Welcome to the city of Miramar. That was the blaring message sent to the patrons who attended the Black History Month meets Reggae Icon Awards. Under the patronage of the Honorable Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Oliva Grange, MP, CD and presented by the Vice Mayor of Miramar Alexandra P. Davis, the Icon Award show represented the best in everything Jamaican.
The red carpet event, which happened at the Miramar Cultural Center Banquet Hall, drew a large audience eager to see Freddie McGreggor awarded for his decades of contribution. Dressed to impress, and in great spirits, patrons flowed into the elegantly prepared courtyard. Hors d’oeuvres of Jamaican favourites disappeared between laughter, conversation, and continuous rocking to music provided by the night’s DJ. It seemed that Miramar removed all barriers to make sure that the event would be on minds for a while. They were successful.
When the Icon arrived, joyful reasoning stopped as people lined up to take a picture with the legend on the red carpet. He moved through taking pictures, greeting and hugging fans like a pinball heading toward tilt. It was clear that some of the faces were surprising to Mr McGreggor as his eyes almost popped out of his head quite a few times. It was great to see how much love everyone had for Mr McGreggor. As cool as this man is, his musical life was not easy. Still, being loved in this way by so many people after so much work, must have felt like heaven for the Icon.
Everyone was so excited to see the award handed to Freddie that they started filing into the venue to choose the perfect photo-taking seat. The patron of the evening arrived, did interviews, greeted people, posed for pictures on the red carpet with the evening’s superstar before joining everyone inside. Once inside, Freddie and Minister Grange sat and the night started.
The Icon and the moment
From the very beginning of the award show, MC Norman Hemmings had the room in stitches. His quick wit and no holds bard leadership set the pace and tone for the evening which meant that we were in for a heck of a treat with top-quality entertainment. Both Vice Mayor Alexandra P. Davis and Mayor Wayne M. Messam gave their congratulations to the Icon and also officially welcomed everyone to their city. The speeches were kept short and the vibes high as the evening progressed to that special moment. Be that as it may, the patron of the event had a turn at the podium and did not disappoint.
In the following audio, the Honourable Minister Grange starts out thanking the city officials for creating such an auspicious occasion.
Minister Grange touched on many topics which subsequently touched the hearts of the audience. Her stance is firm. Reggae music is a force.
The practical application of Reggae has many benefits. The interesting thing is, even though Reggae is the people’s music, originally, it was only the elite that reaped the benefits. These days, Reggae music is used to empower the masses to ensure that they understand that the music can not only put food on the table and pay the bills, it’s also a great way to take them out of an area where crime and violence and abject poverty are prevalent.
Then came the moment when we would hear from the Icon himself. The video below covers his speech and subsequent performance. Enjoy!.
The evening left the Good News Jamaica team feeling happy that we could represent during such a wonderful event.
Thanks to Calvin G. Brown of WiredJa.com for the wonderful photos.