Four receive national awards for 44th Independence celebrations

by Linda Straker

  • 4 national awards recipients, in accordance with the National Honours and Awards legislation
  • 2 Spice Isle Award, 2 Medal of Honour awards

Former sports minister Adrian Mitchell was among 4 national awards recipients, in accordance with the National Honours and Awards legislation as part of the 44th Independence celebrations.

Mitchell was awarded the Spice Isle Award for his contribution to sports; Veronica Nadica McIntyre, the Spice Isle Award (posthumously) for her contribution to sports; Wilton Cummings, the Medal of Honour (posthumously) for his contribution to the steelband movement; Telpha Charles, the Medal of Honour for his contribution to community service.

In past years the awardees honoured under that legislation were announced during the Independence Day rally, however, the 2018 committee decided to have the event one day earlier.

Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell: The Spice Isle Award for Contribution to Sports

Adrian Mitchell was born 23 March 1952 in River Sallee St Patrick to Vaughn and Veronica Mitchell. He started school at the River Sallee Government School and after Hurricane Janette his mother moved to St George’s to run a boarding house where he completed his education at the St George’s Government School (known as Back Street School) and later the Presentation Boys College. During his years at PBC he participated in track, cricket and football becoming the football captain during his sixth form years. He was also a member of the Sea Scouts and Cadet Corps.

In the early seventies he joined his family in Brooklyn, New York where he played football for the Grenadian football team, Grenadines Sports Club.

He returned to Grenada in late 1987 at the death of his father. He rekindled his love for sports playing and administrating football, cricket, track and basketball. Piton Striders, Hard Rock and Sallee Sixers are clubs he was involved in. He is the CEO of Hard Rock Sports Club which has won the 3rd Division, 2nd Division 5 Premier Division Championships, and several 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the Premier Division.

In 2005 he was elected as the Representative for St Patrick’s East and was appointed as Minister of Youth, Sports, Culture and Community Development.

Today he is still involved in Community Sports and is working on the introduction of Little League Sports for kids from three to fifteen, to better prepare Grenadian Sportsmen and women for the new era of Professional Sports.

Veronica Nadica McIntyre

Veronica Nadica McIntyre: The Spice Isle Award (posthumously) for Contribution to Sports

Veronica Nadica McIntyre started her career as a primary school teacher in 1974, then worked as the record librarian at Radio Grenada. She continued her public service career working in several ministries making her way up to the senior level retiring from the post of Cabinet Secretary. Her illustrious career covered several ministries as the Permanent Secretary.

McIntyre was well known for her sporting achievements and was one of two females to represent Grenada in three individual sporting disciplines; netball, cricket and table tennis. She represented Grenada on the regional and international levels as an outstanding sports woman.

She was a member of the first National Table Tennis Team to participate in a Caribbean Tournament in 1974, Captain of the Grenada Women’s cricket team 1974-1991, and the second Grenadian to be selected to the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team.

McIntyre was a pioneer for many women and served on several bodies in executive capacities including being the first female elected to the executive of the Grenada Cricket association, the first female deputy director of the National Insurance scheme, First female supervisor of elections and conducted the 2008 elections, Assistant Secretary Grenada Netball Association 1975, Secretary Grenada Table tennis Association 1975-1977, Secretary  of the Grenada Women’s Cricket Association 1975-2007, Second Vice President West Indies Women Cricket Federation 1991-1993 and  First Vice President West Indies Women’s Cricket Federation 2002-2007.She was a member of the Women’s Cricket committee/WICB 2008-2010, Assistant Secretary Grenada Cricket Association 2008, Secretary of the Progressive Youth Organisation 1972-1980 and  President of the Supersonics Sports club 1980-2004.

McIntyre served diligently in the following ministerial positions as Permanent Secretary: Labour; ICT; Information and Culture; Housing Lands & Community Development; Public Administration; Legal Affairs; Health; Agriculture; Youth; Education; Foreign Affairs; Social Development; Housing and Social Security; Youth; Sports Culture and Community Development; Tourism; National Mobilisation and Office of the Prime Minister. She was also the Personal Assistant to the Governor General (Ag), and Cabinet Secretary 2013-2014.

She holds certificates in the following areas: Government accounting, budgeting and financial control 1986, Management (RIPA) 1991, Personnel Management (RIPA) 1993, Advance Negotiations (Harvard University) 2008 and Executive leadership in Public Management (York University).

