GT Taylor - the disc jockey with a big heart
While George 'GT' Taylor is probably best known as a top-flight disc jockey, when he is away from the media limelight, he is a true humanitarian at heart, providing high-quality service to the people of his hometown, Black River, in St Elizabeth.
Taylor first began to demonstrate his care for Black River 15 years ago when he conceived the annual Christmas night reggae concert - GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza - which not only brought some of the biggest stars in reggae music to the doorstep of the residents, but created short-term employment for many persons.
"It is an event that is more than entertainment, it brings thousands of persons to the town, which greatly impacts its economy and creates short-term employment for many," said Taylor, who now serves the seaside town as president of its Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Part of the proceeds from this show go right back into community development."
driver of care programme
While Taylor was somewhat reluctant to speak about his involvement with the St Elizabeth Care Committee, an entity that takes care of the mentally ill and indigent street people, residents say he is the main driver of the project.
"Every year, a part of the proceeds from the staging of the Christmas Extravaganza go to the Care Committee, which has been playing a critical role in the care of the needy and the mentally ill in terms of food and clothing," said Taylor. "It is something that comes from my heart. I really don't like to talk about it because I don't believe people should seek to gain mileage from such acts. It is just the decent thing to do."
In addition to feeding and clothing the mentally ill and the needy, Taylor also takes a keen interest in ensuring that Care Committee is fully equipped to function with a high level of efficiency.
Within recent times, Taylor's status as an unsung hero in Black River rose several notches when he took on the role as president of the Black River Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Since taking on the role, he has been instrumental in the creation of a 'Black River Day,' which is designed to re-ignite the town's vast commercial potential.
"Black River Day is designed to highlight the business community of Black River and showcase the wonderful history of the town with a view of attracting new investors to help strengthen the town economically," said Taylor. "Of course, we have wonderful cultural packages, to include art, craft, food and music, which help to highlight the many talents of the people."
Like with the popular Christmas Extravaganza, part of the proceeds from 'Black River Day,' which has reportedly drawn crowds of approximately 30,000 persons, goes towards supporting community projects, which are crucial to the improvement of infrastructure.
As a result of his leadership, his generosity and his hands-on approach to dealing with community projects, plus the attention he has given the town through the Christmas Extravaganza and Black River Day, Taylor has developed hero status in Black River, even though he might yet be unsung in the courts of officialdom.