Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Charles Town Maroons, Freddie McGregor to receive RJRGLEANER Honour Awards

Published:Tuesday | September 19, 2023 | 12:09 AM
Acting Colonel of the Charles Town Maroons, Marcia Kim Douglas.
Acting Colonel of the Charles Town Maroons, Marcia Kim Douglas.
Freddie McGregor
Freddie McGregor

Marcia Kim Douglas, acting colonel of the Charles Town Maroons, is overjoyed that the group is to receive the RJRGLEANER Honour Award for Arts and Culture.

“I am very happy that we are able to use our music to entertain and that the cultural aspect of our daily lives has it own knowledge, the songs [have] their own meaning and spiritual component to it. [We] will keep sharing our music and use it for entertainment,” said Douglas.

The Charles Town Maroons are being awarded for their “dedication to Jamaican cultural preservation through its museum, library, annual celebrations, and the Charles Town International Maroon Conference”.

Also to be honoured is Freddie McGregor, who will receive the Entertainment Lifetime Achievement Award “for his six-decade-long musical journey, versatile talent and profound impact on reggae”.

Both will receive their awards today at a ceremony to be held at the Television Jamaica studio on Lyndhurst Road, which see 11 recipients being recognised for their contribution to improving the quality of life in Jamaica and their initiative, accomplishment and courage.

For decades, McGregor has thrilled fans with classics such as Big Ship, I See It In You, Prophecy, Push Come To Shove, Let Him Try and I Will Wait For You. He was born on June 27, 1956, in Hayes, Clarendon, and his music career started when he was seven years old. In 2003, he was conferred with the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government, for his contribution to music.

In recovery mode following a stroke in November last year while in Florida, he has gone on to perform at Far East Reggae Cruise and Reggae Sumfest, where he was presented with the Red Stripe Living Legend award by the popular beer brand.

Charles Town in Portland is one of five remaining major Maroon settlements in Jamaica, the others being Accompong Town in St Elizabeth, Moore Town in Portland, Scotts Hall in St Mary, and Flagstaff in St James. It was named for Governor Charles Knowles in 1754, 16 years after the treaty of peace and friendship was signed between the Windward Maroons and the British, and was established on 206 ½ acres of land, purchased from one Colin McKenzie.

The Charles Town Drummers, Singers and Dancers are well known for their performances at events such as the annual Emancipation Vigil in St Ann and the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival in St Andrew, and, of course, the annual events in the other Maroon villages.

The RJRGLEANER Honour Awards is celebrating its 43rd year. The RG Platinum Award winner will be selected from the seven category awardees.