The SUNSHINE Awards Organization today announced in New Jersey that the Archbishop of Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, the Most Reverend, Joseph E. Harris will attend the 24th Annual SUNSHINE Awards in New York City to present the 2012 Dr. Basil Matthews SUNSHINE Awards to Dr. Brinsley Samaroo for his outstanding contribution to education. This award was established in honor of Dr. Basil Matthews, the Founder of St. Benedicts College, La Romaine, San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies.
Dr. Matthews opened the doors to St. Benedict’s College on September 11, 1956 in the district of La Romaine, San Fernando to a world of aspiration, hopes and dreams for the poor with a promise of an education. He was also very instrumental in enhancing public awareness of the role sports play in education and human development. Dr. Matthews departed for Heaven at age 89 on April 7, 1999.
The SUNSHINE Awards Program was founded in 1989 to recognize and honor talented exponents of the performing arts, sports and education of the various Caribbean countries. Over the years the canopy of the program was extended to South America, Central America and Africa.
This year, the 24th Annual SUNSHINE Awards Program will be staged on Saturday, October 27, at the AXA Equitable Center in New York City and will be dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. In making the announcement, the Founder of the SUNSHINE Awards Program, Mr. Gilman Figaro, Sr. said, “I am pleased that His Grace accepted my invitation to honor us with his presence to present the first Dr. Basil Matthews SUNSHINE Award to a man who has made a significant contribution to education. The Archbishop’s presence will underscore the importance of education if we are to face the global challenges that await us in the future.”
The Most Reverend Joseph Harris, Archbishop of Port of Spain, commented this morning, “Catholic education has a double goal. It is to help young men and women become good citizens of God’s Kingdom and good citizens of the Nation. These twin goals go together. They are intertwined. One cannot exist without the other. Our country certainly needs these goals if it is to overcome the moral and societal storms which are coming upon us”
Dr. Hollis Liverpool, the co-founder of the SUNSHINE Awards Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Nomination Network Committee said, “Again, the SUNSHINE Awards has broken new ground and has dared to go where no none else has ventured. The granting of an award to remember the works of Dr. Basil Matthews, as well as the Archbishop of Port of Spain being there personally to deliver same break new frontiers and place the SUNSHINE Awards Organization on a high rock in the ocean of the Arts and Humanities.”
Gail Guy, former teacher at St. Benedict’s College and career Diplomat said, “The SUNSHINE Awards Organization continues to innovate and to trail-blaze. In the development of this new Award, the Dr. Basil Matthews Award for education, it provides an important point of acknowledgment of the life-work of so many of our educators who may otherwise go unnoticed or unheralded. Dr. Basil Matthews, an innovator in education par excellence is the most suitable individual in whose name this award is named. The visit by His Grace to honor the first awardee is icing on the cake.”
Dr. Hans Geiser, member of the SUNSHINE Awards Board of Directors and former, senior United Nations Diplomat also commented on the Archbishop’s presence at the 24th Annual SUNSHINE Awards. He said, “Having been closely associated with the SUNSHINE Awards from inception in 1989, I am impressed by the journey that this annual event has travelled over the years. It has been crossing all types of cultural and geographic lines, and the presence of the Archbishop of Port-of-Spain at this year’s Celebration is a tribute and testimony to the ever widening circle of prominence attracted by the SUNSHINE Awards. It has become an EVENT WITHOUT BORDERS”