Guyanese in Toronto honoured
-“We are successful people” - Consul General By Pamela Evans in Toronto
Guyana Chronicle
June 3, 2004

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SIX Canadian-based Guyanese and two outstanding organizations in Toronto that support projects in their home country have been presented with the 2004 Guyana Awards in eight different categories.

The presentation of the awards was done at a ceremony at the Travel Lodge Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto last week, to commemorate Guyana's 38th Independence Anniversary. The awards ceremony is an annual event which the Guyana Independence Committee in Toronto launched four years ago.

A statement from the Guyana Consulate in Toronto pointed out that the awards presentation allows for Guyanese nationals to be recognized for their outstanding contributions towards the promotion of Guyana, Guyana’s heritage and culture, the building of a strong and dynamic Guyanese community in Canada, as well as the Achievement of Excellence.

In opening remarks, Guyana’s Honorary Consul General, Danny Doobay challenged the gathering to make a collective statement about Guyanese. He added, “As a young community in Canada, we need to make a statement about ourselves as Guyanese, a statement that is positive and powerful. We need to brand our people and community with a potent and positive message. We are a successful people! Through the Guyana Awards, we seek to make a statement about the standards and expectations we set and hold for our community and for individual members.”

The Leadership Award was presented to a surgeon and prominent community leader, Dr. Bhudendra Doobay, who is also a recipient of the Order of Ontario for his outstanding leadership and community work. He was responsible for the establishment of a medical clinic in Annandale, East Coast Demerara to help the poor and needy.

Honorable Ovid Jackson, Member of Parliament, received the Special Achievement Award for his success in the field of politics, having served at the municipal and national levels in Canada for more than twenty years. He is the only politician of Guyanese heritage currently elected to office in Canada. The Berbician born has been hard-working in serving the people of Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound as a member of the Liberal Caucus since 1973.

One of the most popular figures in women's bodybuilding, Laura Creaville, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the winner of a number of championships worldwide, including three Miss International and Miss Extravaganza Championships.

The Community Services Award was given to Ned Blair who played an active role in improving the lives of Guyanese, Caribbean people and the wider community for the past two years.

Manufacturer of spices and hot sauces for the past 22 years, Mr. Eric Rodrigues, won the award for the most Outstanding Business Person. He is the owner of Exclusive Spices and Wholesalers Ltd. And his products are found in virtually every Guyanese, ethnic and West Indian kitchen in Canada.

Rick's curry powder and other spices were manufactured by Rodrigues' father in Albouystown, Guyana. In 1982, he established “Exclussif Spices & Wholesalers Ltd” in Ontario and has taken his family tradition to even greater heights.

The Outstanding Community Organisation Award was given to the Guyana Burn Care and Health Unit while the Senior Guyanese Friendship Association won the award for its contribution to Heritage and Culture.

The first Guyanese to be recognized by the Independence Awards in Toronto were six famous Guyana’s Test cricketers including Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharran, Joe Solomon, Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs and the late Roy Fredericks.