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I had the pleasure of attending the award celebration for Jamaican Icon and Reggae superstar, Dr Jimmy Cliff. In this article I share with you some of the highlights captured.
Dr. James Ezekiel “Jimmy Cliff” Chambers was bestowed with the Life Time Achievement Award on Sunday, February 12, 2017, at the Somerton All Age & Infant School, in Somerton, St. James.
The event sponsored by Irie Fm Reggae Radio, and the Jamaica Tourist Board, saw a wide cross-section of fans, including tourist from several countries around the world who turned out for the occasion. Guest speaker Percival James Patterson, Former Jamaican Prime Minister, gave a splendid overview of his earlier years spent at the school where Dr. Jimmy Cliff also attended. Somerton, he said holds a special place in his hearth and he will never forget where he used to sit before going on to school in Kingston.
This occasion was shared with the presence of Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmond Bartlett; Mayor of Montego Bay, Hon. Homer Davis; Film Producer, Lennie Little White; and Ali Mcnab, representing Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange; among several other dignitaries, family, friends and a host of entertainers, who came out to share the evening’s good time with their home boy, Dr. Jimmy Cliff.
Planned Improvement or “Jimmy Cliff’s Somerton Community”
Former Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, emphasized the need for expansion of the Somerton school population, and increased classroom space. Minister Bartlet, in his presentation said massive development is coming for the community of Somerton. He said a street will be soon named after Dr Jimmy Cliff, along with other infrastructural improvements to take place soon.
Somerton, he said will be the place where people are going to want to visit all the time, because of its diverse geographical location.
Mayor Davis also promised to rename Montego Bay’s Hip Strip after the Reggae icon.
The recipient and man of the moment, Dr. James Ezekiel ‘Jimmy Cliff’ Chambers, in his acceptance speech, said he is more than grateful for the gratitude and honor bestowed upon him by Irie Fm and all others who make made it happen. In paying tribute to people of Somerton, where he grew up, said, it was a happy moment for him to be Home.
“This is my home” and it’s good to come home and mingled with your own people,” The Harder they Come Star, told the audience to rounding applause.
He also thanked Irie Fm for sharing in this historical moment. Dr Cliff recalls his years of growing up in Somerton, and how he enjoyed traversing the hills and valleys; going to the river to refresh, swim and climb up the rocky mountain terrains’. Dr Jimmy Cliff promise to spear head an “Eco-Tourism” project in his community, where tourists and the natives can go and have a good time.
Dr Jimmy Cliff who has not performed in his home village for a long time, did give a splendid performance, after receiving his citation from Irie Fm program directors. He was also presented with a plaque by Lennie Little White.
The crowd was jubilant hearing from their living legend, Jimmy Cliff , who belted out songs like, Sitting Here in Limbo, Many rivers to Cross, The Harder they Come, and many other hit after hit. He was well received by the thousands of fans who trekked from all walks of life. It was a true reflection of how people share their love and appreciation of great icons of our time.