Ian Jackson, the author of the Sun column, Spotlight, was awarded the Golden Drum on Tuesday last week. The other winners were: Prosper Paris received the golden drum award for preservation of the indigenous culture; Elue Alexander, for preservation of traditional culture; the Alfred family of Giraudel, for floriculture and floral decoration and Purcell Christian for music education and performance. Jackson received the award for music and creative writing.

Special Recognition Awards were presented to Dennison "King Dice" Joseph for development of calypso, Lennox Alexander for development and promotion of steel pan music, Nadira Lando for carnival queen pageantry, Birdy Phillip for preservation of traditional dance and Cedric Phillip for development and promotion of choral music.

Each year during Emancipation celebrations in Dominica, Golden Drum awards are presented to outstanding individuals and groups in the field of culture; special recognition awards are given to deserving individuals and groups.

One other major highlight of Emancipation this year's is the unveiling of the Neg Mawon Emancipation Monument at the round-about close to the Peebles Park. The monument is in honour of Africans slaves and specifically the Maroons who escaped from the plantations and fought for their emancipation.

"The monument also celebrated the contribution which all the Africans made to our life and culture here in Dominica and the profound influence which they had on our language, our music, our costumes, cuisine and other aspects of life," said Raymond Lawrence, the Chief Cultural Officer.

Other activities for this year's emancipation celebrations included an Emancipation Hike, the Eggleston Heritage Festival and the Nature Island Literary Festival.