Antigua and Barbuda’s 2015 National Awardees – how’d the arts fare?

So, mini-rant… Why is it so hard to get information on the national awardees the day of the awards? If you miss the broadcast or even the repeat of the broadcast, and yes even the live stream, or were too lame to get out to the stadium to see it live, you should be able to access the information (in a readable format which I prefer anyway) almost as soon as it’s announced. This is the era of now-now-right-now social media after all. I cooped the Government’s (and every government adjacent) facebook page well into the night on November 2nd and even posted a call for information on my fb just in case there was something posted and I was looking in the wrong place…nothing…Google didn’t come through for me either. Yes, yes, yes, the traditional media will have it the day after, but, really, is the information you seek will be available on the next business day how information flows these days?
Rant over.
Congratulations as always to the awardees. Because this is an arts site, I’ll single out especially the arts awardees, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing in my days on the beat…maybe I’ll dig up those articles somewhere…but nuff respect to Manning for keeping Hell’s Gate, the oldest and longest running pan orchestra in the world going for 70 years and for keeping the craft of pan building alive, and big up to Mr. Hampson for his Le Chateau d’Or which has served as a nursery – a feeder pool for a whole generation of pannists and has been instrumental not only in nurturing the youth but in helping to nurture a cultural art form we’re proud to call the only original musical invention of the 20th century. And pan’s not all he does…

Hampson puts members of his Le Chateau d'Or string section through their paces. (Photo by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

Hampson puts members of his Le Chateau d’Or string section through their paces. (Photo by Joanne C. Hillhouse)

Eustace manning Henry roundabout Manning

CITATIONS

EUSTACE ARCHIBALD CORNELL ‘MANNING’ HENRY, ESQUIRE – To be a Grand Cross of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage – GCH

For distinguished contribution to Cultural Development

Eustace ‘Manning’ Henry, a pioneer, the unrivalled master pan builder/tuner player, leader and genuine cultural hero, must be accredited for the phenomenal survival of the Hells Gate Steel Orchestra and the steelpan art form in Antigua and Barbuda. With the introduction of the steel pan, Mr. Henry quickly proved that he was not only a pan builder, but also mastered the art of playing the instrument.  His leadership qualities also came to the fore at this young age, with humility.  During this period, other members of the band built their own instrument.  However, it was not too long before Mr. Henry became the sole builder, tuner and blender of Hells Gate.  He was and is still very unique, not only in the exceptional quality finish of the instruments he built, but was envied for the uniqueness of the tonal quality of his instruments.

ANTHONY LEONARD HAMPSON, ESQUIRE –  To be a Grand Officer of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage – GOH

For distinguished contribution to Music and Community Development

Mr Anthony Leonard Hampson is the husband of Cleo Clothilda James, Deputy Superintendent of Public Health Nursing and father of Cleo-Antoinette Hampson, a teacher of French at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, and Cesaire Hampson, a Third Year student at the University of the West Indies.  His love for music and children led to the formation of Le Chateau d’Or Music Academy – 1992 – Teaching the Full range of musical instruments, both theoretical and practical to children five years and over.  Students take Theory and Practical Music examinations offered by the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity Guildhall.  He has served as teacher and principal to over six schools in Antigua and Barbuda giving over 40 years of unbroken service.

Finally, someone else I’ve interviewed, and who is proof that life has many acts, gotta give a shout out to Sly J “hmmmmm” …
For the full listing of all the 2015 Antigua and Barbuda National Awardees (the announcement of which is a feature of the Ceremonial Parade of our annual Independence Festivities), I’ll send you now to Antigua Chronicle which (sidebar) is the online media platform started by 2006 Wadadli Pen winner Angelica O’Donoghue.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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