Black History Month Celebrated with Impressive Ceremony at Markham Town Centre
Feb.27.07) Markham brought its celebration of Black History Month to an impressive culmination on February 26 with a special ceremony held in the Council Chamber. Fourteen distinguished citizens, from a wide range of professions and community involvements, received awards of achievement.
The event was presided over by Town Councillor Jack Heath who stated that the celebration of Black History Month had become an important part of the city’s life. Mayor Frank Scarpitti praised the contributions to our municipal, provincial and national life by Canadians of Black heritage.
Before the formal part of the ceremony began, the gathering was treated to the music of renowned saxophonist Dave McLaughlin. Another special treat, just prior to the awards presentation, was a performance and demonstration of African drums by students from Parkview Public School, under the direction of teacher Maggie Birtch.
Dr. Joseph Kurantsin-Mills paid tribute to the achievements of a number of remarkable individuals of African heritage, from the fields of politics, diplomacy, medicine and technology.
This year’s award recipients were chosen from a group of selected nominees by the Markham African Caribbean Association Black History Awards committee, chaired by Heather Christian-Simmonds.
The first to receive his award from Mayor Scarpitti was Mr. Denham Jolly, President and CEO of FLOW 93.5, Canada’s first black radio station, who then made a valedictory address on behalf of all the award recipients.