Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator
OM marks milestones for Tosh's family
Perfect timing. That's how the family of Winston Hubert 'Peter Tosh' McIntosh felt about the late reggae icon being conferred posthumously with the Order of Merit at yesterday's National Honours and Awards Investiture Ceremony at King's House.
"God really works in mysterious ways. This is the 50th anniversary of his music career and the 25th anniversary of his passing," Tosh's 30-year-old daughter Niambe McIntosh shared with The Gleaner.
"This is indeed an honour. We have come a long, long way and I honestly don't feel it could have happened before this time. The family is feeling very proud, to us this is just one more step forward, because his message and his legacy is a long journey so we are still fighting."
This year, of the 157 Jamaicans who were presented with national honours and awards for outstanding contribution to the country's development through their service in various fields, Tosh was the sole recipient of the Order of Merit.
The internationally acclaimed reggae musician, who was murdered at the age 42 in 1987 at his home during a robbery, was honoured for his seminal contribution to the evolution of Jamaican popular music.
His illustrious career included his time with The Wailers, before going solo to produce albums such as Legalise It, Bush Doctor, Equal Rights and Mama Africa.
Niambe, who accepted the award on behalf of her father, said the occasion was even more momentous because the family was now in full control of Tosh's estate.
"The family is united now more than ever," she stated, alongside her siblings Andrew, Dave, Steve, Tosh I and Gamel, several nieces and nephews as well as other family members on the lawns of King's House.
Tosh's 45-year-old son, reggae singer Andrew Tosh, declared, "I feel wonderful, it is an honour. It's about time. We all feel great to know we have finally got this high honour for our father. We heading for the Hall of Fame next."
The Order of Merit is the third-highest honour and is awarded for eminent international distinction in the field of science, the arts, literature and any other endeavour. Other internationally acclaimed reggae icons holding the honour are Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley.
Other musicians stood tall, as Reinford Hugh Lee 'Scratch' Perry was awarded with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for his pioneering work in the development of Jamaican music.
Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert, who had previously been conferred with an Order of Distinction, accepted the Order of Jamaica (OJ) for outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaican popular music.
Neville O'Riley 'Bunny Wailer' Livingstone, a man who had already been conferred with a CD, also earned an OJ for pioneering contribution to Jamaica's musical development.
Other awardees from the field of music and the arts included Peter Ashbourne (CD), Barry Moncrieffe (CD), Cynthia Wilmot (CD), Tony Gregory (OD), Jacki Jackson (OD), and Dr Pamella Powell (OD).