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"The authentic Caribbean is made up of all of the world's peoples - African, Asian, European, Mid-Eastern and the native Amerindian. They form an ethnic montage that has composed a distinctive cultural personality.  "...

Guyana Cultural Association of New York September 2, 2015 Awards
Celebrating our Guyanese heritage is an acknowledgement of its influence on our present condition. Its attributes can be discerned in the trajectory from the past.  We can map where we are, what we are doing, and envisage a future, or not.  These elements are profoundly visible in the profiles of the 2015 GCA Awardees. In them, we recognize the creative gifts of individuals and influencers in a showcase of literary, performing and visual artistes along with community activists and cultural enablers. They present a panoply of creativity evoking distinct Guyanese sensitivities.  Their individual craftsmanship is physical and intellectual.  Concepts are transformed into impactful reality. The substance of their contributions to society is evident by notable accomplishments.

The Youth Honorees represent stage and movie acting and award winning youth leadership; fashion designing and choreography “intertwined” and drama; Maypole dancing; and academic excellence, authorship and community service. These four progeny give every indication of very bright lives ahead.

The millennial and the mature Honorees display a cumulative, encyclopedic level of work. Photography/Video-performance is story telling that expresses personal and community feelings;  communal leadership enables effective education and  increases village pride;  dance and choreography are taught based on modern techniques and music influences including Jazz and Caribbean genre; arts journalism is presented from a balanced, independent stance on the arts and literature giving voice to the underrepresented; sculpting creativity is demonstrated through ancestral images and present-day metaphors; photographic visual artistry is used as a bridge to connect cultural identity;  sensitivity to dissimilar musical ambiance in a shared space enabled a collaboration for mutual inter-ethnic satisfaction. 

Noel Denny, Exemplary Awardee has demonstrated visionary leadership and action by forging consensus with fellow Guyanese from five High School Alumni organizations. Active in various Toronto Caribbean groups he was motivated to support homeland schools, too. “This gave rise to the Last Lap concept” explains Mr. Denny. The Lime has become a desired destination for celebrating Guyana’s traditions as envisioned by our culture ambassador. It is perhaps the largest such event of representing Guyanese diversity.

Ron Robinson is the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. He has the unique distinction of serving more years in Guyanese broadcasting and theatre than anyone else: half a century, unmatched and counting.  He is an actor, a writer, a producer and a director.  Mr. Robinson is a performing artiste who is a talker and a doer extraordinaire.

Ron Robinson has pursued and lived his interests.  His multi-faceted life is revelatory as his accomplishments confirm.  He is a Mason – a lodge man; a scout master; a racing car driver; a youth organization leader; and an independent businessman.  His successes in these areas add to his distinction as an arts and culture personality whose imprint is much greater than his unassuming demeanor conveys.  

Our Awards Committee is honored to have played a role in recognizing this illustrious group.

Ronald H. Lammy
Chair, The GCA of NY Awards Committee
Boston, Massachusetts

Noel Denny: Visionary Leader, Cultural Enabler

Noel DennyNoel Denny is the 2015 GCA Exemplary Awardee. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership by building and sustaining bonds and forging consensus with fellow Guyanese from five Alumni organizations. Inspired by the national motto - One People, One Nation, One Destiny - he envisioned “a united Diaspora organization” to support community service to their compatriots. Its members, he believed, would share his view of “the importance of sport as a tool in building character and education.” Football and cultural clubs with Guyanese and West Indian members were founded in Canada for near four decades.  The hallmark of the various collaborations emerged from the recognition that the Guyanese organizations should support homeland schools, too. “This gave rise to the Last Lap concept” explains Mr. Denny.

It is a collective of graduates from elite Guyanese High Schools who established the Last Lap Lime in Toronto. The annual gathering of thousands is more than a fundraising event. It differentiates itself as a large, friendly gathering of Guyanese who form a significant assembly of people across educational, racial, class, and political boundaries. Twenty years after its founding it continues to grow and has become a desired destination for celebrating Guyanese heritage.

