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Singer Levi Loblack was among a number of persons and groups who were honoured on Saturday evening with the Golden Drum award.

The other Golden Drum winners were: Miranda Langlais for Indigenous Culture; Stephen Drigo (Traditional Music) Pearle Christian for Excellence in Music Education and the Promotion of Choral Music and Regina Walsh for Pageantry.

Upon receiving her award Regina Walsh said:

"I knew at one point something like this would be coming to me but as I say nothing happens before its time and this is the time and this is the hour."

Though thrilled by her award Walsh added:

"Tonight I must say that one person I am missing right now by me is my husband because he was the person that used to really inspire and push me and also today my own granddaughter who had to be airlifted for medicals."

Walsh died in a traffic accident in 2013.

On that evening four persons and two groups were presented with Special Recognition Awards. They were: Carlton Henry (Traditional Culture and Pageantry); Craig Bellot (for the Promotion of Dominica Music); Ivon George (Traditional Culture); Hilroy Fingal for Excellence in Art; Performing Arts Workshop for Promotion of Dance and Pageantry and St Alphonsus Junior Choir for Excellence in Choral Music.

Chairman of the National Cultural Council Gregory Rabess said: "In 1982 the Golden Drum was issued for the first time and in the intervening years over 100 citizens of Dominica cultural stalwarts and icons received a Golden Drum Award and a similar number in terms of the special recognition."

Meanwhile, Mandra Fagan, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture said the Golden Drum Award ceremony is a very special occasion where recognition and honour are given to a number of individuals and groups for making a lasting contribution to the development and promotion of various aspects of culture.

She noted that by receiving this was it is not the end of the road.

Fagan said that she is confident that the awardees will continue to contribute to the development of culture by sharing their experience, skills and talent with others especially the younger generation.

"You have contributed to making Dominica a cultural power that is second to none in the OECS group of countries," said Fagan.

Fagan noted that emancipation in 1838 provided that basis for unleashing of cultural freedom and the flourishing of talent which was supressed under slavery.

She said that after emancipation Dominicans were free to practice their culture, free to sing and dance, free to play the drums.

"Even then the creole culture was not considered by the colonial powers as something to be promoted and developed," she said.

Fagan said it wasn't until the 1960s when persons such as E.O Leblanc and Mabel Cissie Caudeiron actively promoted the creole culture and have it recognized by the state.


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