with, with distinction, and is truly deserving.” Lewis’ sentiments were echoed by Professor Michael Taylor, dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, a physicist and himself a celebrated scientist. “Professor Webber is a stalwart in the environ- ment field and has been leading the charge for many years,” he noted. “His work on the coastal ecology on the polluted Kingston Harbour, for example, was groundbreaking ... . His work, which dealt with the water quality, really set the stage for howwe should treat this natural resource and what needs to be done for its preservation,”Taylor said. DR MANLEY ELISHA WEST OM, PHD (1929-2012) Dr Manley West, a pharmacologist, was re- nowned for his pioneering work in the develop- ment of medicine from the marijuana plant. In 1985, Dr West, along with Dr Albert Lockhart, an ophthalmologist, developed the drug Canasol from cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve. Canasol eye drops reduce the fluid pressure within the eye that is present in late-stage glau- coma. Canasol is noted for its natural composition and is a quarter of the price of other synthetic eye drops. Both men were awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican Government in 1987 for this achievement. In 1981, Dr West was awarded the Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Natural Sciences by the Institute of Jamaica. Dr West died on April 24, 2012. Source: JIS Our resilience in science and technology Mickella Anderson/Gleaner Writer WHAT IS it about Jamaicans that makes us so especially talented? In our 58 years of Independence, our people have contin- uously been front-runners on the global entertainment scene, whether it is with the release of a mega hit song or the take- over of an internationally recognised tal- ent contest. Locally, too, our journey to present day has seen many strides in the entertainment industry and, of course, we had to discuss a few: 1962 – THE BEGINNING OF THE MARLEY ERA IT ALL began in 1962 with the recording of four songs for local music producer Leslie Kong. Little did the teenager behind those tracks know that he would one day become a global icon and the trailblazer for a very grateful industry. Robert Nesta ‘Bob’Marley is today one of the most rec- ognised names in music and is probably the first name that comes to mind when some foreigners speak of Jamaica. His brief career inmusic saw him receivingmultiple global awards, including Album of The Century for Exodus by Time Magazine , induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and several others. Marley died in 1981 after battling cancer for some time. 1964 – MILLIE SMALL RELEASES ‘MY BOY LOLLIPOP’ The Clarendon-born Millie Small surely did make our hearts go ‘giddy up’ when her rendition of Barbie Gaye’s My Boy Lollipop , released inMarch, 1964, became a massive hit across the world. The catchy tune reached number two on both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold over seven million copies worldwide! Small received later successes in music which led to her, in 2011, receiving the Order of Distinction from the governor general for her contri- bution to the Jamaican music industry. She died on May 5 in England. 1966 – FESTIVAL SONG CONTEST TAKES OFF Around this time of year, many Jamaicans look forward to all that the na- tional independence celebrations have to offer, and within that range of activities, the national festival song competition, formerly the popular song competition, is usually a highlight. Who could forget the slow and smooth sounds of BamBam by the Maytals, the first-ever winners of the contest in 1966? Since then, other standouts have included Eric Donaldson’s 1971 mega track, Cherry Oh Baby and his 1978 release, This Is the Land of My Birth . What’s your favourite festival song? 1993 – REGGAE SUMFEST FIRST HELD Dubbed the greatest reggae show on earth, there is no denying that Reggae Sumfest has played a pivotal role in our musical identity after its take-off in 1993. Over the years, the Sumfest stage has been graced by some of the biggest stars in music like Rihanna, 50 Cent, Lionel Richie, Kanye West, Usher, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj and others. Sumfest prides itself on not only being the largest music festival in Jamaica but also the ‘most au- thentic reggae and dancehall festival’ in the world. 2013 – TESSANNE CHIN WINS ‘THE VOICE’ Her honourable mention of music being her‘bread and butter’cannot nearly com- plete the list of things that make songbird Tessanne Chin a gem in her own right. Most of us can remember her journey on the American talent contest, The Voice , and the amazement of her Season 5 vic- tory in 2013. Chin’s win was especially significant as Jamaicans and the diaspora connected efforts in soliciting votes which eventually led to her obtaining the high- est number of votes in Voice history! Talk about teamwork! 2020 – KOFFEE WINS A GRAMMY It’s Koffee’s world and we’re all just living in it! The year 2020 got off to a sweet start when Jamaican reggae crooner, Koffee, bagged the prestigious Grammy award for Best Reggae Album at only 19 years old. This makes her the first woman to take home the award that has existed since 1985, and the youngest reggae trophy recipient in history. BOOMING ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY 58 years strong Millie Small Professor Dale Webber