Archbishop Tutu to receive Luminary Award at UWI Toronto Benefit Gala

Wayne Purboo

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has announced that Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, will  be honoured at the eighth annual UWI Toronto benefit gala to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Toronto on Saturday April 1.

Archbishop Tutu, the first Black archbishop of  the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, was actively involved in the battle against apartheid in South Africa since the early 1970s and was Chairman of his country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He has also used his high-profile position to campaign globally for the elimination of poverty, HIV/AIDS, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and for for land rights.

Tutu who will receive the Luminary Award, will be represented at the gala by his daughter, Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth.

This will be the second time that UWI will recognize Archbishop Tutu for his accomplishments. In 1968 he received an honorary degree from the university.

Five leaders of  Canadian and Caribbean heritage and one Caribbean organization will also be honoured at the event.

Canadian Senator Murray Sinclair will receive the G. Raymond Chang Award.

This award was established to honour outstanding individuals who exemplify the leadership and ideals of G. Raymond Chang (1948-2015).

Chang was an outstanding business leader and philanthropist who died in July 2014. He was the UWI Gala’s patron for five years.

Senator Sinclair served as the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), documenting the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system that affected the lives of more than 6000 indigenous women and men of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background.

He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Senator Sinclair served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. Over the course of his career, he has been recognized for his work in his profession and his community as the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from eight Canadian universities.

The Chancellor’s Award will be presented to GraceKennedy.

Established in 1922 by Dr. John Grace and Mr. Fred William Kennedy, in Kingston, Jamaica, it is one of the Caribbean’s largest group of companies that began as a general mercantile, shipping and insurance business.

GraceKennedy operates in the food and financial services industries, with operations in Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, and Belize, the U.S., UK, Canada and Africa.

The company has also contributed to Jamaica’s development through the years through its two Foundations, providing financial assistance to a host of worthy causes. They are the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GraceKennedy Foundation.

The Chancellor’s award is given to organizations, which have contributed significantly to the Caribbean, or outstanding organizations owned by persons of Caribbean heritage.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award will be presented to five community leaders: Dr. Renn Holness, a consultant neurosurgeon, Kay McConney, a businesswoman and retired diplomat, Wayne Purboo, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Vivian Rambihar, cardiologist and community activist and Justice Michael Tulloch, a judge  of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Under the theme “Light, Learning and Liberty”,    the UWI Toronto Benefit gala provides funds for scholarships.

To date, over 250 scholarships have been awarded

The patron of the eighth annual Gala is The G. Raymond Chang Family (wife Donette Chin-Loy Chang, and children Andrew Chang and Brigette Chang Addorisio).

Scotiabank is lead sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.