Marlon Vickerman, Features Writer
Jukie Chin, founder of the successful Juici Patties chain of restaurants, was yesterday hailed as 'Man of the Year' at the 28th annual Gleaner Honour Awards ceremony, held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.
He received the award for the outstanding contribution he has made to the local business and agriculture sectors, as well as the time and effort he has dedicated to charitable causes in Jamaica.
When Chin, who also received a Gleaner Honour Award in the category of Business, started making patties at 16 years old in his mother's kitchen in Rocky Point, Clarendon, he had no idea he would one day preside over a 50-restaurant strong chain.
Modest in accepting
In his expression of appreciation, after accepting the award, the 2007 Man of the Year was modest.
"I am really humbled to be receiving this prestigious award from such a prestigious institution as The Gleaner Company. I wish to thank The Gleaner Company for hosting this honour award over the past 28 years. Twenty-nine years ago when I started making patties in my mother's kitchen, I never dreamed that I would one day be honoured in this way. All I thought of was just to provide a good product, at an affordable price, in a comfortable environment," he said.
"On behalf of all the honorees, my wife, children, my franchises, my customers, my friends and well-wishers, I humbly accept this award and I say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you."
Lauded for selflessness
Richard 'Richie Stephens' Stephenson was the recipient of the prestigious award in the category Entertainment.
Nurse Joy Crooks, director of the Montego Bay-based Centre for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI), received the honour award in the category of Health and Wellness for her contribution to the plight of the mentally ill in that city.
Veteran actor and writer Trevor Rhone, was honoured for his contribution to Arts and Culture.
Olympic gold medallist, Veronica Campbell, who was awarded the honour award in the category of Sports, was absent from yesterday's function, which of course, was understandable since she just had tied the knot on Saturday, had The Gleaner Company's Newton James accepted the award on her behalf.
Dr. Christine Marrett and Vilma McClenan were the co-recipients of The Gleaner's Honour Award in the category Education and Public Service.
In the category Science and Technology, Dr. Helen Jacobs came out on top for her outstanding contributions to the field of chemistry.
The award in the category of Voluntary Service went to the Heart Foundation of Jamaica.
Recipients of the 2007 Gleaner Honour Awards with Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall (back row, fourth left), his wife Mrs. Rheima Hall (beside him) and Gleaner boss, Oliver Clarke (third right). - Ricardo Makyn/staff photographer