Antiguan stalwart awarded posthumously for his contribution to the performing arts

Sir Selvyn A Walter received the nation’s second highest award when he was conferred with Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (KCN) in 2013 (File photo by Gemma Hazelwood)
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By Theresa Goodwin

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Former MP and celebrated writer, the late Sir Selvyn Walter, is to be given a posthumous award for his contributions to the performing arts.

Sir Selvyn is among seven individuals to be recognised in 2021 by the Sunshine Awards Organization based in the US state of New Jersey for their contribution to various disciplines.

The awards were founded in 1989 by Gilman Figaro Snr to recognise and reward excellence in the performing arts, education, human science, technology, and sports in various Caribbean countries.

Sir Selvyn was a founding member of the Halcyon Steel Orchestra which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. He was also recognised locally for his work in the steelband movement prior to his death in September 2020.

The award came as no surprise to Sir Selvyn’s family since, as explained by his daughter Althea Richardson-Walter, the former Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) MP left a rich legacy and a mark that will be remembered for years to come.

In the political field, Sir Selvyn secured his place in history when as a young, first-time challenger, he defeated a four-time and senior incumbent, Sir Vere C Bird, in the 1971 elections, and served as minister of Economic Development and Tourism in the PLM administration.

Richardson-Walter said her father made a significant contribution in Antigua and abroad and this most recent honour is another feather in his hat.

Other 2021 Sunshine awardees include Ian Estwick from Barbados; Nigerian Dr Oluyinka Olutoye; Dr Shakuntala Thilsted and Ainsworth Mohammed from Trinidad and Tobago; the Kassav Band from the French Antilles; and Judge Verne Hodge from St Thomas USVI.

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