Recognizing Trailblazers at the Queens Of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremony

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – When women are honored in Jamaica, they are often split into categories based on generation. For her Queens Of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremony (QORIHC), Laurell Nurse wanted to change that.

The New Jersey-based Jamaican salutes 31 women at that event’s seventh staging on March 24 at Karl Hendrickson Auditorium in Kingston.

Honorees

The honorees made their mark in the entertainment, journalism, culinary, fashion and corporate sectors. Some, including educator Alma Mock Yen, have excelled in the arts and journalism for over 60 years. Others, such as Tifa, are among dancehall’s hottest acts.

Recognizing Trailblazers at the Queens Of Reggae Island Honorary Ceremony
June Issacs, Laurell Nurse and Patricia Garib – Photo Credit: Garfield Robinson

“There’s a generation gap in the industry and QORIHC has bridged that gap because someone 80 years-old will be in the room with a 35 year-old, because each has put in the 10 years to qualify. It’s an event of unity, the Queendom with Princesses looking forward too. It was intentionally created that way from the get-go in 2016,,” Nurse told South Florida Caribbean News.

Other 2024 awardees include Sharon Marley, Sister Carol, Patra, Macka Diamond, D’Angel and Mary Isaacs, broadcaster Suzie Q and actress Audrey Reid.

Recipients, Nurse disclosed, are “selected by industry peers, insiders and the public.”

Nurse, who works in the US health sector, is also a recording artist whose songs include a cover of Gregory Isaacs’ Night Nurse. She was inspired to start an event honoring women, mainly in entertainment, following a eye-opening discussion with deejay Sister Nancy about the discrimination they faced in the music industry

Sister Nancy, best known for the 1982 dancehall classic Bam Bam, was one of the QORIHC’s inaugural honorees in 2016.

Last year’s inductees included Althea Laing, a model who appeared on the cover of Essence; and Bridgett Anderson, who has managed artists such as Garnet Silk and Samory I.