GROUP THERAPY: Back (from left) Keptreene Finch, Byron Steele (collecting an award on behalf of Andrew Hazel), Mykal Lindo, Macka B, Dr Herbert Griffiths and Eseata Steele. Front row (from left) Mayor of Wolverhampton Christine Mills, Lester Streete, Deputy High Commissioner Diedre Mills, and Winsome Douglas (collecting the award for Phyllis Fulwood).
SEVERAL PEOPLE, who hail from Hanover, Jamaica’s smallest parish, were recently honoured for their contribution to Wolverhampton gaining city status.
For the first time the Hanover & Wolverhampton Link Organisation Project held an awards ceremony to acknowledge the contribution of those local heroes who helped to put the Jamaican stamp on Wolverhampton.
Amazingly, 90 per cent of the city’s black population originally hail from Hanover, thereby strengthening the Hanover influence in the communities.
Internationally acclaimed reggae star Macka B, who was born in Wolverhampton, was one of seven award winners at the ceremony attended by Diedre Mills, Deputy High Commissioner for Jamaica, and Christine Mills, Lord Mayor of Wolverhampton.
Event host George Gordon explained that despite Hanover being the smallest parish, everyone who came from there agreed: “We likkle but we tallawah.”
Chaired by Eseata Steele, based at the Hibiscus Housing Association in Graiseley, and supported by secretary Keptreene Finch, the Link Project carries the entwined photographs of Lucea’s Clock Tower in Hanover and Wolverhampton Civic Centre as its logo.
The organisation’s aims are to create a stronger partnership between the two communities, develop a heritage centre of excellence and adhere to its four themes of education, health, religious, socio-cultural, and agriculture.
Eseata Steele told the ceremony at the Connaught Hotel: “We have finally come to the point where we have arrived. And we hope the city will acknowledge the contributions the early settlers made to Wolverhampton.”
Lord Mayor Christine Mills said Wolverhampton was indeed ready to recognise the contributions made to the city by the people of Hanover and their descendants, who have added to Wolverhampton’s vibrant culture and diversity.
Deputy High Commissioner Diedre Mills expressed delight at being part of the project’s launch, adding that Hanover had produced some of the best and brightest people Jamaica had to offer.
Accepting his award before thrilling the audience with a song, Macka B said he had travelled the globe and has always been struck by the power of Jamaica and its influence on the world, whether it was Japan or Germany.
Other award winners were: former Jamaican police officer Phyllis Fullwood, now 82, who became one of Wolverhampton’s first black teachers but now resides in Florida. Her award was collected by her long time friend Winsome Douglas.
A contribution to transport award was collected by 97-year-old Lester Streete, who left his native Seafield, Hanover in 1915 for a career as a bus conductor. He said he always took pride in being a helpful friend to everyone ‘black and white’ who boarded his bus.
Businessman Neill Pendergast, who was not able to collect his award, was honoured for his contribution to industry, while Andrew Hazel was thanked with a logo designer award, and Mykal Lindon who picked up an award for his web design.
A lifetime achievement award went to Lucea-born Dr Herbert Griffiths, a trained social worker who has helped to build the self-esteem of generations of young people.
For details on the project visit: www.hwlop.org.