The scope, impact, sustainability and achievements of the organization are features common in its visionary founder.  Mr Denny’s main objective was to integrate silo-type resources for the good of all. His intention was to include other prominent schools, as well.  He drew on his upbringing and his work life experiences to overcome skepticism, at the least, societal and cultural challenges in pursuit of this idea. He applied many life learnings to the endeavor.

Traveling “the length and breadth of Guyana including the Brazilian and Venezuelan borders” gave him great awareness and keen sensitivities to features outside of his social norm.  He attained fluency in written and spoken Spanish and Portuguese. These assets enhanced his ability to interact positively with interlocutors with different orientations than his own. Last Lap benefited even though the common language was English.

Integration in a sustainable structure is Noel Denny’s proud gift to Guyanese.  In a Last Lap Lime profile he answers a poignant question with these words: “I am able to sit back and observe genuine interaction ” of people “thoroughly enjoying each other’s company regardless of politics, or station in life, or religion or any of the other barriers we adults build between us. I think that is the greatest legacy I can leave them. That is what I think the Lime has done”. 

Ronald H. Lammy
Chair, The GCA of NY Awards Committee
Boston, Massachusetts

Ron Robinson: Broadcaster, Actor, Writer, Cultural Leader

Ron Robinson2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Ron Robinson, has the unique distinction of serving 50 years in Guyanese radio broadcasting and 49 years in the prominent theatre institutions as an actor, producer and director. He displayed his talent at the Theatre Guild and The Theatre Company, which he founded. To date, Mr. Robinson has presented the LINK SHOW, as its co-writer/producer, in 32 consecutive annual appearances.  He has earned an incomparable status in these fields within the Guyanese Diaspora.  In this, there are two elements. For many of his generation the earliest job out of secondary school set a fairly predictable career path. A five-decade tenure, however, would have been considered implausible with the rapid changes in broadcasting.

Mr. Robinson is a performing artiste who is versatile in and out of the arts world. A member of the Theatre Guild of Guyana since 1966, he has directed, acted in and produced over 150 presentations for stage, radio and TV. They range in variety from the LINK SHOW to “Jesus Christ Superstar” to “Hamlet” to “All In Wan”, a musical commissioned for the 40th Independence Anniversary of Guyana and written by Dave Martins.

His broadcasting experience started as a part time radio announcer with the Government Information Services in 1964. By 1986, his expertise was so highly regarded that he was appointed the first television news anchor in Guyana. Over the last 33 years, he has conducted training programs for broadcasters with one session presently underway.

An indefatigable spirit and wide range of interests are evident in leadership roles. In the commercial sector, Ron Robinson has demonstrated entrepreneurship and success in marketing and advertisement. His diverse experiences include being the broadcasting consultant to the Bishop of Guyana and the Anglican Diocese.

Secular community service responsibility with a particular focus on youth is significant. Over the last two decades, Mr. Robinson has served 10 years as President and Chief Scout of the Scout Association of Guyana. Currently he is a board member of the Volunteer Youth Corps and is the President of the Rotary Club of Georgetown Central. In the sports arena, Mr. Robinson has been elected three times as President of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club.  

Ron Robinson has many voices. What his accomplishments reveal is a man of courage with a pioneering spirit in a conservative theatrical space. His contributions to Guyanese society show adeptness at presenting cultural features across generations. The impact has been to bring awareness of innate cultural characteristics and to nurture adaptive creativity in a broad spectrum in the performing arts. Another prominent articulation has been in attending to the interests of youth through non-governmental organizations. The scope has been wide, communal, and long term with challenges of limited resources. These circumstances were managed through personal courage and affiliative leadership with others.

Ronald H. Lammy
Chair, The GCA of NY Awards Committee
Boston, Massachusetts


"The authentic Caribbean is made up of all of the world's peoples - African, Asian, European, Mid-Eastern and the native Amerindian. They form an ethnic montage that has composed a distinctive cultural personality. Their rhythms are unique as seen in their performing arts - music and dance; they stimulate your sensibilities with the writings of their writers and the paintings of their painters; and they nourish you with their cosmopolitan food.

These characteristics and an early socialization in multicultural, multiracial countries have allowed West Indian immigrants, for example, to assimilate seamlessly into Boston. They have an almost instinctual knowledge of how to live in a city such as contemporary Boston." eCaroh 2003©

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