Philip Sherlock awardees hopeful for future growth
Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
The Philip Sherlock Centre for Creative Arts, recently hosted its second annual award show, this time paying homage to cultural pioneers Anthony Gambrill, OD, Dr Hazel Bennett and Douglas Bennett, CD.
All nominees, in some way, contributed to the development of theatre, or helped to carry out the vision of the late cultural visionary, Sir Philip Sherlock, through their contributions to Jamaica's creative industry.
Gambrill was awarded for his contribution to theatre. According to Oliver F. Clarke, OJ, JP, who read Gambrill's salutation with much comedy, the veteran was not only creative, but brave. Clarke credited Gambrill, as being the first person in Jamaican theatre, to put politicians under the microscope in a comedic manner via his production called 8 o' clock in Jamaica. He also said Gambrill's audacity revealed to the average citizen, that politicians were mere mortals.
Bennett, was awarded for her role in librarianship, historical research and publication. Bennett is recognised as one of Jamaica's most celebrated librarians. Through her works, she aimed to unearth a better understanding of Jamaica's history and culture. She also collaborated with Sir Philip Sherlock as co-author of the project called, The Story of The Jamaican People, as well as her husband, as co-author for the effort, Jamaican Theatre - Highlights of the Performing Arts in the 20th Century.
"Without you being there, so many of us would have had to give up on our dreams. You were a team player, a mother and an aunt. You played such a vital part in helping to mold us," Fae Ellington OD, said during the reading of Dr Bennett's salutation.
The final Philip Sherlock Centre Award to be presented on the night, went to Mr Douglas Bennett CD. He was awarded for his role in the field of musical theatre, philanthropy and youth development, in a career which spanned more than 30 years.
During his vote of thanks, Douglas said while he was grateful for the award, he wanted to share it with the unsung heroes of theatre.
"Theatre is a team effort and I want to recognise not only the performers who get the glory, but those who work assiduously to make them a success. This is an award for all of them," Douglas said.
Prior to receiving her award, Dr Hazel spoke to The Gleaner; and revealed that she was not a total fan of technology. However, it did make life relatively easier.
"Technology will never supersede the act of reading a book. There is something about holding a book that is different from flipping a page on a computer or an iPad. However, in the future, I hope that the others will see the importance of documenting our country's history, literature and our social condition for generations to come, and if we don't do anything else, we will give Jamaica a sense of pride," Dr Hazel told The Gleaner.
Gambrill, who also dabbles in entertainment journalism and music production, said he wanted to see the return of classic theatre. According to the versatile producer, he appreciates domestic drama. However, Jamaican stage plays should also reflect an international reputation, because the production of predo-minantly domestic theatre, gives viewers a narrow view of the true definition of theatre.