Barbadian social and community activist, Corey Lane, joined the distinguished list of regional laureates to be recognized by the Anthony N Saba Caribbean Awards for Excellence for his Public and Civic Contributions to Barbados.
The youngest recipient in the awards’ 14-year history, Lane’s achievement was met with thundering applause last Saturday at the Sandals Royal Resort.
Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley as well as members of Parliament were also in attendance.
The Barbadian was joined by Trinidadian television and film producer/director/writer, Danielle Dieffenthaller who was the 2019 Laureate for Arts & Letters; Jamaican entrepreneur Kimala Bennett was awarded Laureate for Entrepreneurship and Jamaican Professor Michael Taylor who has been a regional leader in the climate change debate was recognised as the 2019 Laureate for Science and Technology.
Lane, who has dedicated his life to working with at-risk youth, is the owner of the Nature Fun Ranch. The ranch works in conjunction with the Barbados Government to provide rehabilitation programmes and guidance to marginalised youth. Upon receiving his 2019 Laureate for Public and Civic Contributions, he expressed that he was “deeply humbled”.
Directing his comments to the marginalised youth in the Caribbean, he said: “I am the little engine that could, I am the little engine that did and you are the little engine that can.”
He praised the facilitators of the Anthony N Saba Caribbean Awards for Excellence, for recognising the accomplishments of individuals throughout the region.
“I think it is important that we can look inward and reward excellence from inward because I believe, unwittingly and subconsciously, these great awards come externally and it reinforces… an inferiority and a superiority that does not need to be reinforced when we can look on our own and say well done at such a prestigious level. I say thank you and you should take a bow,” he continued.
During her thank you speech, Dieffenthaller who has broken barriers in Caribbean film and television with her drama series Westwood Park, No Boundaries and most recently, Plainsight, highlighted that the Arts & Letters award validated the contributions made by Caribbean creatives in the film and television industry who have brought the culture and folklore to the silver screen.
“I would never forget the impact seeing images of people who look like me had on my life and I aspire to do the same for my children and for future generations. This award is significant because all too often we look on the outside to validate us before we acknowledge our own excellence and it is encouraging to those of us who have chosen to remain and commit ourselves to building our industries in our region and hopefully it fuels the creative fires of generations to come,” she said, adding “This award gives me a renewed energy to continue to fight to ensure that the Caribbean stories and images leave an indelible mark on this world especially in this ever-evolving, rapidly evolving, noisy world of media.”
During his feature address, Norman Sabga, Executive Chairman of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies and Chairman of the ANSA McAL Foundation called for cultural preservation and strengthening the Caribbean identity through investment and opportunities.
“As the world moves towards global culturalisation, we are forced to look beyond our communities, to face challenges and to seek opportunities. We can, as a people, go forward, secure in our Caribbean identity only if we invest the resources necessary for its preservation and its strengthening. We are a proud people, a creative and dedicated people, and this is something that we should all be proud of,” he said. (KK)