The Signature Society


Kerry Washington


New York: Emmy and Golden Globe nominated American/Jamaican actress Kerry Washington will be honored with an ‘Artistic Achievement Award’ at Jamaica’s 57th Independence Black Tie Gala, slated for the Hilton Westchester Hotel, Rye, New York on August 10, 2019. 

Born in The Bronx to parents Valerie (Moss) from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica and Earl Washington, from South Carolina, Kerry’s career took flight in 2004 when she appeared as Della Bea Robinson, the wife of musician Ray Charles, in the biopic Ray. She won “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” for Ray at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005. Washington is best known for her portrayal of Olivia Pope in the ABC TV drama ‘Scandal’ – that has earned her several Emmy, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Golden Globe nominations – and for her portrayal of lawyer/academic Anita Hill in the 2016 HBO film ‘Confirmation,’ which she executive produced under the banner of her production company Simpson Street.  

“We are extremely proud to honor the talented Kerry Washington at our Jamaica Independence Gala” said event Chairman/Producer Sephron Mair.

“Kerry is an outstanding actress and movie director and is the first woman of color to headline a network TV drama since 1974, when she starred in Scandal. In 2013 she was ranked #2 on the 100 Most Beautiful People list by People Magazine” he added.

The Black Tie Gala – Jamaica’s marquee Independence celebration in New York – is being held under the distinguish patronage of the Minister of Tourism, the Hon Edmund Bartlett, who will bring greetingS on behalf of Jamaica. Also in attendance and acting as ‘Brand Ambassador’ will be the Hon Lisa Hanna, MP and 1993 Miss World winner. The Keynote Address will be delivered by United States Federal Judge, the Hon. Norman Hemming. The event will be attended by over 1,000 celebrants under the theme ‘Celebrating Brand Jamaica.’

Part of the proceeds from the Gala will be donated to Food for the Poor, Jamaica (FFP), the largest charity organization in Jamaica and Food For The Poor Inc., located in Florida, USA, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States.

Honoree, Olympian Byron LaBeach

Veteran Jamaican sprinter Byron LaBeach attended St. Georges College in Kingston and was an outstanding varsity athlete at Morgan State University (1950 -1954) in Baltimore, MD. Track and field was his specialty and he followed in the footsteps of his two famous brothers, Lloyd and Sam, both Olympic performers.

LaBeach was an alternate member of the Jamaica 1952 Helsinki golden quartet that included Olympians Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, George Rhoden and Leslie Lanig that won gold in the men’s 4x400m final that gave Jamaica a historic victory in the event. He was also a semi-finalist in the 100 meters in the Helsinki Games. He later won gold medals for Jamaica at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico City in 1954 with the 4×100 and 4×400 metres relay teams.

In 1990-94, he served as Chairman of Jamaica Overseas Olympic Association (USA). He was later inducted into the Morgan State University “Hall of Fame” in 1998 and the Victoria Mutual Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation (Ja.). He was recently presented with an Olympic Pin by president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, at a service in Kingston that was attended by family, friends and other Olympians.

Off the track (1975-1994), LaBeach was a pioneer in the importation and of distribution of Caribbean food products to major supermarket chains in the New York tri-state area.

This proud son of the soil was born in Kingston, to parents – the late Samuel A. LaBeach, Sr., and Julia Louise Johnston. He is the youngest of seven boys and is married to Violet Meghoo. They have three (3) children, Monique, Julie and Byron (Andrew) and four (4) grandchildren.

Byron LaBeach
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