McIntyre served on several boards and organisations including: Grenada Housing Authority; Grenada Broadcasting Corporation; Grenada Development Bank; Her Majesty’s Prisons board; Solid Waste Management Authority; Investment committee of the National Insurance Scheme; National lotteries Authority; Sunnyside Private School; Member of Pastoral Council Blessed Sacrament RC Church; Blessed Sacrament Church Choir; Church lector/cantor/ Sunday school teacher; Chairman of Blessed Sacrament School Board 2009-2011.; Properties Committee of the Blessed Sacrament Church 2009-2011.

Wilton Cummings

Wilton Cummings: The Medal of Honour (Posthumously), for Contribution to the Steelband Movement

Born on 26 August 1936, to Ian Cummings and Patricia Cummings nee Pascal of Shenda in Happy Hill, Wilton Cummings was the 4th of his parents’ offspring.

Affectionately known as Skipper or Despers, Police Boys Club Leader, National Pan Tuner, he was one of the best band leaders, pan arrangers, a patient teacher and dancer. He was a lover of people especially women and children. He was best known as the ‘Man with the hammer in his hand.’

From the tender age of 12 upon visiting his parents in Trinidad he fell in love with the steelpan. He loved the steelpan to the point where he pursued a career in pan designing and tuning. From small milk pan to pan around the neck, to modem day steel pan.

Under the Gairy Government of the 1960s, Cummings worked with the Ministry of Culture, along with Wilfred Harris in establishing the training programmes and the establishment of the Steelpan Orchestra Industry of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Long before the ministry granted him the opportunity to practice his profession on pans, Cummings engaged in working hard in the community of Happy Hill, ensuring that from year to year, pan around the neck became a true representation of Carnival.

His work under the Ministry of Culture involved making and tuning of the steelpans in a national center in True Blue. The Government had intended that the center was needed to create better sounding instruments for bands in Grenada.

Over the years Cummings contributed in establishing the Happy Hill Silver Stars Steel Orchestra, which created a livelihood for young people in the area of Happy Hill. He instructed, made and tuned pans for his band and others for competition. He is recorded as having the youngest Steel Band in Grenada, where, in the 1979 Panorama competition, they settled for second place against the Guinness Symphony Orchestra, having lost points to a false start.

Cummings was the first to introduce women and kids to play and compete in the National Panorama and Steelpan Carnival activities. Four women from the Happy Hill Silver Stars were chosen by the government to represent Grenada at the inauguration of Suriname’s Independence.

He taught music to students at the School for the Deaf in Cherry Hill. This was a unique way of communicating music through sign language and understanding of musical vibrations of sound with the art of the steelpan. In 1970, Cummings established a Carriacou Steel Orchestra and taught the youths of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to play the Instruments he donated to them. He also trained the Police Boys Club.

In 2015, Cummings was awarded by Angel Harps Steel Orchestra on their 50th anniversary, for his contribution to the national building and tuning of pans in Grenada. Cummings passed away on 21 December 2017.

Telpha Charles

Telpha Charles: The Medal of Honour for Contribution to Community Service

Telpha Charles studied Electrical Installation at Grenada Technical and Vocational Institute, now TAMCC, the TA Marryshow Community College. On graduating in 1975, he was offered the position of electrician at the General Hospital. He was awarded a scholarship from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to do further studies in medical equipment and general maintenance in Venezuela. On returning from studying, he was promoted to General Maintenance Supervisor covering all the trade areas in the hospital, with a team of 25 workers having responsibility for all maintenance work for all government health facilities connected to the Ministry of Health.

He went into private practice in 1981 and continued studying. He started teaching electrical installation privately at home to a mixed group of students: police officers, young women and young people. He worked for USAID and was funded to teach courses in electrical installation to young people. Charles continued in private practice as an electrical contractor and trained groups of people funded by the OAS/OECS/USAID.

In 1999, he joined TAMCC as Head Lecturer in the Electrical Department. Continued with professional development and was successful with a diploma in Electrical Engineering and Management. After the country was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 he was contracted by the Ministry of Works to serve as a temporary electrical inspector for one year.

Charles left TAMCC to return to private practice and to establish a technical and vocational learning centre. By 2012 he gained approval from the Grenada National Training Agency to deliver competence-based training that met the Grenada National Qualification standards (NVQ) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) standards. The school has changed its name to Telfa’s Technical Institute and expanded its courses, adding Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, and Appliance Repair, to meet the growing needs and interests of the diverse student population. To date 200 students have graduated from Telfa’s Technical Institute.

As Chairman of Grenada’s Electrical Contractors Association, he is responsible for the mentoring of young electricians and looking after their professional interests. Charles also worked as a farmer, growing short-term organic vegetables. Most of the produce is donated to the elderly in the communities of Grand Anse, the Richmond Home for the Elderly and the church.

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