University of the West Indies annual Toronto Gala awards

Six community members awarded

Andrew Chang, Brigette Chang, Basil Watson, Hilary Beckles, Donette Chin-Loy Chang with her grandchildren

“Darkness cannot move darkness, only light can.” These were words spoken by the great sculptor from Jamaica Basil Watson on receiving his award at the University of the West Indies Gala last weekend held at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto.

Watson was one of six awardees at the annual Gala. Other awardees were Janice Fukakusa, CM – business leader and philanthropist and chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University); Andre De Grasse – six time Olympic medallist; Walter Chin – World Renowned Fashion and Celebrity Photographer; Shakuntala Haraksingh-Thilsted – Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish; Camille Wardrop-Alleyne – Aerospace Engineer and Space Scientist, Pan American Health Organization – Specialized International Health Agency.

The evening was hosted by Dwight Drummond and attended by the who’s who of the Toronto Caribbean community.  They did not disappoint, raising a considerable amount of funds to assist with the education of underprivileged persons in the Caribbean.

One young man Tajay Henry delivered a moving and inspiring speech. He said that despite growing up in what he called a tenement yard he went on receive his Bachelors of Arts degree.

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne
Walter Chin

He said that he could not have done it but for the generosity of the UWI Gala.  

The event is sponsored and arranged by the Chang family. It has raised millions of dollars to support of education for the underprivileged of the Caribbean.