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Stabroek News

HART, CHEN finally receive Musgrave medals
published: Sunday | November 13, 2005


- PHOTOS BY WINSTON SILL/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER
LEFT: Musgrave gold medallist Richard Hart (centre), holds his citation with wife Avis (left), and Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson. RIGHT: Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson (right), presents sculptor Margaret Chen with her Musgrave Silver Medal.

IT TOOK them a little longer than everybody else, but Richard Hart and Margaret Chen have finally received their honours.

The duo were absent when the Musgrave Awards were handed out in October. Yesterday, at the Institute of Jamaica on East Street, downtown Kingston, they received their medals: gold for Hart and silver for Chen.

Hart was honoured for his contribution to history in Jamaica. One of only three surviving members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Hart is also one of the founding members of the People's National Party (PNP). But his award comes for his contribution with the pen. Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson, lauded him as one of those Jamaicans who was integral in national upliftment with his views on colonialism.

PASSION FOR THE ART FORM

Whereas Hart has contributed to the political history, Chen has made her mark in Jamaican art. Head of sculpture at her alma mater, Edna Manley School for the Visual and Performing Arts, she is credited with always exploring new dimensions in Jamaican culture. Her passion for the art form and the zeal with which she transmits that to her students are well known.

Hart responded on behalf of the two awardees. Shockingly, he admitted that he thought himself and his work were both forgotten but the award proved "a few people still read my books from time to time." And then, being the true historian he is, he went on to give a history lesson on the origins of the PNP.

He donated some of his pieces including various news clippings from The Gleaner, to the National Library of Jamaica. In a historic moment Hart, Frank Gordon and Ken Jones, the only three living former members of the TUC, were reunited.

Hart continues to research and write and says he has one more book to produce, while Chen still passes on her knowledge in the arts.

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