NASSAU, The Bahamas -
Chantal Bethel was one of 43 Bahamians honoured as Cultural Legends for the 43rd Independence Anniversary. The ceremony was held on Tuesday July 5th, 2016 in Pompey Square, Nassau, Bahamas.
Recognized for their outstanding contribution to arts, entertainment, music, business, tourism, and journalism, forty-three Bahamians were lauded as “Cultural Legends” during a ceremony, July 5, held in Pompey Square, the event part of the country’s 43rd Independence Anniversary Celebrations.
It played out like a star-studded affair as one by one the honourees took centre stage in Pompey Square to receive their awards as the country heard about their accomplishments and contributions to the overall development of The Bahamas. Pompey Square, named after a slave who revolted against slavery, was elegantly decorated in the national colours of Aquamarine, Gold and Black.
The honourees, a number of them awarded posthumously, received Proclamations; and their portraits, mounted on easels, were unveiled to the audience -- the images skillfully captured by local celebrity artist Jamaal Rolle.
The Cultural Legends honoured were: Dr. Hervis Bain, MBE, designer of The Flag and Coat of Arms; Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming, OBE, Author of The Pledge; Nettica Symonette, Hotelier and Writer; Calvin Lockhart, Actor; Phillip Burrows, Playwright; Chan Pratt, Visual Artist; John Cox, Visual Artist; Chantal Bethel, Visual Artist; John Beadle, Visual Artist; Stephen Burrows, Sculptor; Al Collie, Entertainer and Businessman; Eloise Lewis, Entertainer; Quinton “Barabbas” Woodside, Junkanoo Artist; Silbert Ferguson, Junkanoo Artist; Edwin ‘Apple’ Elliot, Musician; Charlie Adamson, Musician and Entertainer; Vernal Sands, Hotelier and Tourism Ambassador; Eugene Dupuch, Playwright; Sly Roker, Entertainer and Musician; Nat ‘Piccolo Pete’ Saunders, Entertainer and Musician; Mildred Sands, Tourism Ambassador; Calvin Cooper, Playwright and Actor; Frankie Zhivago Young, Entertainer; Wilfred Solomon and the Magnetics, Entertainer and Musician; Visage, Entertainer and Musician; Sammy Thompson, Junkanoo Artist; Lawrence Carroll, Dancer; Richie Delamore, Entertainer; The Soulful Groovers, Entertainer and Musician; Harl Taylor, Fashion designer; Chris Fox, Musician; Tony Seymour Sr., Entertainer; Cedric Munnings, Musician; Brad Lundy, Entertainer and Musician; Mary Kelly, Journalist; Calsey Johnson, ZNS Tribute; John Jefferson Scavella, Broadcaster; Gordon Lowe, Broadcaster; Ed Bethel, Journalist/Broadcaster; Elva Russell-Rolle, Broadcaster; Carl Bethel, Journalist/Broadcaster; Cindy Williams, Broadcaster; and, Nadine Beneby, Broadcaster.
He noted that while The Bahamas was “yet a babe of a nation” these new Bahamians dug deep to preserve that which we call our own. “They not only preserved it, they did and, in many cases, are doing all that they can to pass tradition and custom through generations -- whether it is music, dance, the arts, tourism, or telling the stories. These traditions are very necessary to a modern society, because our cultural heritage offers robust benefit,” he said.
Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, the Hon. Dr. Daniel Johnson gave welcome remarks and a brief history of the Cultural Legends.