by Howard Campbell
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Anthony Richards has never forgotten the bold words his mother told him as a child. “She said to me, ‘There’s nothing you can’t achieve, you are a Taylor’. And that has stayed with me through life,” said Richards, a former marketing executive with Trojan Records.
Known as Chips, he has lived up to his mother’s saucy declaration. On October 17, Richards was awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer class) by the Jamaican government for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music.
The OD is Jamaica’s sixth-highest honor. Richards, who helped market songs like Ken Boothe’s Everything I Own and John Holt’s Help me Make it Through The Night in the United Kingdom during the early 1970s, added that he is “privileged to receive such an honor” from his country.
The London-based Richards received his award during the annual National Honours and Awards at King’s House. Over 200 persons accepted accolades including actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and star sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who were presented with the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fifth-highest honor.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Ralph was born in the United States to an American father and Jamaican mother. She was recognized for an enduring career in movies, television and stage, which resulted in an Emmy Award last September for her role as Barbara Howard in the ABC sitcom, Abbott Elementary.
Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce
Fraser-Pryce, who has won 13 gold medals over the 100 and 200 meters at the Olympics and World Championships, arrived from New Zealand shortly after the ceremony started. She spoke about the importance of leaving a lasting legacy for not only Jamaican track and field, but also her son Zion, who accompanied her.
Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Jamaica’s popular entertainment and sports minister, also received the OJ.
Trinidadian singer Kentrick “Lord Creator” Patrick was presented with the OD (Officer class) for his contribution to Jamaican music. He wrote and sang Independent Jamaica, which marked the country’s independence from Jamaica on August 6, 1962.
Of note was a posthumous OD to Leonard Howell, considered founder of the Rastafarian movement, who died in 1981 at age 84. His badge was accepted by his son Bill.