Bob Marley's 'One Love' vision celebrated with awards

Bob Marley's 'One Love' vision celebrated with awards

March 2, 2019

Wearing his pants below the buttocks and walking with a hitch made Darace Rose feel hip.

His Jamaican-born parents, Dahlia and Horace ‘Rap’ Rose, didn’t share the same feeling.

Rose’s father owns Rap’s, a popular Jamaican fast food restaurant on Eglinton Ave, W., while his mother provides care for military veterans and seniors with mental health challenges at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

At age 11, they sent their son to Jamaica to complete his schooling.

In retrospect, that’s the best thing they could have to done for him.

“I thought that acting the way I did was a good way to show off my Jamaican identity,” said Rose who was born in Canada. “I was dead wrong. I quickly learnt that being Jamaican is having a sense of pride, respect, responsibility and a good work ethic among other things.”

Connecting with his uncle, Mykal Rose is a Grammy Award-winning reggae singer, was also significant.

“From him, I learnt about the Rasta culture and Bob Marley,” he pointed out. “When I was in Grade 11, my dad came to Jamaica to do some recordings with my uncle and they took me to Tuff Gong studio (Marley opened it in 1965). That was so uplifting. The six years I spent in Jamaica laid the foundation for who I am today.”

Almost 25 years after graduating from William Knibb Memorial High School which is the alma mater of the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, Rose was one of the recipients of Bob Marley Awards presented on February 6 which was proclaimed ‘Bob Marley Day in Toronto’.

The awards are presented to individuals who share Marley’s ‘One Love’ vision – a universal love and respect for all people regardless of race, creed or colour.

“I grew up around music in my home, particularly as it relates to Bob Marley,” said Rose whose favourite tunes are ‘Africa Unite’ and ‘Redemption Song’. “To get an award with Bob Marley’s name is very noteworthy for me and my family.”

Darace Rose and his wife Grace

Darace Rose and his wife Grace

The married father of five daughters and York University graduate is the vice-president of operations & security at Ample Organics which is a global leader in cannabis technology, providing innovative business solutions that facilitate compliance with government regulations.

Marley’s music also resonated with Ontario Court of Appeal judge Michael Tulloch who was an award recipient.

“Bob was a very inspirational figure,” he said. “He transcends generations and time with his positive messages.”

Tulloch, who left Jamaica at age nine, was called to the Bar in 1991. He spent eight years in private practice, specializing in criminal law before being appointed a Superior Court judge in Ontario in 2003. At the time, he was only one three Black judges on any Superior Court in Canada.

While in private practice, Tulloch was appointed a special prosecuting agent with the Federal Department of Justice and he participated in myriad commissions, including the Ontario Government Review on Civilian Oversight on Policing, the Review of the Ontario Legal Aid Plan and the Criminal Code Review conducted by the Federal Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.

Hired by the province’s previous Liberal government to assess the effectiveness of new regulations meant to limit the impact of street checks on racialized groups, Tulloch recently released his report.

Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (l) joined Courtney Betty (r) in presenting a Bob Marley Award to Justice Michael Tulloch

Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (l) joined Courtney Betty (r) in presenting a Bob Marley Award to Justice Michael Tulloch

Courtney Betty, who practiced law in Ontario and Jamaica before launching Timeless Herbal Care, started the awards program in 1991.

“At the time, I was one of three Black crown attorneys in the department of justice (the others were the late Julius Isaac and April Burey) and a basketball player with the Toronto Police team,” he recounted. “I was caught in a divide as there were a lot issues with the police and the Black community.

Police officers working in the community to bridge the gap were the inaugural Bob Marley Award winners.

“Things didn’t go well that first year because there was a negative article about the event in a mainstream newspaper,” said Betty who completed high school at Oakwood Collegiate Institute and was a Jamaica Fair Trading Commission senior legal counsel. “On the other hand, there were people in the community who said that Bob Marley is not part of this system and, as such, the event shouldn’t be held at City Hall.”

Moving the event to another location the next year didn’t stop the criticism.

“I was confronted by a mob and late community worker John Brooks, who stepped in the middle, saved me from getting into a scuffle,” said Betty who ran a law office in the city before dedicating his time to developing a legal framework for the medical marijuana industry in Jamaica. “During the event, Roy Williams (the Jamaican Canadian Association co-founder and Toronto Police Services Board first Black member) stood up and spoke about why the award program should be supported.”

Williams, who celebrates his 90th birthday in April, attended this year’s event at City Hall where deputy mayor Michael Thompson read the proclamation.

For the last 28 years, the city has recognized Bob Marley Day on February 6 which is the day the global music legend was born 74 years ago.

He died in 1981.

Other Bob Marley Award winners were Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire, family physician Dr. Kevin Rod, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. founder and chief executive officer Dr. Gordon Chang, biopharmaceutics & pharmaceutical technology professor Dr. Alex MacGregor, health & wellness advocate Pam Clarke, cancer survivor Pat Wright and Marcia Griffiths who was a member of the I Threes which was a trio of back-up singers for Bob Marley & the Wailers.

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