Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer
In lieu of Jamaica's 50th Independence celebrations and in honour of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Carreras Limited fêted a record number of students (55) at the Pegasus Hotel on Wednesday night at its 50th Anniversary Gala and 2012 Scholarship Awards banquet, under the theme 'Empowering through Education'.
This year, the 55 scholarships and bursaries were offered to every major tertiary institute in Jamaica - 32 bursaries, six county scholarships, 11 community-college scholarships and seven teacher's college scholarships.
Acting as the master of ceremonies for the evenings proceeding was the incomparable Terri-Karelle Reid, Digicel Stars host, who offered best wishes and words of encouragement to the awardees, stating that she too was a scholarship awardee and it was was just the beginning for them because the future is bright.
She made way for remarks from Richard Pandohie, managing director of Carreras, Dr Morais Guy, Everald Warmington and Professor Errol Morrison, who all followed a performance from the National Dance Theatre Company, which gave a thrilling performance highlighting the importance of the 'brukins' dance move to Jamaica's folklore.
Dinner followed with the creme of pumpkin soup, poached fillet of Tilapia topped with coconuts and mango mint salsa, which was followed by a citrus sorbet to cleanse the palate, making way for the main course - chicken breast stuffed with plantain and cheese served with raisin sauce, grilled fillet of snapper florentine with lime and ginger butter sauce, yam and sweet potato croquette and broccoli almondine.
For dessert lovers in attendance, they were treated to the Diplomats' Desire fruit filled with pastry cream and exotic fruit with the option of either coffee or tea.
Philip Paulwell was the evenings guest speaker representing the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who lauded the efforts of Carreras and its scholarship programme, aiding in the development of Jamaica's future. The presentations were then made to all 55 recipients with each receiving between $50,000- $200,000, except for the post grad recipients, who received $900,000.
The regional scholarship winners walking away with $200,000 were: Cornwall - Carnel Campbell from University of Technology, Middlesex - Peton Muschette from University of the West Indies and Surrey - Noel Matherson from Northern Caribbean University.
Other distinguished guests in attendance were Peter Bunting, minister of security, André Hylton member of pariliament for South Andrew East, Custos Marigold Harding, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill, and others.