Founder of the Square One band, George Jones has received his Silver Star for Creativity.
The award was bestowed on him by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation on Thursday night at the 26th Annual Awards ceremony in the Harquail Theatre, before an audience that included his daughter Nicocia Jones and closest friends Anderson Mr Blood Armstrong and Terry Mexican Arthur.
A day after receiving the honour, Jones, who is programmes coordinator with the Foundation, told Barbados TODAY he was still in disbelief.
“I am still lost in time and thought, not yet fully grasping what really happened. I woke up this morning to an overwhelming support and love by way of messages from people who I hadn’t heard in years….They were some who I had made no contact with in like ten and 12 years, then others I thought were not interested in me or whose communication and contact were totally lost,” he said.
“They all sent their congratulations. I have received handwritten letters and greeting cards from folks all over the world. I have three sisters and they are all messaging me telling me they are taking congrats from even strangers…”
Of the award itself, he told Barbados TODAY: “I am eternally grateful. I shall cherish it. It is a beautiful medal and I will put it among my treasures and guard it with the love, respect, dignity and honour with which it was bestowed.”
Jones noted that he was still getting positive feedback about his acceptance speech, including from the British overseas territory’s Minister of Culture Dwayne Seymour whom he said was “amazed” by it.
“I was very much a part of the planning and execution of the ceremony so, truth is, I did not get a chance to sit down and write a speech. I was going to speak spontaneously from the heart. But then as I sat at the table with my daughter I jotted down a few pointers – something to guide me where I was going – and I wanted it to be a speech about life, about time on earth and what you do to be the best you can,” said Jones, who has suffered two major health challenges in the last decade..
“We worry about a lot of frivolous things. I just want people to understand, as my friend Terry always says, we just passing through….It makes no sense getting caught up in the negative when we can love, respect and care for each other and develop a level of benevolence and give back.”
In his speech, the cultural practitioner said the presence of his long-time friends Armstrong and Arthur, who flew to Cayman for the grand occasion, meant everything to him.
“It’s special in the sense that as 11-year-old boys we sat at one piano in school and made music with the dreams of one day becoming a local success. Not only did we go on to become a local success, but we also ventured on to become a global success and, most importantly, we remained friends for life….”
During the ceremony, the trio did what they loved the most and performed for the audience.
Jones described it as a “special” performance that incorporated members of the band with which he plays within the Cayman Islands, where he has lived for 16 years. (IMC)