From left: James ‘Jimmy Cliff’ Chambers, Russel Hammond and Hugh Shim pose with their framed certificates after they were conferred with Honorary Fellowship of the Montego Bay Community College on Sunday. (Photo: Philp Lemonte)
ROSE HALL, St James — Veteran reggae ambassador, Dr James Chambers, more popularly known as Jimmy Cliff, was among three people conferred with Honorary Fellowship of the Montego Bay Community College (MBCC) during Sunday’s graduation exercise for students of that Montego Bay based-educational facility, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
The others were Westmoreland businessman Russel Hammond and environmentalist Hugh Shim.
The trio formed the fifth batch to be awarded as Honorary Fellows by the tertiary institution that opened its doors in September 1975 as an amalgamation of the sixth forms of Cornwall College, Montego Bay High and Mount Alvernia High schools.
“The Montego Bay Community College is extremely proud to salute them as our fifth set of Honorary Fellows and induct them into our company of Fellows,” Nathan Robb, chairman of the MBCC board declared, ahead of the reading of citations for the three men.
Principal of the Montego Bay Community College, Dr Maureen Nelson, explained that the Fellowship is reserved for people who have made extraordinary and sustained contribution to the college or western Jamaica, throughout their career.
She added that the honour is awarded to individuals whose professional career has been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality.
“The Montego Bay Community College is participating today (Sunday) in a practice and custom, a ritual and a celebration, characterised by the educational foundation since medieval times. Today, Montego Bay Community College follows in that pathway to observe one of the historical conventions which we hope will promote and motivate excellence,” Dr Nelson noted.
“This is an award which is not given lightly, its historic value should be cherished.”
She noted that the processes which govern the selection have been rigorous and meticulous.
Dr Chambers, a native of Somerton, St James, was hailed as a cultural icon and musician extraordinaire, who has made an invaluable contribution to the entertainment landscape, both locally and internationally.
A former politician, Hammond was born in Ramble, Hanover. Known for his spirit of volunteerism and kindness, Hammond in 1974 established Hammond’s Pastry in Savanna-la-Mar, and has since impacted the lives of hundreds of persons across the political divide.
Shim, who was hailed for his long-lasting association with the MBCC, is a founding member of the college hospitality advisory board. He also lectures at the institution on a part-time basis and has been credited for conceptualising a raft of programmes for the college.
He is also an executive director of the Montego Bay Marine Park.
And following a few words of appreciation on behalf of the 2017 Fellows, the reggae stalwart broke out in songs such as Many Rivers to Cross, It’s been a Hard Road to Travel, My Miss Jamaica and I Can See Clearly Now, much to the delight of the audience.