Three persons from the Jamaican community in Toronto received National Awards

Jamaica’s Governor General Patrick Allen presents the Badge of Honour to Eddie Grant

Veteran photographer Eddie Grant, longtime chauffeur Derrick McIntosh and Bishop James Robinson received awards from Jamaica’s Governor General Patrick Allen on Monday, National Heroes Day, in Jamaica.

Grant received the Badge of Honour for Long & Faithful Service in photojournalism and documenting the development of the Diaspora Community in Toronto.

“I have been doing this work for a very long time. So to be recognized by the Government of Jamaica is very significant and something I really appreciate,” said Grant who turned 90 last May.

Grant who was an automotive mechanic in Jamaica went to England to pursue mechanical studies but switched careers and studied photography instead.

While in England he started taking pictures for The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

After several years in England, he moved to Canada where he continued his work in photography.

As a Jamaica Gleaner photojournalist in Toronto for five decades, he has covered hundreds of community events and captured thousands of photos of well-known Jamaican entertainers, celebrities and politicians that have passed through the city.

Bishop James Robinson receives
the Order of Distinction

They include the late Bob Marley during his first stage appearance in Toronto at Massey Hall in June 1975.

He singled out a photo taken of late Canadian and Jamaican Prime Ministers Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Michael Manley and then Jamaican High Commissioner Dale Anderson and their wives as his favourites.

“I was asked to go to Ottawa to take that photo that made the Sunday Jamaica Gleaner front page,” he pointed out. “I got a lot of positive reaction about that photo.”

He also shot photos for many corporations and tourist resorts, including Sandals and the defunct SuperClubs.

Longtime chauffeur Derrick McIntosh received the Badge of Honour for Long & Faithful Service to the Consulate General of Jamaica in Toronto and the Jamaica Diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area.

In the last 25 years, McIntosh has served seven Consuls-General, including Lincoln Downer who nominated him before being assigned to Nigeria to serve as Jamaica’s High Commissioner.

Bishop Robinson who came to Canada through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, was the recipient of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for his contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora in the areas of religion, civic advocacy and counselling.

He spent 14 years with Rogers Communications as a technician and manager before establishing Faith Open Door Ministries in 2004.