By Ashecia Sam. Updated 4:20 p.m., Friday, November 13, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Two Vincentians are among fourteen Caribbean nationals who will be awarded honorary degrees at the University of the West Indies (UWI) 2020 Graduation Ceremony.
Franklyn (Frankie) McIntosh will be awarded by the Open Campus for his work as a Musical Director/Composer – Doctor of Letters (DLitt) and Professor Edgar Julian Duncan will be awarded by the St. Augustine Campus for contributions to Caribbean Science and Agriculture – Doctor of Science (DSc).
The UWI 2020 graduation ceremonies are scheduled to take place from January 11–16, 2021, in a mix of blended, virtual formats to celebrate a graduating class of approximately eight thousand five hundred students (8500) students from across the region.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, The UWI graduations will retain the tradition of recognising Caribbean excellence through the conferral of honorary degrees awarded for a wide variety of fields such as music, theatre, public service, medicine, agricultural science and entrepreneurship among others.
The awards were approved by the University Council, which has sanctioned over five hundred (500) honorary degrees since 1965.
About Franklyn McIntosh (DLitt)
Born into a musical family, Franklyn ‘Frankie’ McIntosh was always surrounded by music. He trained in classical piano as a young boy, joined his father’s popular dance band, the Melotones at age 10 and formed his own band at the age of 14.
In 1968 Mr. McIntosh moved to New York to attend Brooklyn College where he earned a Bachelor of Music and later a Master’s degree from the New York University. During his studies, he played keyboard with several Caribbean R&B and Jazz groups. He went on to study with several musical icons including John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Zenon Fishbein, and US composer, Robert Starer.
In 1976/77 Mr. McIntosh first forayed into the world of Calypso arranging for calypsonian Becket’s successful 1977 Disco Calypso album. In 1978 he connected with fellow Vincentian and Brooklyn’s premier record producer at the time, Granville Straker. The two went on to forge a musical alliance that would last decades.
Serving as musical director and technical producer, McIntosh arranged for dozens of Straker’s calypsonians including Chalkdust (Dr. Hollis Liverpool), Shadow, Calypso Rose, Winston Soso, Poser, Scorcher, Singing Francine, Duke, King Wellington, young Machel Montano, Lord Shorty and others. His classic arrangements won the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Monarch for Chalkdust in 1981 ‘Things that Worry Me’ and 1989 ‘Chauffer Wanted’. His work also won the Road March for Sparrow in 1984 ‘Doh Back Back’ and Duke in 1987 ‘Thunder’.
From Calypso to gospel and reggae, Franklyn McIntosh has worked his magic on music from every English-speaking Caribbean island. His work has been honoured with an induction into the Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame in New York (2015) and recognition by the Borough of Brooklyn, the City of New York and the United States Congress – House of Representatives. He has appeared on a stamp in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and is recognised as a diplomat.
About Professor Edgar Julian Duncan (DSc).
Professor Edgar Julian Duncan’s pioneering work in Plant Biotechnology (Plant Tissue Culture) has benefited the region in very practical ways including the mass production of banana, plantain, pineapple, orchid and anthurium plants to supply Caribbean farmers.
Professor Duncan holds a BSc in Botany and Zoology (University College of the West Indies, Mona) and received the first Sir James Irvine Memorial Scholarship tenable at the University of St. Andrews Scotland. There, he earned a PhD in Fungal Cytology and Genetics. He went on to teach at his alma mater, The UWI, graduating to the position of Head of Department of Life Sciences and Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.
In 1996 he introduced Plant Tissue Culture as a discipline at The UWI St. Augustine Campus, establishing a laboratory and developing a course in the discipline. In 1999 he was named Professor Emeritus at The UWI and to date continues to mentor researchers, teachers and students.
Professor Duncan has published two books; namely A Guide to Wild Flowers of Trinidad and Tobago with the Asa Wright Nature Centre and a co-authored manuscript Life Along the Seashore of Trinidad and Tobago (2018) with Lori Lee Lum. He also published 3 book chapters, 30 peer reviewed journal articles and a further 6 in local journals. Professor Duncan’s services to the region, include the setting up of national Tissue Culture Laboratories in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, on consultancies for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Professor Duncan received The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Administration (1994) and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Agriculture for his pioneering contribution of Plant Tissue Culture research and Development from the National Institute of Education Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) in 2002.
The 2020 honorary graduands will recognized for their outstanding contributions to regional and international development.